in-class activity 3-1
 Q1. If you have to pick 3 things that should never be commodified, what would you pick? (In other words, what are the 3 things you’d rather not buy nor sell for money?)
Q2. Do you agree with Sandel that there are some things that should not be commodified? Why or why not?
in-class activity 3-3
 Watch the video about the Baby M case ( ) and answer the following questions.
Q1. Do you think that the Sterns did something morally impermissible by asking Mary Beth Whitehead, the surrogate mother, to yield the parental rights of Baby M to the Sterns? Or do you think that Mary Beth Whitehead did something morally impermissilbe by trying not to follow the terms of their contract? 
Q2. In 1988, regarding the Baby M case, the New Jersey Supreme Court said that paying money for surrogacy is “illegal, perhaps criminal, and potentially degrading to women.” Do you agree with this? Why or why not?

Business Ethics
Summer 2022 (1)
Week 3, Lecture 3
Chaeyoung Paek

In today’s class…
As a case study of Anderson’s view about commodifying shared goods, we’ll look what she says about commercial surrogacy.
We’ll look at a video of one very famous example of commercial surrogacy: the case of Baby M.
There will be an in-class activity right after the video.

A Case Study: Commercial Surrogacy
In “Is Women’s Labor a Commodity?”, Anderson examines one particular example of commodifying what (probably?) should not be commodified: women’s labor.
Some background:
(Commercial) Surrogacy has become a quite familiar concept for most of us now; we certainly know quite a few celebrities who had their children through surrogacy!
But what made commercial surrogacy a popular issue was the Baby M case in 1988.

Exercise: The Baby M case

Baby M and the Question of Surrogacy
(if the hyperlink doesn’t work, copy & paste this link:
Watch the video first; then go to the course Blackboard page and click “3-3 In-class Activity” under the lecture video.
Click “Create thread” and fill in your answers; click “submit” at the end.
This should take about 5-7 minutes; come back to the lecture video after you submit your response.
Since this activity take place on a discussion forum, you’ll be able to see others’ responses & comment on them. (No need to comment on others’ responses if you don’t want to.)

The Baby M Case
In 1985 New Jersey, Mary Beth Whitehead, entered into a contract with William Stern; for $10,000, Whitehead agreed to be inseminated with Stern’s sperm, carry the pregnancy to term and then yield parental rights to the Sterns.
But after the birth of a girl (”Baby M”), Whitehead had a change of heart.
She chose to forsake the $10,000 and keep the girl; Sterns sued.
The lower state court ruled in favor of the Sterns.

The Baby M Case
But in 1988, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed that decision.
It invalidated the surrogacy contract itself as an affront to public policy, and called the intended payment “illegal, perhaps criminal, and potentially degrading to women.”
Nonetheless, the court gave custody to the Sterns, saying this was in the best interest of the child.
The situation has changed re: surrogacy after in vitro fertilization became available; nevertheless, this case ignited a public debate on commercial surrogacy and its morality/legal status.

Against Commercial Surrogacy
Anderson raises two points against commercial surrogacy:
Commercial surrogacy degrades children by treating them as if they are commodities.
By commodifying women’s labor, commercial surrogacy de-grades surrogate mothers.
Anderson uses her view about the commodifying shared goods to argue for these points.

Commercial Surrogacy & Children
Anderson: Commercial surrogacy requires us to understand parental rights as property rights.
In the context of parental relationship, the exercise of parental rights includes acts of promoting their shared life as a family and the shared interests of the parents and the child.
Promoting a shared life and shared interests as a family is inherently valuable; that’s why our society respects parental rights in a unique way.
Cf. X is inherently valuable vs. X is instrumentally valuable

Commercial Surrogacy & Children
But in the context of commercial surrogacy, the exercise of parental rights is to exercise one’s property rights over the child—the rights to use and dispose one’s property.
Using and disposing one’s property is not inherently valuable; it is merely instrumentally valuable.
Moreover, treating child as something that could be owned and used degrades child’s status as mere means.

Commercial Surrogacy & Children
One potential question:
“But the child is most likely to be raised in a loving home! So, from the viewpoint of child’s interests, there is no harm done.”
(Anderson) By engaging in this ”transfer,” all of the parties involved in this contract is expressing a certain attitude towards the child; this attitude undermines the norms of the parental love.
Another question:
“But the child is not being directly sold; the surrogate mother simply bears and gives birth to the child on behalf of the parent(s)!”
(Anderson) This causes another ethical problem for commercial surrogacy!

Commercial Surrogacy & Mother
Commercial surrogacy commodifies women’s work of bringing children into the world.
Anderson claims that this work is inherently valuable and is worthy of respect.
Commodifying women’s labor is to degrade this inherently valuable thing to a mere means.
Specifically, applying the norms of the market to women’s labor blocks women from taking the due respect in 3 ways.

Commercial Surrogacy & Mother
The norms of the market alienates the surrogate mother from whatever parental tie she may feel towards the child.
The norms of the market deny the surrogate mother the right to have and exercise her own perspective on pregnancy.
By exchanging the surrogate mother’s non-commercial motivation with commercial means, the norms of the market degrades the surrogate mother.

Can Commercial Surrogacy Be Ethical?
Anderson concludes that commercial surrogacy cannot be ethical since it commodifies what should not be commodified.
But maybe there are some ways to make commercial surrogacy ethical,
by giving the surrogate mother the option of keeping the child; or
by imposing stringent regulations on private surrogate agencies; or
by replacing private surrogate agencies with state-run arrangements.
Anderson: none of them can solve the problem of commercial surrogacy.

Can Commercial Surrogacy Be Ethical?
Giving the surrogate mother the option of keeping the child
Does not change the conditions of the contract; having such an option would only make agencies put more pressure on the surrogate mother.
(b) Imposing stringent regulations on private surrogate agencies
Realistically, it is hard to come up with regulations that could prevent all potential problems.
Moreover, if there are strict regulations on commercial surrogacy, it would be still difficult to determine whether the surrogate mother entered the contract by coercion/manipulation or not.

Can Commercial Surrogacy Be Ethical?
(c) Replacing private surrogate agencies with state-run arrangements
It does not matter that the state runs the practice; the basic conditions of commercial surrogacy still applies.
As long as the surrogate mother is being paid money for her labor, the norms of the market will degrade her labor and the mother herself.

According to Anderson, commercial surrogacy has a fundamental ethical problem: it commodifies something that should not be commodified, i.e., parental love.
Parental love is a shared good; it has a gift value that can be appreciated only in a parental relationship & is enjoyed both by parent(s) and the child in the same way.
But once parental love is commodified, it loses its gift value; it also degrades the status of the surrogate mother as mere means.

A Potential Counterargument?
One can argue that banning commercial surrogacy violates two very important rights: the right to procreate and the right to freedom of contract.
Anderson claims that this is not the case.
1) The right to procreate is the right to create and sustain a family with integrity.
Commercial surrogacy degrades the integrity of parental relationship.
2) The right to freedom of contract is already constrained for various things (ex: human beings/blood).

Some remaining thoughts
Both Sandel and Anderson are arguing that commodifying certain things corrupt certain values in our society.
(ex) Personal relationship/public goods
But the way we value certain things or certain relationship has changed & will change; for instance, we no longer think that creating and sustaining a “normal family” is more valuable than the other forms of making a family.
– Why can’t we think that commodifying certain relationship/goods is one way of reflecting such changes?

For the next week…
We’ll discuss a new topic, Advertising: Manipulation & Privacy.
Read Cathy O’Neil’s “Propaganda Machine” for the next class.
This is Chapter 4 of her book, Weapons of Math Destruction.
In the reading, you will see her using the word “WMD” a lot; this is an acronym of “Weapons of Math Destruction.”
Not knowing what weapons of math destruction are shouldn’t be a problem for you.
But in case you’re wondering, as an optional reading, I have uploaded the introduction of her book; you’ll see what weapons of math destruction are in it.

Business Ethics
Summer 2022 (1)
Week 3, Lecture 1
Chaeyoung Paek

In Week 3…
In the last lecture of Week 2, we’ve seen how Duska argues for the possibility of business ethics.
He claims that business ethics is possible but only under the following two conditions:
we grasp the true purpose of business as a society; and
we build a fair and just system that promotes that true purpose of business.
But to satisfy (1) & (2), we need to understand the current ethical issues in business better; and that’s what we’ll do from now on!

In Week 3…
This week, we’ll see whether current businesses are commodifying things that should not be commodified.
As an introduction to this topic, we’ll look at what Michael Sandel says about this issue.
Then in the next two classes, we’ll look at…
Anderson’s view on the ethical limitations on what could be commodified, then
as a case study, what Anderson says about ethical implications of commodifying women’s labor.

In today’s class…
We’ll look at what Michael Sandel has to say about commodifying things, based on an excerpt from Michael Sandel’s book, What Money Can’t Buy.

There will be an in-class activity almost at the end of today’s lecture.

X is a commodity if and only if X can be sold or bought in the market.
Some obvious examples of commodities
: grocery items / furniture / laptops / cars / parking spots…
Some less obvious examples of commodities:

The right to shoot an endangered animal

– The right to emit a metric ton of carbon into the atmosphere

Private police squads

Q. Nowadays, almost everything is up for sale; but what is so wrong about that?

Why shouldn’t we commodify (almost) everything?
(Sandel) For two reasons:
It promotes inequality.
If being wealthy only allows you to buy luxury items, then wealth wouldn’t mean so much.
But if you can buy something that really matters with money, being wealthy makes all the difference in your life.
(ex) Political influence / Good medical care / Access to elite schools / Safe environment
In a society where everything is up for sale, the quality of life one can enjoy would depend on wealth; and the gap between the rich and the poor would grow larger.

Why shouldn’t we commodify (almost) everything?
2. It corrupts the things that are commodified.
Putting a price on the precious things in life can corrupt them.
When something is being commodified, it doesn’t just mean that it is now up for sale; the market demands you to take a certain attitude towards commodities.
(ex) Paying kids to read books
May provide incentives to read more books
…But kids may fail to learn how to enjoy reading itself!

Why shouldn’t we commodify (almost) everything?
Many economists assume that the market does not affect the goods it exchanges; the market merely puts price tags on them.
Sandel says this assumption is false.
When we decide to put a price on certain things and start buying and selling them, we treat them as things we use or from which we profit.
But certain things are valuable not because we can use or gain profit from them!
If we commodify such things, then we end up corrupting or de-valuing them.

Why shouldn’t we commodify (almost) everything?
Sandel’s argument against commodifying everything:
P1. When we commodify X, we treat X as an object of use and profit.
P2. There are things that should not be treated as objects of use and profit.
C. It is not permissible to commodify all things.
Q. So, what are the things that should not be treated as mere objects of use and profit?

Exercise: What do you think should not be commodified?
Click ”3-1 In-class Activity” below the lecture video.
Click “Write Submission”; fill in your answers & click “Submit.”

This should take about 5 minutes, but feel free to take more/less time as needed.

Defense of Ethical Limitations on Market
So, Sandel argues that there must be some moral limits on what can be commodified.
He points out that there are a few moral limits on what can be exchanged on the market.
(ex) Parents selling their children/Citizens selling their votes
Elizabeth Anderson defends a similar view, but with more details; we’ll look into her view in the following two classes!

For the next class…
Read Anderson, “The Ethical Limitations of the Market.”

Why Choose Us

  • 100% non-plagiarized Papers
  • 24/7 /365 Service Available
  • Affordable Prices
  • Any Paper, Urgency, and Subject
  • Will complete your papers in 6 hours
  • On-time Delivery
  • Money-back and Privacy guarantees
  • Unlimited Amendments upon request
  • Satisfaction guarantee

How it Works

  • Click on the “Place Order” tab at the top menu or “Order Now” icon at the bottom and a new page will appear with an order form to be filled.
  • Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER DETAILS" section.
  • Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline, and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
  • Click “CREATE ACCOUNT & SIGN IN” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record-keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
  • From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.