Dr. Ben Colburn (Lecturer, Philosophy)
Consider autonomy-minded liberalism, the position that the state ought to promote individual autonomy, aiming at equal access to autonomy for all. Such a position in politics might seem to fit very happily with an endorsement of a free market in economics. I think that the autonomy-minded liberal should be wary of this common link. Drawing on a framework for thinking about markets suggested by Ronald Dworkin, I argue that the moral acceptability of a market in a given domain depends on what it is fair to hold people responsible for. I then show that many apparently innucous mechanisms for setting the value of goods look much more questionable once we realise what judgments about responsibility they covertly commit us to.
Respondent: Dr Serena Olsaretti (University Senior Lecturer, Philosophy)
Followed by drinks at "The Anchor"
Theme for 2008/09 "The Moral Economy?"
The Group aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for researchers investigating the cultures of capitalism and the social and ethical dimensions of organizations, business, and economics.