Profiting from the Ignorance of Others
Webcast Q&A: Sunday, 19 June 2011, Question 4
In the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on 19 June 2011, I answered a question on profiting from the ignorance of others.
Is it moral to take advantage of another person's ignorance? Suppose that I drop by a yard sale to see whatever is up for grabs. While rummaging through the junk for which the owners no longer see a reason to keep, I catch sight of an item which I know to be extremely rare and valuable. Would it be moral for me to pay the low asking price, then resell the item at auction for a much higher price, knowing that the owners are clueless about its value?
My Answer, In Brief: It's perfectly moral to profit in huge ways from voluntary and honest transactions: the seller is responsible for ensuring that his prices reflect market value.
- Download: MP3 Segment
- Duration: 7:28
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- Confessions of a Used-Book Salesman by Michael Savitz
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About Philosophy in Action Radio
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
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