The UArizona Freedom Center Justice, Law, and Capitalism Talk Series presents an in-depth examination of ESG through the insights of nationally renowned scholars. They will explore the multidisciplinary dimensions of ESG, as an instantiation of private law embodying justice concerns, and address both its legitimacy and broader social and economic implications. These talks are open to faculty, students, and the public, but space is limited.

Topic: Ethical Consumerism, Democratic Values and Justice

It is widely believed that just societies would be characterized by some combination of democratic political institutions and market-based economic institutions. Underlying the commitment to the combination of democracy and markets is the view that certain normatively significant outcomes in a society ought to be determined by democratic processes, while others ought to be determined by market processes. On this view, we have reason to object when market processes are employed in ways that circumvent democratic processes and affect outcomes that ought to be determined democratically. In this paper, I argue that Waheed Hussain’s recent account of the conditions that must be met in order for the use of market power in pursuit of social change to avoid conflict with democratic values is objectionably narrow, and offer an alternative account that avoids the problems that undermine his account without abandoning the requirement that democratic values be properly respected. The central feature of my account that makes this possible is a broader conception of democratic processes that includes public deliberation and debate aimed at shaping informal social norms and practices.

Brian Berkey works in moral and political philosophy (including business ethics and environmental ethics). He has written on issues such as the demandingness of morality, individual and corporate obligations of justice, ethical issues arising with regard to climate change, exploitation, effective altruism, animal ethics, collective obligations, ethical consumerism, and the relationship between ideal and non-ideal theory. He is also interested in methodological issues in ethics and political philosophy, including the appropriate role of appeals to intuitions. His work has appeared in journals such as Philosophy & Public AffairsMindPhilosophical Studies, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Utilitas, Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Applied Philosophy.

The FC Justice, Law, and Capitalism Talk Series is curated by Saura Masconale, Freedom Center Associate Director and Assistant Professor of Political Economy and Moral Science, and Simone Sepe, Freedom Center Faculty, Chester H. Smith Professor, and Professor of Law and Finance.

For more information, contact Saura Masconale.