Ethics and luxury product consumption

System[ edit ] There are a large number of fair trade and ethical marketing organizations employing different marketing strategies. Packers and retailers can charge as much as they want for the coffee. The coffee has to come from a certified fair trade cooperative, and there is a minimum price when the world market is oversupplied. Additionally, the cooperatives are paid an additional 10c per lb premium by buyers for community development projects.

Ethics and luxury product consumption

As we shall see, these criticisms miss their mark. But this did not involve an outright rejection of ethics. He argued that these struggles expose the limitations of freedom in a capitalist society while simultaneously engendering virtues of solidarity that point beyond the limits of liberal conceptions of morality.

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Greek ethics, especially as developed by Aristotle, 10 was unlike modern moral philosophy in that it did not suppose that to be good entailed acting in opposition to our desires.

Aristotle held to a naturalistic ethics that related the idea of good to fulfilling human needs and desires. In his model the virtues are those qualities which would enable individuals to flourish within a community. The question of how we are to flourish led directly to questions of what form of Ethics and luxury product consumption and political community would best allow us to flourish.

Consequently, as against those who Ethics and luxury product consumption suggest an unbridgeable gulf between ethics and politics, Aristotle declared the subject matter of his book on ethics to be politics: At the centre of liberal political theory is the egoistic individual.

While this model of our individuality is often assumed to be obviously true, the biological fact of our individuality should not be confused with the ideology of individualism. To see why this is so it is instructive to recognise that the first intellectuals to put the figure of the individual at the centre of their works were Machiavelli and Luther, both writing in the early s, 17 and the first systematic attempt to conceptualise individualism was articulated more than another century later by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan According to Hobbes the central fact of human nature is a desire for self-preservation.

Consequently, if by killing you I acquire the resources necessary to live, then while this would be bad for you it would be good for me.

Accordingly, the might of the individual becomes the basis for what is right. Marx points to a fundamental problem with this approach. Socialised production means that humans depend for their very existence upon a massive web of connections through each other, whereas individual appropriation implies that these individuals confront each other merely as competitors.

Modern moral theory arose against the background of this contradiction. So, whereas pre-modern thinkers had assumed that people are social animals and thus that individuals cannot be understood except as part of society, modern moral theory is confronted by the reality of society but can only conceive it negatively as a series of Hobbesian competitors.

Ethics and luxury product consumption

Social contract theory, utilitarianism, Kantianism and even modern virtue ethics can all be understood as attempts to provide an answer to the problem of how to formulate a common good in a world of egoistic individuals. Rather he follows Kant in putting human freedom at the centre of his social theory, while arguing that Kant fails to understand real human freedom.

Roughly speaking, Kant argued that morality involves the use of reason to overcome our natural competitiveness so as to allow us to come together in mutual respect. The moral law for him, as for the Protestant tradition in which he was raised, acts as an impediment to our selfish and sinful desires.


The 18th century philosopher David Hume had asked how, if it all, it was possible to move from describing a situation to judging it. By assuming bourgeois individualism Kant is compelled to conclude that the universal moral community posited by the categorical imperative can only exist at a formal rather than at a real level.

For him, our very nature causes our needs and desires to be those of atomised, competitive individuals, and so he could conceive of no social basis for acting as he believed we should, except by way of some duty which pulls against those needs and desires. Consequently, such theorists tend to view morality and community as top-down impositions on people.

And whereas conservatives embrace this authoritarianism, anarchists and liberals either reject or seek to ameliorate it. Alternatively, utilitarianism, the dominant voice of moral theory in the English speaking world over the last couple of centuries, attempts to deal with the problem by denying its existence.

Instead the utilitarians argue that individual selfishness leads to a general increase in wealth, which in turn makes us all happier. Whatever its radical roots, this approach has been used to justify all manner of inhuman acts in the name of their future consequences, 32 and by conflating happiness with increased wealth it is blind to the way that modern societies generate so much unhappiness.


Because we live in a fragmented world of competing interests reason itself becomes fragmented into so many competing arguments for different visions of what is right. So modern moral philosophers can agree, for example, that the world is an incredibly socially unequal place, but disagree as to whether or not this is a desirable situation.

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By suggesting that there is no way of agreeing about the kind of world we should live in, these debates undermine any positive model of a better world and therefore tend to act as a tacit apology for the status quo.

Developing a virtue ethics that goes beyond the limits of liberalism by drawing together individual and social conceptions of the good requires that we indicate some social and historically specific practices through which non-egoistic forms of human relations might emerge.

It was Hegel who first pointed towards a solution to this dilemma by suggesting a historical model of human nature. Both modern and classical conceptions of ethics share one common theme.

They tend to treat the very different social contexts in which they were formulated as unchanging features of nature.Environmental Ethics Of Environmental Management - At present, it has formed an environmental protection law system by the state constitution, the Basic Law of environmental protection, environmental protection and other sectors separate regulations on environmental protection .

Ethics and luxury product consumption

Abstract. This article explores the extent to which consumers consider ethics in luxury goods consumption. In particular, it explores whether there is a significant difference between consumers’ propensity to consider ethics in luxury versus commodity purchase and whether consumers are ready to purchase ethical-luxury.

Research on ethical consumption of luxury goods has identified that although consumers generally have a positive attitudes towards ethics, they do not necessarily translate this into action.

This phenomenon is known as the attitude-behaviour gap (Carrington et al. ). The bourgeoisie (/ ˌ b ʊər ʒ w ɑː ˈ z iː /; French:) is a polysemous French term that can mean. a sociologically defined class, especially in contemporary times, referring to people with a certain cultural and financial capital belonging to the middle or upper stratum of the middle class: the upper (haute), middle (moyenne), and petty (petite) bourgeoisie (which are collectively.

Online Library of Liberty. A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc. This statistic shows the results of a survey in which Millennials were asked whether they make sure a luxury brand is sustainable and ethical before buying from it.

During the survey,

Ethical luxury? - OpenLearn - Open University