David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 9 (3):159 - 169 (1990)
Professions are granted autonomy by society, to regulate their own affairs. In return for the economic benefits autonomy grants to professions, society expects professions to act in a socially responsible manner. This paper presents a game-theoretic analysis of the relationship between society and professions, which shows that the relationship is unstable in the face of opportunities for professions to renege on the social contract. It also shows how periodic controversies regarding the degree to which professionals act in the public interest are expected to occur periodically, and how they are resolved.
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