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Wage exploitation and the nonworseness claim : allowing the wrong, to do more good.

Faraci, David (2019) 'Wage exploitation and the nonworseness claim : allowing the wrong, to do more good.', Business ethics quarterly., 29 (2). pp. 169-188.


Many believe that employment can be wrongfully exploitative, even if it is consensual and mutually beneficial. At the same time, it may seem third parties should not do anything to preclude or eliminate such arrangements, given these same considerations of consent and benefit. I argue that there are perfectly sensible, intuitive ethical positions that vindicate this “Reasonable View.” The view requires such defense because the literature often suggests that there is no theoretical space for it. I respond to arguments for the clearest symptom of this obscuration: the so-called nonworseness claim that a consensual, mutually beneficial transaction cannot be “morally worse” than its absence. In addition to making space for the Reasonable View, this serves my dialectical goal of encouraging distinct attention to first- and third-party obligations.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article has been published in a revised form in Business ethics quarterly This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Society for Business Ethics
Date accepted:24 July 2018
Date deposited:14 November 2018
Date of first online publication:04 January 2019
Date first made open access:14 November 2018

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