Cover: Contested Commodities, from Harvard University PressCover: Contested Commodities in PAPERBACK

Contested Commodities

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$44.50 • £35.95 • €40.00

ISBN 9780674007161

Publication: November 2001

Short

296 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

World

Not only are there willing buyers for body parts or babies, Radin observes, but some desperately poor people would be willing sellers, while better-off people find such trades abhorrent. Radin observes that many such areas of contested commodification reflect a persistent dilemma in liberal society: we value freedom of choice and simultaneously believe that choices ought to be restricted to protect the integrity of what it means to be a person. She views this tension as primarily the result of underlying social and economic inequality, which need not reflect an irreconcilable conflict in the premises of liberal democracy.

As a philosophical pragmatist, the author therefore argues for a conception of incomplete commodification, in which some contested things can be bought and sold, but only under carefully regulated circumstances. Such a regulatory regime both symbolizes the importance of nonmarket value to personhood and aspires to ameliorate the underlying conditions of inequality.