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Exploitation: A Primer

Philosophy Compass, Forthcoming

20 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2017  

Nicholas Vrousalis

Leiden University - Institute of Political Science

Date Written: November 15, 2017


This paper reviews the recent literature on exploitation. It distinguishes between three main species of exploitation theory: (1) teleology-based, including harm and mutual benefit accounts, (2) respect-based, including mere means, force, rights, and fairness accounts, and (3) freedom-based, including vulnerability and domination accounts. It then addresses the implications of each.

Keywords: exploitation theory, historical materialism, egalitarianism, marginalism, unequal exchange, Marxism

JEL Classification: P16, B14, B24, B51

Suggested Citation

Vrousalis, Nicholas, Exploitation: A Primer (November 15, 2017). Philosophy Compass, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Nicholas Vrousalis (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Institute of Political Science ( email )

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
PO Box 9555
Leiden, 2300 RB

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