24 November 2009
Can marketing reinforce personal autonomy?
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.
Anker, T.B., Kappel, K. & Sandøe, P. (2009) 'The Liberating Power of Commercial Marketing', Journal of Business Ethics, DOI 10.1007/s10551-009-0236-4.