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The Meaning of Markets: Against Semiotic Objections to Markets in Everything

The Meaning of Markets: Against Semiotic Objections to Markets in Everything
1 Devonshire Place, room 208N
Time: Mar 18th, 2:00 pm End: Mar 18th, 4:00 pm
Interest Categories: United States Studies, Political Science, Philosophy (UTSC), Philosophy (UTM), Philosophy (FAS), Ethics, Critical Theory, 2000-, 1950-2000
Lecture by Jason Brennan, Georgetown U.

The Centre for the Study of the United States and the Munk School of Global Affairs are pleased to present:

Jason Brennan, Georgetown University

The Meaning of Markets: Against Semiotic Objections to Markets in Everything

Many people are convinced that there are certain goods that–while it is permissible to have and give away these goods–should not be for sale. In his forthcoming book, Markets without Limits, Brennan argues there are no inherent limits to markets. Anything that you can give away you may sell, and anything you may take for free you may buy. In this talk, he focuses on “semiotic” objections to market, which hold that buying and selling certain things shows disrespect or contempt for people, places, or objects that deserve reverence. He argues all such semiotic objections fail. In fact, there is no essential meaning to market transactions. Whenever a market generates good outcomes but is seen as disrespectful, rather than this giving us reason to stop the market, it gives us reason to change our view of what counts as expressing disrespect.
Jason Brennan (Ph.D., 2007, University of Arizona) is Assistant Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses in ethics, political economy, moral psychology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He was formerly Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Research, at Brown University. Prof. Brennan is the author of Why Not Capitalism? (Routledge Press, 2014), Compulsory Voting: For and Against, with Lisa Hill (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012), The Ethics of Voting (Princeton University Press, 2011), and, with David Schmidtz, A Brief History of Liberty (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). He is currently writing Markets without Limits (Routledge Press) and Against Politics (Princeton University Press).
This event is free, but registration is required. To register, please go to: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/events/.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science

For further information, please contact the Centre for the Study of the United States at (416) 946-8972.

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