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Res Publica

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 99–103 | Cite as

Capitalism, but Better?

Mark R. Reiff: Exploitation and Economic Justice in the Liberal Capitalist State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 368 pp
  • Lisa Herzog
Article
  • 290 Downloads

Debates about justice in political philosophy often ask which distributive end state is normatively desirable. The economic mechanisms that generate the ‘pie’ that is to be distributed are usually left unexplored. Mark R. Reiff’s new book, in contrast, asks what justice means within economic processes, and how changes in the framework of the economy could lead to more justice, including justice in the distributive sense. As such, Reiff’s account is in a line with other recent accounts such as Dietsch’s (2010) discussion of competition and its effects on distribution, or the debates about property-owning democracy (see notably O’Neill and Williamson 2012); these are all attempts to open up the ‘black box’ of markets, as Dietsch (2010, 214) puts it, and to think about justice before or while the pie is being baked.

Reiff returns to an age-old idea: the idea of a just price, which he revives by developing a highly original account of exploitation as the use of intolerably unfair prices....

References

  1. Becker, Gary S. 1993. Human capital, 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dietsch, Peter. 2010. The market, competition, and equality. Politics, Philosophy & Economics 9(2): 213–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Herzog, Lisa. 2012. Ideal and non-ideal theory and the problem of knowledge. Journal of Applied Philosophy 29(4): 271–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kahneman, Daniel, Jack L. Knetsch, and Richard Thaler. 1986. Fairness as a constraint on profit seeking entitlements in the market. American Economic Review 76: 728–741.Google Scholar
  5. O’Neill, Martin, and Thad Williamson (eds.). 2012. Property-owning democracy: Rawls and beyond. Chichester: Blackwell.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für SozialforschungGoethe UniversityFrankfurt am MainGermany

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