Date of Completion


Embargo Period



moral exploitation, moral vulnerability, recruit, surrogate

Major Advisor

Hallie Liberto

Co-Major Advisor

Michael Lynch

Associate Advisor

Paul Bloomfield

Associate Advisor

Suzy Killmister

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


I argue that accounts of exploitation have been too narrowly defined specifically with respect to notions of exploitee vulnerability and exploiter benefit. Contrary to typical accounts that formulate vulnerability in terms of a physical, economic, epistemic, or emotional constraint, I contend that agents may be rendered equally vulnerable merely in virtue of their moral commitments. Furthermore, contrary to accounts that formulate exploiter benefit in terms of a physical good or service extracted from the exploitee, I contend that agents may also be exploited by being made to shoulder additional moral burdens. After outlining these under- acknowledged normative features of exploitation, I then go on to apply them to the two real- world cases of military recruitment and commercial surrogacy.