Exploited: Exploitation as a subjective category

Jean Philippe Deranty*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


I focus on exploitation from the point of view of those who suffer from it, and so I take exploitation as a category of subjective experience. Adopting a subjective perspective on exploitation highlights important conceptual aspects about it and suggests important methodological rules on how to critically discuss social forms of exploitation. I start by introducing some key conceptual distinctions in the first two sections. These distinctions lead me to formulate a first, general definition of exploitation as a subjective category, in the third section of the paper. In the fourth section, I ask what relationship there is between the objective and subjective senses of exploitation, and I turn to the work of Marx. This is because, as I try to argue, Marx’s approach is exemplary for tying together an objective and a subjective sense of exploitation. Based on a schematic rendition of Marx’s use of a dual perspective on exploitation, in the last sections of the paper, I draw a number of conceptual and normative conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalSouthern Journal of Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


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