Capitalism, justice, and human autonomy

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Economics
Author Aslantepe, Ilker
Title Capitalism, justice, and human autonomy
Date 2012-08
Description This thesis examines the writings of Robert Nozick, G. A. Cohen, and Karl Marx on capitalism, justice, and human autonomy, especially in connection with the conceptualization of capitalism, exploitation, equality, human autonomy, consciousness, self-realization, self-actualization, and justice. According to Nozick, capitalism is the freest and most just society because he believes it respects the individual rights based on self-ownership, the view that people own themselves and they own whatever they produce. Cohen, on the other hand, believes that Nozick's theory is not compatible with any notion of equality and autonomy, and thus, lacks any commitment to a just society. For him, Nozick tries to justify the inequalities that emerge under a regime based on private property. Also, Cohen thinks that there are close affinities between Marx's critique of capitalism and the libertarian challenge to egalitarianism, in that, both are based on the concept of self-ownership. According to Cohen, because Marx's critique of capitalism is based on moral grounds as an unjust and exploitative social system, his concept of exploitation and the labor theory value are unnecessary or irrelevant for the moral claim that labor is exploited under capitalism. The moral argument has little to do with the extraction of surplus labor as such, but rather with social, distributive injustice. Against this argument advanced by Cohen, this study juxtaposes Marx's notion of exploitation as a characteristic of all class societies, in general, and capitalist exploitation in particular. It shows how the critique of capitalism based on a theory of justice differs from Marx's own critique based on the notion that capitalism undermines human autonomy forming a barrier to real human freedom based on a life of consciousness, selfrealization, and self-actualization.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Nozick, Robert - Criticism and interpretation; Cohen, G.A (Gerald Allen), 1941-2009 - Criticism and interpretation; Marx, Karl, 181-1883 - Criticism and interpretation; Autonomy (Philosophy); Capitalism; Justice
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Science
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Ilker Aslantepe 2012
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 459,783 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/1784
ARK ark:/87278/s6cn7jpq
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-08-06
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 195473
Reference URL