Markets and Justice

Markets and Justice: Nomos XXXI

John W. Chapman
J. Roland Pennock
Copyright Date: 1989
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 348
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qfzh5
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  • Book Info
    Markets and Justice
    Book Description:

    In this thirty-first annual volume in the American Society of Legal and Political Philosophy's NOMOS series, entitled Markets and Justice, a number of distinguished authors consider a variety of topics in the area where economics, philosophy, and political science join paths. Included are essays such as "Contractarian Method, Private Property, and the Market Economy," "Justice Under Capitalism," and "Market Choice and Human Choice." Authors include Joshua Cohen, MIT; Gerald F. Gaus, University of Queensland; Margaret Jane Radin, University of Southern California; and Andrzej Rapaczynski, Columbia University.Part of a well-known and important series, Markets and Justice will prove invaluable to political scientists, legal scholars, philosophers, and their students.Part of a well-known and important series, Markets and Justice will prove invaluable to political scientists, legal scholars, philosophers, and their students.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-9016-8
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xii)
    J.W.C.
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-10)
    J. ROLAND PENNOCK and JOHN W. CHAPMAN

    John Gray’s chapter, which leads off part 1, is at once a defense of a certain version of contractarian theory and an argument that his theory supports reliance on a market capitalist economy as opposed to market socialism, which many today find morally and politically attractive. These two components of his essay are so intricately intertwined that it is difficult to treat them separately, and our remarks will do so only in part.

    Gray welcomes the development of John Rawls’s thought in a contextualist direction, which seeks to avoid entanglement with metaphysical issues. At the same time he thinks Rawls...

  6. PART I: CONTRACTUALISM AND CAPITALISM
    • 1 CONTRACTARIAN METHOD, PRIVATE PROPERTY, AND THE MARKET ECONOMY
      (pp. 13-58)
      JOHN GRAY

      How does contractarian political philosophy stand as to the justice of private property and the market economy? In the work of John Rawls, the contractarian method avowedly tells us nothing about the justice of these institutions. Rawls says:

      It is necessary … to recognize that market institutions are common to both private-property and socialist regimes, and to distinguish between the allocative and distributive function of prices. Since under socialism the means of production and natural resources are publicly owned, the distributive function is greatly restricted, whereas a private-property system uses prices in varying degrees for both purposes. Which of these...

    • 2 THE VAGARIES OF CONSENT: A RESPONSE TO JOHN GRAY
      (pp. 59-71)
      ANDRZEJ RAPACZYNSKI

      I understand Gray to be making three points:

      1. That political theory in general (and the contractarian method, in particular) is to be understood as a practical inquiry, embedded in the context of particular historical situations and independent of the finding of solutions to the eternal problems of philosophy;

      2. That an efficient market economy necessarily entails the institution of private property and is incompatible with socialism;

      3. That a market economy (and hence private property) is necessary for a just society—where by “just” is meant derived with the help of the contractarian method—even though such things as the primacy of...

    • 3 CONTRACTUALISM AND PROPERTY SYSTEMS
      (pp. 72-86)
      JOSHUA COHEN

      John Gray’s chapter, “Contractarian Method, Private Property, and the Market Economy,” contains these principal theses:

      1. For reasons ofefficiency,private property in the means of production is mandated by Rawls’s two principles of justice.¹

      2. Private property in the means of production is required as a matter ofjustice. This is so because Hobbesian contractarianism—which provides the most plausible account of justice²—requires neutrality among “productive ideals,” and only a system with private ownership of capital is appropriately neutral.³

      3. Apart from requiring markets and the private ownership of capital, a Hobbesian contract theory is largely indeterminate. It does not, for...

  7. PART II: CAPITALISM AND JUSTICE
    • 4 A CONTRACTUAL JUSTIFICATION OF REDISTRIBUTIVE CAPITALISM
      (pp. 89-121)
      GERALD F. GAUS

      Contractualist political theory reveals two competing accounts of the relation between property, the state of nature and the social contract. Locke and contemporary Lockeans such as Robert Nozick maintain that exclusionary property rights characterize the state of nature, and the main end of government is to secure them. “The great andchief end… of Men’s uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under government,is the Preservation of their Property.”¹ Although some recent interpreters would have us believe that Locke did not uphold private property rights in the state of nature and saw private property in civil society as conventional...

    • 5 JUSTICE UNDER CAPITALISM
      (pp. 122-162)
      JONATHAN RILEY

      Many observers share Alan Ryan’s view that “capitalism is not … morally very engaging.”¹ Socialists in particular often claim that distributive injustice is inherent in capitalism. Michael Harrington’s assertions in this regard are fairly typical: “Capitalism … is outrageously unjust: it requires a continuing maldistribution of wealth in order to exist. But more than that, it is also self-destructive. This is why we live in the twilight of an epoch.”² Even if the finger of doom is not pointing in the direction Harrington thinks, all virtuous citizens must surely be socialists if capitalism necessarily involves gross inequality in the distribution...

  8. PART III: MARKETS AND CHARACTER
    • 6 JUSTICE AND THE MARKET DOMAIN
      (pp. 165-197)
      MARGARET JANE RADIN

      It has been traditional to view some aspects of social life as inappropriate for the market. We speak of a metaphorical wall between the market and other realms of social life, much as we speak of a wall between church and state. There is a traditional understanding that important political activities, like voting, are on the nonmarket side of the wall. There is also an understanding that certain special kinds of interactions between persons are on the nonmarket side of the wall—that is, are morally required to be kept there—even if some people desire to “marketize” them. It...

    • 7 DOMINOS AND THE FEAR OF COMMODIFICATION
      (pp. 198-225)
      ERIC MACK

      The market order and the liberal individualism that order expresses and reinforces has, throughout its history, been subjected to a complex critique that has united traditionalist and revolutionary opponents of capitalism. This critique invokes a number of familiar themes: alienation from self; alienation from community; the loss of values and of a sense of rationality that transcends the instrumental; the corruption or narrowing of moral sensibility. Almost any malaise that is directly experienced or believed to be suffered by others in market societies has been laid at the doorstep of liberal individualism and the market. This psycho-philosophical critique often takes form...

    • 8 MARKET CHOICE AND HUMAN CHOICE
      (pp. 226-249)
      ROBERT E. LANE

      There are four major targets of criticism of the market: efficiency, distributive justice, personality, and quality of life. Market influences on any one of them also influence the other three; hence criticism of market influences on any one implies something about the others. Changing one market relation changes others. As the ecologists say, “you can’t do just one thing.” In the interest of brevity we will selectively combine the third and the fourth targets, personality and the quality of life.

      Levels of efficiency and productivity affect justice. Most obviously: (1) distribution depends upon production, and (2) relief of poverty requires...

    • 9 THE JUSTICE OF THE MARKET: COMMENTS ON GRAY AND RADIN
      (pp. 250-276)
      JAN NARVESON

      Is the free market a just institution? I will support an affirmative answer here, mainly by way of discussing two chapters in this volume, those of John Gray and Margaret Jane Radin. They deal with very different aspects of this question, but my remarks present a unified view that benefits from reflection on each of these interesting and well-argued essays. To a degree, my view will be developed independently as well.

      What we have in contemporary developed nations are partial market societies, where markets operate with a substantial overlay of public-sector activity. This presents a problem. The many who wish...

  9. PART IV: ON THE FRONTIER
    • 10 DISRUPTING VOLUNTARY TRANSACTIONS
      (pp. 279-302)
      CASS R. SUNSTEIN

      The conventional market transaction takes many forms. One person sells a commodity to another who is willing to pay for it; the commodity may be a job, a part of the body, an artistic work, or an opportunity to advertise on television. Disruption of arrangements of this sort is the exception in most Western legal systems, and it is usually described as “paternalism,” a term that serves as a pejorative. But the rise of modern regulation, especially since the New Deal, offers numerous illustrations of legal rules that ban voluntary transactions. Even in circumstances in which the legal system permits...

    • 11 MARKETS AND JUSTICE: AN ECONOMIST’S PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 303-327)
      BERNARD SAFFRAN

      The interaction between moral philosophy and economics has a long history; many have worked in both fields and welfare economics is to a large extent an applied branch of moral philosophy. For a number of years this interaction lay dormant as economists unselfconsciously accepted Pareto optimality in their rigorous work (with a nod in the direction of a social welfare function) and relied on a rough-and-ready version of utilitarianism (cost-benefit analysis) in their applied work. Historically, the primary reason for this reliance on Pareto optimality was that it appeared to be the residual ethical assumption available to those economists who...

  10. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 328-330)
    J. ROLAND PENNOCK

    Where do we stand? Only the naive would expect that a symposium on this topic would lead to general agreement, to the solution of a problem, or complex of problems as old as philosophizing itself. It will do no harm however, and possibly some good, to ask ourselves what issues stand out for the agenda for the future of such endeavors.

    First of all, an important distinction, maintained more consistently and clearly in some of the chapters in this volume than in others, is that between comparing ideal systems and comparing second-best or best-achievable systems. It is not that one...

  11. INDEX
    (pp. 331-341)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 342-343)