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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter defends a conditional approach to arguing about fair trade. It suggests that this approach shows why a common objection to arguments about fairness in trade is misguided—in that the arguments for fairness in trade from different perspectives are often inconsistent. The chapter suggests that much inconsistency can be avoided if we offer conditional arguments for or against principles governing fairness in trade. We should not assume, for instance, that principles are justified because they are part of any given practice. Rather, we can suggest adopting the principles if the practice is justified. Arguments for fair trade may also depend on features of our non-ideal world. Although we might hope to arrive at a complete account of what fair trade requires, we can make some extremely important moral progress even in the absence of such a theory.

Keywords: fair trade, free trade, trade practice, moral progress, normative theory

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