Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

S. M. Love

Second Advisor

Peter Lindsay


There is a debate in republican political philosophy concerning whether, and under what circumstances, workers are dominated. Philosophers such as Pettit, Anderson, Gourevitch, and Vrousalis argue that employers dominate workers, either in extreme circumstances or as a necessity under capitalism. Some, such as Vrousalis, argue the domination of workers is a structural feature of capitalism. Others, such as Pettit, argue workplace domination is an extreme to protect against. I argue that capitalism requires the vulnerability of workers as a class to domination. Republicans who view workplace domination as an extreme fail to account for the structural cause of that domination. Capitalism requires profit-maximization, which requires the vulnerability of the working class so that workers will accept working in ways that are contrary to their interests, and over which they lack control. My argument parallels, but is distinct from, accounts of structural domination given by Gourevitch and Vrousalis, among others.


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