Distant Markets, Distant Harms: Economic Complicity and Christian Ethics
Edited by Daniel Finn
in OUP Catalogue from Oxford University Press
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 bear moral 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 articulate how 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 distant others. Available in OSO: Contributors to this volume - Rev. Paul Appiah Himin Asante is the Personal Secretary to Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Vatican City. Margaret S. Archer is Director of the Center for Social Ontology and Professor of Social Theory at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland. Albino Barrera. O.P. is Professor of Economics and Theology at Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island. John A. Coleman S.J., retired, was for many years the Charles Casassa Professor of Social Values at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Pierpaolo Donati is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bologna, Italy. Daniel K. Finn is Professor of Theology and Clemens Professor of Economics and the Liberal Arts at St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota Mary Hirschfeld is Assistant Professor of Theology and Economics, at Villanova University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Brian Matz is Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity at Carroll College, Helena, Montana. Douglas Porpora is Professor of Sociology at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Christina Traina is Professor of Religion at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
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