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The Making of Modern Liberalism$
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Alan Ryan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148403

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148403.001.0001

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Justice, Exploitation, and the End of Morality

Justice, Exploitation, and the End of Morality

(p.600) 32 Justice, Exploitation, and the End of Morality
The Making of Modern Liberalism

Alan Ryan

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines exploitation—what it is for somebody to be exploited, in what ways people can be and are exploited, whether exploitation necessarily involves coercion, what Karl Marx's understanding of exploitation was and whether it was adequate. In particular, it considers whether Marx thought capitalist exploitation unjust and how the answer to that question illuminates his conception of morality in general. It also explores the nature of morality and asks what Marx proposes to put in the place of moral judgment, and what kind of assessment of the horrors of capitalism he provides if not a moral assessment. The chapter argues that Marx's denial of eternal moral truths, and of justice eternelle along with them, makes the status of his own distributive principle “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” problematic.

Keywords:   exploitation, Karl Marx, morality, moral judgment, capitalism, moral truth, justice, distributive principle

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