In defense of commodification
There are legal limitations imposed upon the market that serve either to regulate some exchanges or to prohibit some exchanges altogether. The focus of this dissertation is on the moral status of the legal prohibitions on the market. I argue that if it is (or ought to be) legally permissible for me to give away or not to give away X, then it ought to be legally permissible for me to sell X (i.e. the gift-commodity principle). The general approach to this project is to defend the gift-commodity principle by rejecting what seem to be some of the strongest counterexamples, namely organ sales, prostitution, and blackmail. I aim to provide a detailed critical rebuttal to a comprehensive range of arguments offered in defense of the legal prohibition of each kind of exchange.