The Ockham Society (Wednesday - Week 2, TT21)

Ockham Society

CW: This paper includes discussion of pregnancy and the norms surrounding it.

Abstract:     One objection to market transactions in “contested commodities” – like this surrogacy example – is that such transactions undermine the dignity of market participants. Elizabeth Anderson (1993) makes sense of this in terms of the rights of transactors which, she argues, are denied to them when they are paid for particular services. In this paper, I examine Anderson’s claims and argue that they imprecisely target market transactions because (a) the same rights can be denied by non-market interactions and (b) there could be market transactions which did not deny participants these rights. I conclude that there are more similarities between Capitalism, Baby and The Fertility Commune than we have noticed and the same arguments can be deployed against both. Hence, an account of the dignity claim in terms of rights, such as Anderson’s, will not motivate restricting market transactions.

 Additional Information: Ockham will be held online via MS Teams during TT21. Please email if you wish to attend. 

Ockham Society Convenor: Steven Diggin | Ockham Society Webpage