The paper aims to forge a link between exploitation and collective action theory. Arguably, the study of exploitation has remained underdeveloped in an important respect. Much attention has been devoted to direct exploitation. This occurs when one party (A) takes advantage of the other party (B) in order to benefit themselves. At the same time, philosophers have largely ignored what might be called indirect exploitation, i.e., when the gains A extracts from B accrue not (only) to A but (also) to C. We distinguish three ways in which third-party beneficiaries can be involved in indirect exploitation: (i) through joint action with the exploiter; (ii) culpably, but without joint action; and (iii) non-culpably. Our main claim in the paper is that type (i) involvement is common and the fact that third-party beneficiaries act together with exploiters in such cases has important moral implications.
András Szigeti (Linköping University/Gothenburg University)
Erik Malmqvist (Linköping University)