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Book workshop on Nicholas Vrousalis’ Exploitation as Domination: A Theory of Inequalityand Power
13 September 2019 @ 12:00 - 18:00
Leiden University’s Institute for Philosophy is proud to host a book symposium on Nicholas Vrousalis’ draft manuscript Exploitation as Domination: A Theory of Inequality and Power, as part of the OZSW study group in political philosophy.
The workshop is open to all, but please register at email@example.com.
Date: September 13, 2019
Location: Leiden University
12.00 – 12:45
Chapter 2: Reclaiming Domination
Commentator: Andreas Schmidt (University of Groningen)
13.00 – 13.45
Chapter 3: How Exploiters Dominate
Commentator: Titus Stahl (University of Groningen)
14.00 – 14.45
Chapter 4: Structural Exploitation: The Capitalist Cage
Commentator: Ben Ferguson (VU Amsterdam)
Break 14.45 – 15.15
15.15 – 16.00
Chapter 5: Capitalist Exploitation: Its Form, Origin, and Fate
Commentator: Paul Raekstad (University of Amsterdam)
16.15 – 17.00
Chapter 6: Exploitation and International Relations
Commentator: Dorothea Gädeke (Utrecht University)
17.15 – 18.00
Chapter 7: Democratizing the Economy
Commentator: Sara Amighetti (University of Zurich)
The exploitation of human by human is a globally pervasive phenomenon. Guest workers, pimping, sex workers, commercial surrogacy, sweatshops, financialization, and imperialism are some of its contemporary instances. This book seeks to explain the distinctive nature of exploitation complaints. It argues that exploitation is a form of domination, namely domination for self-enrichment. On this view, exploitation complaints are not, fundamentally, about coercion, rights, unfairness, or maldistribution. Rather, they are about who serves whom and why. Exploitation complaints, in other words, are complaints of unfreedom.
The book argues for four main theses. First, abuse of power—domination—is power that begets action for power-grounded reasons, reasons reflecting the interests and dispositions of the powerful. Nondomination, on the other hand, is power that begets action responsive to reasons independent of the dispositions of the powerful. Second, exploitation is a dividend of servitude, the servitude of having to respond to such dispositions—instead of the independently-constituted requirements of the True and the Good. Third, structural exploitation is a useful and coherent notion, prominently exemplified in capitalist labour markets. Capitalism, like patriarchy and white supremacy, is a cage. Fourth, this cage has global girth. Its instances are varieties of—largely obsolete—colonial imperialism and—regrettably nonobsolete—liberal imperialism.
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