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Jacques Louis David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784 - page 60 / 80

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PERSONS AND THINGS II

Langton points out that Maria would have had to contend with “the sexual marketplace, where human beings are viewed as having a price, and not a dignity, and where the price of women is fixed in a particular way.”  (Her italics.)

Langton: “Women, as things, as items in the sexual marketplace, have a market value that depends in part on whether they have been used.  Virgins fetch a higher price than second hand goods.”

Langton remarks that this is to treat a person as a thing, and that such treatment must be evil according to Kant’s own philosophy.  And she says that this is a point which Kant himself did not recognize, since he thought it was appropriate that Maria suffer as she did for her confession.

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