"The signature ethical problem of the global consumer society is our responsibility for the unethical practices that lie behind the products we buy. David T. Schwartz probes this problem with well-chosen examples and clear ethical arguments Consuming Choices
is a book for teachers to discuss with their students and from which activists and consumers will also learn." --- Peter, Singer, Decamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University
"I know of no other work that has ethically examined the topic of consumer choice in such detail. Schwartz's work can serve nicely as a supplement for a business ethics, political philosophy, or moral problems course. "--- James Sterba, University of Notre Dame
"What are the moral obligations attaching to consumers? Since everyone is a consumer, Schwartz (Randolph College) claims, this is a question of universal significance. The author clearly traces the difficulties of applying consequentialist moral theory to actions where a single consumer seems ultimately invisible to market and production systems or easily hides behind the screen of anonymity--'If I didn't buy it (or do it) someone else would.' Although most of the book treats issues related to consequentialist moral theory, Schwartz's main argument is for moral complicity by all who engage in consumer activity. This draws on deontological ground, and the author adopts Christopher Kutz's notion that 'participants in a collective harm are accountable for the victim's suffering not because of the individual differences they make, but because their intentional participation in a collective endeavor directly links them to the consequences of that endeavor.' Schwartz's use of a broad set of examples, including the Dresden fire bombing, coco production using child slaves, and the dramatic increase in CEO pay, makes this book powerful and current. Summing Up: Highly recommended." ---Choice
About the Author
David T. Schwartz is professor of philosophy at Randolph College.