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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 39, Issue 4, October 2013

Erik Malmqvist
Pages 557-580

Taking Advantage of Injustice

What, if anything, is wrong with taking advantage of people’s unjust circumstances when they both benefit from and consent to the exchange? The answer, some believe, is that such exchanges are wrongfully exploitative. I argue that this answer is incomplete at best, and I elaborate a different one: to take advantage of injustice is to become complicit in its reproduction. I also argue that the case for third-party interference with mutually beneficial and consensual exchanges, while normally considered weak, is strengthened once these exchanges are understood as implicated in broader unjust structures.

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