For-Profit Business as Civic Virtue

Journal of Business Ethics 106 (3):313-324 (2012)

Authors
Jason Brennan
Georgetown University
Abstract
According to the commonsense view of civic virtue, the places to exercise civic virtue are largely restricted to politics. In this article, I argue for a more expansive view of civic virtue, and argue that one can exercise civic virtue equally well through working for or running a for-profit business. I argue that this conclusion follows from four relatively uncontroversial premises: (1) the consensus definition of “civic virtue”, (2) the standard, most popular theory of virtuous activity, (3) a conception of the common good widely shared by liberal political philosophers, and (4) the mainstream economic theory of for-profit business
Keywords civic virtue  business ethics  civic society  common good  republicanism  liberalism  profit-motive
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-011-0998-3
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On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
A Theory of Justice.John Rawls - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press. pp. 133-135.
The Ethics of Voting.Jason Brennan - 2011 - Princeton Univ Pr.
Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality.G. A. Cohen - 1995 - Philosophy 72 (281):478-482.

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