The Liberating Power of Commercial Marketing

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The aim of this paper is to explore the impact of commercial marketing on personal autonomy. Several philosophers argue that marketing conflicts with ideals of autonomy or, at best, is neutral to these ideals. After qualifying our concept of marketing and introducing the distinctions between (i) divergent and convergent marketing and (ii) being autonomous and acting autonomously, we demonstrate the heretofore unnoticed positive impact of marketing on autonomy. Specifically, we argue that (i) convergent marketing has a significant potential to reinforce autonomous action and (ii) divergent marketing has a significant potential to reinforce the state of being autonomous
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)519-530
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - autonomous agency, first- and second-order desires, critical reflection, cultural values, divergent and convergent marketing, being an autonomous person

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