David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Business Ethics: A European Review 16 (1):71–86 (2007)
In this article I discuss the idea that investors have moral reasons to avoid investing in certain business areas based on their own moral views towards these areas. Some has referred to this as ”conscience investing”, and it is a central part of the conception of ethical investing within the socially responsible investment (SRI) movement. I present what I take to be the main arguments for this kind of investing as they are given by those who have defended it, and discuss the plausibility of these arguments from the point of view of moral philosophy. In the end, I argue that focusing on the moral views of individual investors is not very fruitful – we have strong reasons to think that investors do not have moral reasons to invest ”with their consciences”, or, to the extent that we may allow such reasons, that they are very weak compared to other sorts of moral reasons pertaining to ethical investing.
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