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Being a consumer is now integral to the human experience, something none of us can avoid. At the same time, many of the products that we buy come to us with histories steeped in highly unethical practices, such as worker exploitation, animal suffering, and environmental damage. Consuming Choices considers the ethical dimensions of consumer life by exploring several basic questions: Exactly what sort of unethical practices are implicated in today's consumer products? Does moral culpability for these practices fall solely on the companies that perform them, or does it also fall upon consumers who purchase the products made with such practices? And most important, do consumers ever have moral obligations to avoid particular products? To answer, David T. Schwartz provides the most detailed philosophical exploration on consumer ethics to date. He uses historical and fictional examples to illustrate the types of wrongdoing currently implicated by consumer products in this age of globalization, offers a clear description of the relevant moral theories and important ethical concepts, and provides concrete suggestions on how to be a more ethical consumer.
1 Ethical Consumerism 1
2 Caveat Emptor? 21
3 The Consumer as Causal Agent 47
4 The Consumer as Complicit Participant 69
5 Toward a Practical Consumer Ethic 85
About the Author 139