Karl Marx and Exploitation

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  • Topic: Exploitation, Capitalism, Surplus value
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Marx and Exploitation Author(s): Jonathan Wolff Source: The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 3, No. 2, Marx and Marxism (1999), pp. 105-120 Published by: Springer Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25115607 . Accessed: 13/05/2011 03:20 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=springer. . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

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(Received 11 January 1999; accepted 30 April 1999)


The discussion of the adequacy of Karl Marx's definition of exploitation

to a prior question: is a definition? Once we understand what attention has paid insufficient we will realise that it is resistant a "reference-fixing as offering in a model" definition Marx is offered here and it is of exploitation A more to certain general analysis objections. own definition is a particular that Marx's suggested a number moral of controversial makes assumptions. KEY WORDS: instance of the general analysis which











exploitation. type of moral

definition of supposed It has been questioned whether he intended to make out any use of the concept of exploitation; it has been argued that he have commented

on Karl Marx's

did but his definition fails; and, more rarely, some have argued that he does To of exploitation.2 broadly speaking give a correct moral definition there has been very little attention to what may be a prior my knowledge what is a definition? My case here is that when we pay more question: to different possible and when we come to attention types of definition, we will come to understand a fully general understanding of exploitation, that Marx's definition tions, given under conditions money purely its limitations. standard objec of exploitation is resistant to many It is limited to relations of economic exchange where there is no justified right to capital; that is, to earn property holdings.

in virtue of one's

1Much of this paper derives from my
Exploitation. Chris Hull. would Talbot 2 I should An earlier repeat here the thanks version

1985 University

of London MPhil
Cohen, W.D.


like to thank Brewer Some

given at the University of this paper was delivered on that occasion for valuable the participants discussion, and extremely has been helpful collected 1997) written and oral recent work in Kai Nielsen and in Andrew

to G.A.


and I ofVirginia and especially Ware

for his detailed

commentary. (ed.),

of the best (New

and Robert Reeve

Exploitation Jersey: to the papers collected in these Theories 1987). In addition (London: Sage, of Exploitation Ethics 91 (1981), pp. 207 with Exploitation?" "What's Wrong Richard Arneson, volumes, Journal Canadian and...
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