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Title: Review of 'Why some things should not be for sale: the moral limits of markets', by Debra Satz, New York: Oxford University Press, 2010, xi+252 pp., US$35.00 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-19-531159-4
Contributor(s): Walsh, Adrian J  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1080/1350178X.2011.628464
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Abstract: In this thoughtful and timely book, Debra Satz provides a convincing justificatory framework for our ongoing discomfort at the intrusion of markets into many areas of our lives that hitherto had been free from commercial influence. Her central problem is the commodification of everyday life. We inhabit social worlds which are highly commodified and in which the market is often prescribed as a universal panacea for any social problem we confront. Yet despite such overt marketisation in the culture at large, nonetheless there remains the widespread belief that there are some things that should not be for sale: the very thought of selling certain goods remains repugnant. Satz's task in this book is to explain why such misgivings are correct. How might we best account for the intuition that some things should not be for sale? At the heart of her tale is a concern with the inequality that markets often bring in their wake. Satz is what we might label a 'moral limits theorist'. She approves of markets in general, acknowledging the great benefits that markets bring, while also maintaining that there are limits on what kinds of things might be bought and sold. This is a view that has been in recent years defended most prominently by Michael Walzer (1983) and Elizabeth Anderson (1993), as well as being explored by Amartya Sen (1987).
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Journal of Economic Methodology, 18(4), p. 440-444
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1469-9427
Field of Research (FOR): 220199 Applied Ethics not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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