Semiotic Limits to Markets Defended

Philosophia 50 (1):217-232 (2022)
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Abstract

Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski argue in recent work that “semiotic” or “symbolic” objections to markets are unsuccessful. I counter-argue that there are indeed some semiotic limits on markets and that anti-commodification theorists are not merely expressing disgust when they disapprove of markets in certain goods on those grounds. One central argument is that, contrary to what Brennan and Jaworski claim, semiotic arguments against markets do not depend fundamentally on meanings that prevail about markets. Rather, they depend on the meanings that attach to various goods, meanings that give us moral bases on which to make judgments about their prospective commodification.

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David Rondel
University of Nevada, Reno

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