Georgetown University Press, 2019
Cloth: 978-1-62616-695-0 | Paper: 978-1-62616-696-7
Library of Congress Classification HB835.F56 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 178


It is a serious mistake to think that all we need for a just world is properly-structured organizations. But it is equally wrong to believe that all we need are virtuous people. Social structures alter people's decisions through the influence of the restrictions and opportunities they present.

Does buying a shirt at the local department store create for you some responsibility for the workplace welfare of the women who sewed it half a planet away? Many people interested in justice have claimed so, but without identifying any causal link between consumer and producer, for the simple reason that no single consumer has any perceptible effect on any of those producers.

Finn uses a critical realist understanding of social structures to view both the positive and negative effects of the market as a social structure comprising a long chain of causal relations from consumer/clerk to factory manager/seamstress. This causal connection creates a consequent moral responsibility for consumers and society for the destructive effects that markets help to create. Clearly written and engaging, this book is a must-read for scholars involved with these moral issues.