Despite the continuing dominance of market relations and market forces in contemporary society, there remain fundamental questions about the ethical acceptability of markets and their effects. This collection, based on the 1998 conference of the Society for Applied Philosophy, brings philosophical analysis and argument to bear on these questions. Papers in the first half of the volume examine the relation between the market and central ethical concepts - concepts of value, quality of life, quality of environment, community, equality of opportunity and morality itself. In the second part, the focus is on the relation between markets and specific social phenomena such as privatization, poverty and exclusion, the ’ethical consumer’ movement and the operation of market principles in the National Health Service. The views and arguments presented in the papers do not stem from any single moral or philosophical perspective, but together they add up to a comprehensive review of the ethical problems raised by market societies. The book will be of interest to students and researchers in philosophy, economics, business studies, politics and social theory and to anyone interested in the effect of market forces on the quality of our lives.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; The Market and Values: The moral boundaries of markets; Markets and moral minimalism; Is the consumer always right?: Subject-relative valuations and inherent values; Quality of life, environment and markets; The communitarian critique of the market. The Market and Social Institutions: The ethical effects of privatisation; Poverty and social exclusion; Social justice and process versus end-state conceptions of competition; Passive patient or responsible consumer: market values and the normative ideal; Relocating the ethical consumer.
'... the publishers and editor are to be congratulated for bringing together a series of articles on an important topic which has until recently been largely ignored.' Res Publica