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【Canceled】Liberalism, Commodification, and Justice

17:00-, Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Seminar Room (Rm. 24), 2F, Bldg. 101,Komaba Campus, The University of Tokyo

Vida Panitch(Carleton University, Canada)
“Liberalism, Commodification, and Justice”

※This event is canceled.

Date and time: 17:00-, Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Venue: Seminar Room (Rm. 24), 2F, Bldg. 101,Komaba Campus, The University of Tokyo
Language: English

A number of political philosophers have argued recently against what they see as an ever-increasing trend toward commodification, or what Michael Sandel has described as the transition of a market economy into a market society. Their critique of commodification is accompanied by a condemnation of liberal political philosophy. The liberal, it is argued, cannot justify curtailing a market transaction on the basis of what is sold, only on the basis of how it is sold. The commodification theorist is correct that if this were all the liberal had to say in the face of noxious markets, it would be inadequate: there are some goods that simply should not go to the highest bidder. My aim in this paper is to argue that the political liberal does indeed have the wherewithal to explain why, even in a market society, certain things should not be for sale, in particular, civic goods, necessary goods, and physical goods. She can and should appeal, I will show, first, to a principle of equal basic rights, and second, to one of sufficiency in basic needs and the social basis of self-respect, to explain the noxiousness of markets in everything from votes, to health care, to body parts.

Vida Panitch is an Associate Professor of Philosophy, and the Director of the Doctoral Program in Ethics and Public Affairs, at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 2008. Her research addresses the moral boundaries of markets in necessary goods, including health care, and physical goods, including body parts and intimate services, and the extent to which theories of equality, exploitation, and commodification can help us determine their appropriate regulation. Her work has appeared in various journals including American Journal of Bioethics, Social Theory and Practice, Journal of Applied Philosophy, and the Journal of Global Ethics. Her book, Exploitation: from Theory to Practice, co-edited with Monique Deveaux, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2017.

Sponsored by:
The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy
The University of Tokyo Humanities Center, LIXIL Ushioda East Asian Humanities Initiative, Planned Research Project: “The Theory and Practice of Symbiosis in the 21st Century”

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