This paper argues that Cohen’s early work on Marxism, and his work in political philosophy, entails commitment to a distributive paradigm, that is, the view that exploitation obtains only if distributive injustice obtains. Cohen’s early espousal of that paradigm is explicitly reaffirmed in his defence of luck egalitarianism. The paper argues that Cohen’s distributive paradigm is neither the only defensible theory of exploitation, nor indeed the most plausible. It also shows that Cohen himself had doubts about the distributive paradigm, and in fact came to reject it towards the end of his life.

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Politics, Philosophy & Economics
Erasmus School of Philosophy

Vrousalis, N. (2014). G.A. Cohen on Exploitation. Politics, Philosophy & Economics. doi:10.1177/1470594X14528651