Book Dedication Sale
Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski (both of Georgetown), have been working on a book entitled Markets Without Limits. You may recall an earlier post which detailed their plans to sell space in the “acknowledgements” section of their book. Not to be outdone—by their earlier selves—the duo are now selling the dedication page of their book to the highest bidder. You can find out more about the idea, as well as bid, here. Why am I posting about this? Well Jason says “we’d be happy to pay a 20% finders’ fee if the high bidder indicates he or she came from Daily Nous.”
By the way, I hereby offer to refund 5% of the total amount of your winning bid if, when you bid, you say that you heard about the auction via Daily Nous.
It seems to me that this strategy leaves space for a competing blog to offer Brennan and Jaworski to merely accept a 15% finders fee, and meanwhile offer a 10% rebate to a potential dedicatee, undercutting you on both ends and still making a profit. I suppose this just means that you’re testing the depths of the philosophy-blog-advertising-dedication-sale market.Report
Let’s all pool our money and get them to dedicate it to Karl Marx.Report
I love Amy’s suggestion!!Report
Yes, but they’d like that right – because they’d make more money. But then wouldn’t it also show the meaninglessness of dedications made in this matter, which I would think would undermine what I presume (perhaps falsely) to be the point of the exercise. (I guess it depends whether the book aims primarily to show that monetization is generally permissible or that it is generally desirable).Report
Dedicate it to the barber who shaves all and only those who don’t shave themselves.Report
Sterne offered up space for a paid dedication to his novel *Tristram Shandy* (as a joke) back in the 18th Century.Report
Hmmm . . . I was thinking these exercises in “commodification” — being a bit tongue and cheek — associated with the book are not necessarily commodification at all, because they are trying to make a philosophical point rather than merely a buck. They’ve elevated the entire set of transactions into something communicative and symbolic beyond their typical instrumental meaning. The “bottom line”, if you will, as far as markets go, is that one cannot have one’s cake and eat it too. That is, one must eat the cake to enjoy it. At a certain point, one must forgo revenue for utility. In still other words, one must forgo exchange value for use value and “teleological” value. Gary Becker made this quite clear through his household utility functions. http://collectiveindividuation.com/2015/01/defining-civil-society/Report
This thread is now a crowd written Black Mirror episode.Report
Naw, get them to dedicate it to the United States Supreme Court, “whose Citizens United ruling constituted a great step toward the society which we, in this book, humbly aspire to advance.”Report
Brennan already mentioned Marx as a possibility in the original post. He also mentioned Charles Manson and Ayn Rand. I see at least two possibilities: either you are at least partly serious or merely joking. I would like to hear which possibility applies.
Here is Brennan’s thesis: “If you may do it for free, you may do it for money.”
I don’t know the specifics yet behind the thesis, and the book has obviously not yet been released. However, let’s deny the consequent: you may not do it for money. Therefore, you may not do it for free? 🙂
If ought implies can, things only get worse for the thesis . . . 🙂
I’m sure Brennan’s actual thesis is far more nuanced that the above, hence the smiley faces. 🙂
From the comments section of Brennan’s post . . .
Chris MacDonald: “I’ll bid $150 (as Editor of the Business Ethics Journal Review — http://www.bejr.org )”
Guest: Is it ethical to buy someone else’s dedication?
Guest: Is it possible to buy someone else’s dedication?Report
@Erik Cederwall Davis: I wonder if you could generate a kind of “toxin puzzle” paradox for Brennan and Jaworski’s thesis? It seems like I *can* intend at midnight tonight to drink a toxin tomorrow, for my own reasons. It also seems both morally and rationally permissible for me to so intend. But if a wealthy person offers me a million dollars to intend tonight to drink the toxin tomorrow, also telling me that he will not actually require me to drink the toxin tomorrow, *can* I so intend? It seems like as soon as the only incentive to so intend is financial, and the money will get to me whether or not I carry out the intention, then I can no longer form the intention. (Or, stronger, it would be irrational to form the intention, so I *may* not form it according to the norms of rationality).Report
If the wealthy person tells you that they do not require you to drink the toxin, then they have told you that they will give you the money for free.Report
If you may do gift giving for free, may you do gift giving for money?
Note: I am referring to the activity rather than merely the object.
Hint: it is *impossible* to do genuine gift-giving for money.