Rice PHIL 307 - Universal Commodification

Unformatted text preview:

Universal Commodification• The archetype of universal commodification presents a one-dimensional world of value• From this perspective, all things desired or valued - from personal attributes to good government - are commodities• This principle describes in monetary terms all things of value to a person• Judge Richard Posner assumes that everything people own is own able and salable• The value of a commodity is defined as its exchange value• This valuation implies that all commodities are fungible and commensurable• This takes into account that things may be valued "subjectively" at a sum other than market price• Posner asserts that economics is the "science of rational choice" in a world of scarce resources• An assumption is made that man is a rational maximizer of the benefits in his own self-interest• Unrestricted choice about what goods to trade represents individual freedom, and maximizing one's gains from trade represents ideals• Thus often politicians are seen as selfish logrolling individuals seeking to capture social wealth for themselves reducing social efficiency.• Laissez-faire is presumptively efficient because it is a system of voluntary transfers• Consequentialism is a broad label for the idea of identifying right and wrong by resultsProstitution• In an ideal theory of justice sex should remain apart from the market so that commodified sex ought not to exist in order to 'preserve the virtues'• In our non ideal world, market inalienability (especially when enforced through criminalization of prostitution) may harm a person's ideals rather than maintainthem• Poor women who believe they must sell sex for a living are subject to disease, arrest, violence• "The ideal of sexual sharing is related to identity and contextually, but the identity of those who sell is undermines by criminalization and powerlessness,and their contextually, their ability to develop and maintain relationships, is stunted in these circumstances• There is a fear of a domino effect that once we allow market forces into our idea of sexuality, we will distort people's ideas of sexuality.• But this is under the assumption that nonmonetized equal-sharing relationships are the norm or are at least attainable• Catharine MacKinnon argues that these conditions are rare • As it is now noncommodification is par tot a social structure that may perpetuate false consciousness amongst some has they try and evaluate theirsexual relationships under the idea that it is equal-sharing, which may (and is most likely) not be the case.• Maybe the best way into the future for this issue is a strive for the ideal in a way that does not alienate and harm certain people and does not imposeideological bondage upon them. There should be incomplete commodification of goods and services (According to Radin)• This would protect the integrity of the women and also allow them to be free of all the things that go along with criminalization.• Prostitution contracts should be unenforceable to remove the threat of slavery• Advertising may be banned to keep the ideals and also protect prostitutes from social backlash due to their presence on advertisements even though itwould not yield them as much "return" nor would there be the added "information costs" of their product.Baby-Selling• There are a few scenarios a regime could have as it's approach to baby selling• A regime that allows would-be parents to approach a women and commission her to have a baby and sell it• A regime that allows for 'unwanted' babies to be sold (as adoption typically is today)• Parent-child relationships are closely connected with personhood, particularly with personal identity and contextually.• If we were to commodify babies as we looked to for sexuality, we would also commodify their expected feature (eye color, height, IQ, health, etc.) thereforethere would be "superior" and "inferior" babies• If a completely free-market baby industry came to fruition it would be hard for us not to put a dollar value on all of our attributes as people• There might be cases where people who want babies are the best people fort he job of raising the babies and assuring they become good, complete

View Full Document

Rice PHIL 307 - Universal Commodification

Download Universal Commodification
Our administrator received your request to download this document. We will send you the file to your email shortly.
Loading Unlocking...

Join to view Universal Commodification and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Universal Commodification 2 2 and access 3M+ class-specific study document.


By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?