Distant Markets, Distant Harms: Economic Complicity and Christian Ethics

Paperback | March 19, 2014

EditorDaniel Finn

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Does a consumer who bought a shirt made in another nation bear any moral responsibility when the women who sewed that shirt die in a factory fire or in the collapse of the building? Many have asserted, without explanation, that because markets cause harms to distant others, consumers bearmoral responsibility for those harms. But traditional moral analysis of individual decisions is unable to sustain this argument. Distant Harms, Distant Markets presents a careful analysis of moral complicity in markets, employing resources from sociology, Christian history, feminism, legal theory, and Catholic moral theology today.Because of its individualistic methods, mainstream economics as a discipline is not equipped to understand the causality entailed in the long chains of social relationships that make up the market. Critical realist sociology, however, has addressed the character and functioning of social structures,an analysis that can helpfully be applied to the market. The True Wealth of Nations research project of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies brought together an international group of sociologists, economists, moral theologians, and others to describe these causal relationships and articulatehow Catholic social thought can use these insights to more fully address issues of economic ethics in the twenty-first century. The result was this interdisciplinary volume of essays, which explores the causal and moral responsibilities that consumers bear for the harms that markets cause to distantothers.

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Does a consumer who bought a shirt made in another nation bear any moral responsibility when the women who sewed that shirt die in a factory fire or in the collapse of the building? Many have asserted, without explanation, that because markets cause harms to distant others, consumers bearmoral responsibility for those harms. But tradit...

Daniel K. Finn teaches Economics and Theology at St. John's University in Collegeville Minnesota. He has published widely on economics and ethics, including The Moral Ecology of Markets: Assessing Claims about Markets, and Just Trading: On the Ethics and Economics of International Trade. He is a past president of the Society of Christ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:March 19, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199371008

ISBN - 13:9780199371006

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Table of Contents

List of ContributorsIntroductionSociological Resources1. Douglas Porpora: Who is Responsible? Critical Realism, Market Harms, and Collective Responsibility2. Margaret Archer: Structural Conditioning and Personal Reflexivity: Sources of Market Complicity, Critique, and Change3. Pierpaolo Donati: Morality of Action, Reflexivity, and the Relational Subject4. John Coleman, S.J.: Global Warming: A Case Study in Structure, Agency, and AccountabilityHistorical Resources5. Brian Matz: Early Christian Philanthropy as a "Marketplace" and the Moral Responsibility of Market Participants6. Mary Hirschfeld: How a Thomistic Moral Framework Can Take Social Causality SeriouslyAnalytical Resources7. Christina Traina: Facing Forward: Feminist Analysis of Care and Agency on a Global Scale8. Paul Appiah Himin Asante: The African Concept of Community and Individual in the Context of the Market9. Albino Barrera, O.P.: Individuating Collective ResponsibilityImplications10. Daniel K. Finn: Social Causality and Market Complicity: Specifying the Causal Roles of Persons and Structures