The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 619–627 | Cite as

Objections to Euvoluntary Exchange Do Not Have “Standing”: Extending Markets Without Limits

  • Michael Munger

The key claim in Markets Without Limits (henceforth, MWL) is this: the market does not introduce wrongness where there was none previously. On p. 10, authors Brennan and Jaworski put it more starkly: “If you may do it for free, then you may do it for money.” The strategy they use to support this claim is mostly negative: all the arguments that one might make against the claim fail. Consequently, commodification alone is never a moral problem, by itself. There are many things that are morally problematic, but things that can be done, can be done for money.

The starkness of the argument should be set against the overly simple argument on the opposite extreme, which might go something like: markets always introduce wrongness, even if there was none previously. As Brennan and Jaworski put it on page 29, the problem anti-commodificationists have is not with the “what”—the transfer, use, or provision of the thing—but with the “how”—the use of the market as a lubricant for social intercourse.


  1. Brennan, Jason, and Peter Jaworski. 2016. Markets Without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Feinberg, Joel (1984) Harm to Others, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Gaus, G. F. (2005). “The Place of Autonomy Within Liberalism.” Edited by John Christman and Joel Anderson, in Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism. New York: Cambridge University Press. 271-306.Google Scholar
  4. Gaus, Gerald. (2011). The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom and Morality in a Diverse and Bounded World. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Guzman, Ricardo, and Michael Munger. “Euvoluntariness and just market exchange: moral dilemmas from Locke’s Venditio.” Public Choice. 158: 39–49.Google Scholar
  6. Ife, J.S. 2006. “The Limits of Law.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Referenced 9-11-2016. Scholar
  7. Kant, Immanuel. 1996. Practical Philosophy, anthology translated by Mary Gregor. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Munger, Michael. (2011). “Euvoluntary or Not, Exchange is Just.” Social Philosophy and Policy. 28(2): 192-211.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

Personalised recommendations