Shadow of virtue: On a painful if not principled compromise inherent in business ethics [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 89 (1):99 - 107 (2009)
From a certain philosophical perspective, one that is at least as old as Plato but which is addressed also by Aristotle and Kant, business ethics – to the extent that it is marketed as form of enlightened self-interest — constitutes a Thrasymachean compromise: to argue that it is to our advantage to conduct business ethically, perhaps even advantageous to the bottom-line, comes curiously close to endorsing what Plato called the 'shadow of virtue' — i.e., of becoming temperate for the sake of illtemperance. And yet it also seems true that moralistic campaigns to achieve the impossible, e.g., pursuing justice for its own sake or eradicating egoism, often "detract from attaining really important things." This essay explores the need, in business ethics as well as elsewhere, to make — what Dewey and Niebuhr considered to be — painful if not principled philosophical compromises in order to secure is a society in which there would be "enough justice to avoid complete disaster."
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References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (1971/2005). A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press.
John M. Cooper (2004). Knowledge, Nature, and the Good: Essays on Ancient Philosophy. Princeton University Press.
John R. Boatright (1999). Does Business Ethics Rest on a Mistake? Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (4):583-591.
Reinhold Niebuhr (1960). Moral Man and Immoral Society. New York, Scribner.
Sergio Sciarelli (1999). Corporate Ethics and the Entrepreneurial Theory of “Social Success”. Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (4):639-649.
Citations of this work BETA
Joan Fontrodona, Alejo José G. Sison & Boudewijn de Bruin (2013). Editorial Introduction: Putting Virtues Into Practice. A Challenge for Business and Organizations. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4):563-565.
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