David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2):163-174 (2012)
Hume’s examination of the conventions of property, trade, and contract addresses the moral foundations that make business possible. In this light, Hume’s theory of justice is also a foundational work in business ethics. In Hume’s analysis of these conventions, both philosophers and game theorists have correctly identified “proto” game-theoretic elements. One of the few attempts to offer a Humean theory of business ethics rests on this game-theoretic interpretation of Hume’s argument. This article argues that game-theoretic reasoning is only one part of a Humean business ethics and this can be shown by further analyzing Hume’s theory of justice. As we examine his theory, it becomes clear that Hume is not trying to show how it is always rational to respect the rules of business. Hume is not engaging in, or attempting, a reconciliation project and neither is a Humean business ethics. The final section of the article is a brief Humean analysis of the effectiveness of codes of ethics. The purpose of this section is not to decide the issue but to show how a Humean approach is both useful, relevant, and involves more than reconciling rationality and morality.
|Keywords||Codes of ethics Compliance Convention Game theory Hume Humean business ethics Justice Reconciliation project Self-interest Sensible knave|
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References found in this work BETA
Saul A. Kripke (1982). Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Harvard University Press.
David Lewis (1969). Convention: A Philosophical Study. Harvard University Press.
Betsy Stevens (2008). Corporate Ethical Codes: Effective Instruments for Influencing Behavior. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 78 (4):601 - 609.
Robert C. Solomon (1999). A Better Way to Think About Business: How Personal Integrity Leads to Corporate Success. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Jayanthi Venkatadurai, Umesh Dhyani & Mohit Sharma (2013). Ethics and Morality Beyond Normative Theories. Asian Journal of Business Ethics 3 (1):1-5.
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