Wanted: Positive Arguments for Markets
Many people believe that some things, like sex and kidneys, should not be for sale. Let us call these things “contested commodities.” Against this, Brennan and Jaworksi defend “markets without limits” (hereafter: MwL). According to this thesis: “If you may do it for free, you may do it for money” [2, p. 10]. Since we can have sex for free and give away our kidneys for free, we should be able to do these things for money. Brennan and Jaworksi deftly blend rigorous philosophical analysis with the latest research in social science to counter some of the most prominent arguments against commodification. But, I will argue, their own arguments stop short of establishing MwL. Brennan and Jaworksi do not say enough in favor of markets in contested commodities.
What Brennan and Jaworksi get right
MwL is ripe for mischaracterization, so let me begin by highlighting two key aspects of it. First, Brennan and Jaworksi do not claim that everythingis an appropriate object of commodification, i.e.,...
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