Markets without Limits
Jason F. Brennan & Peter Jaworski
711 – 3rd Avenue, Floor 8, New York, NY 10017-9209
9780415737340, $140.00, 252pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: May you sell your vote? May you sell your kidney? May gay men pay surrogates to bear them children? May spouses pay each other to watch the kids, do the dishes, or have sex? Should we allow the rich to genetically engineer gifted, beautiful children? Should we allow betting markets on terrorist attacks and natural disasters? Most people shudder at the thought. To put some goods and services for sale offends human dignity. If everything is commodified, then nothing is sacred. The market corrodes our character. Or so most people say. In “Markets without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests”, Jason Brennan (Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business) and Peter Jaworski (Assistant Teaching Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business) give markets a fair hearing. The market does not introduce wrongness where there was not any previously. Thus claim asserted by “Markets without Limits” with respect to the question of what rightfully may be bought and sold has a simple answer: if you may do it for free, you may do it for money. Contrary to the conservative consensus, they claim there are no inherent limits to what can be bought and sold, but only restrictions on how we buy and sell.
Critique: Perhaps considered iconoclastic in some quarters, “Markets without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests” is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. An inherently absorbing and innately fascinating read from beginning to end, “Markets without Limits” is commended to the attention of scholars and non-specialist general readers alike. A core addition to community and academic library Contemporary Philosophy reference collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted that “Markets without Limits” is also newly available to interested individuals in a paperback edition (9780415737357, $39.95) and in a Kindle format ($31.16).
Paul T. Vogel