Commutative Justice: A Liberal Theory of Just Exchange, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Commutative Justice

A Liberal Theory of Just Exchange, 1st Edition

By Carl David Mildenberger


186 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780367346799
pub: 2020-02-21
SAVE ~$31.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429327131
pub: 2020-02-17
from $29.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


This bookdevelops a liberal theory of justice in exchange. It identifies the conditions that market exchanges need to fulfill to be just. It also addresses head-on a consequentialist challenge to existing theories of exchange, namely that, in light of new harms faced at the global level, we need to consider the combined consequences of millions of market exchanges to reach a final judgment about whether some individual exchange is just.

The author argues that, even if we accept this challenge, the effect of it is minimal. For different reasons, normatively problematic collective market outcomes like externalities, monopolies, violations of the Lockean proviso, inequality, and commodification do not pose particular problems to the justice of market exchanges. He outlines the various conditions a market exchange needs to fulfill to be considered just from a liberal background and in light of the new harms. Ultimately, he shows, it is not the market which is to blame; if we want to tackle issues like global warming or global economic injustice, we should not blindly follow the intuition that we best restrain and regulate markets.

Commutative Justice is unique in its focus on justice in exchange rather than on end-state distributive justice, and the way in which it addresses the new harms we are facing today. It will be of interest to researchers and advanced students in philosophy, politics, and economics who are working on questions of economic justice.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

Part I. Foundations of Commutative Justice

Chapter 2. Exchanges, Market Exchanges, and Their Function

Chapter 3. The Domain of Commutative Justice

Part II. Consequential Commutative Justice

Chapter 4. Externalities

Chapter 5. Monopolies

Chapter 6. Lockean Provisos

Chapter 7. Inequality

Chapter 8. Commodification

Chapter 9. Conclusion & Policy Implications

About the Author

Carl David Mildenberger is International Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of St Andrews, UK and a PhD in Economics from Witten/Herdecke University, Germany. He is the author of Economics and Social Conflict (2013). His published work has appeared in journals such as Philosophical Studies, Inquiry, Journal of Applied Philosophy, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

About the Series

Political Philosophy for the Real World

Political philosophers and applied ethicists often think in terms of ideal theory. In short, they ask what institutions, policies, or practices would work best if people had perfect motivations. While such work might help us imagine what utopia would look like, it offers little practical guidance.

Political Philosophy for the Real World offers a home for original scholarly research that confronts the very problems ideal theory imagines away, such as corruption, incentives, incompetence, rent-seeking, strategic free-riding and non-compliance, and political manipulation. The monographs and edited collections in this series integrate normative philosophy with the best empirical work in political science, economics, sociology, and psychology. By taking the incentives our institutions create and the motivations of individuals seriously, these books advocate for workable policy solutions that incorporate insights from the social sciences.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Political
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Economic Conditions