Journal of Business Ethics 149 (1):1-13 (2018)

Liberalist thinking argues that moral agents have a right to pursue an ordinary life. It also insists that moral agent can be bystanders. A bystander is involved with morally bad states of affairs in the sense that they are bound by moral duty, but for a non-blameworthy reason. A common view on the morality of commercial life argues that commercial agents cannot and ought not to assume the status of bystander, when confronted with child labor, pollution, or other overwhelmingly big morally bad states of affairs. According to the common view, the agent will get overdemanded. In this paper, the overdemandingness charge is interpreted as a criticism of the liberalist position. According to this charge, bystander status must be given up in the market because otherwise the right to pursue a personal life is crushed. In this paper, we demonstrate that the overdemandingness charge fails. It does not make sense if bystander status is grounded in the duty of beneficence. It would make sense if the status were grounded in the duty of rescue but that duty does not apply in relation to oMBS. The condition of ‘subjective urgency’ is not fulfilled. Hence, liberalist thinking can withstand the charge of overdemandingness and commercial agents cannot assume a right never to acknowledge bystander status.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-016-3109-7
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 52,956
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

World Poverty and Human Rights.Thomas Pogge - 2002 - Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1-7.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas M. Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy.John Rawls & Barbara Herman - 2002 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):178-179.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Bystander's Duty to Rescue in Jewish Law.Aaron Kirschenbaum - 1980 - Journal of Religious Ethics 8 (2):204 - 226.
Uncertainty in Everyday Life.Linda Radzik - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 66:77-83.
Procreative Beneficence and the Prospective Parent.P. Herissone-Kelly - 2006 - Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (3):166-169.
Collectivizing Rescue Obligations in Bioethics.Jeremy R. Garrett - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (2):3-11.
Principles, the Methodological Challenge and Our Obligations to the Worst-Off.D. Farland - 2007 - South African Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):133-142.
Rescue, Beneficence, and Contempt for Humanity.Adam Blincoe - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Research 42:95-114.
Rescuing the Duty to Rescue.Tina Rulli & Joseph Millum - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics:1-5.
Altruism and Ambition in the Dynamic Moral Life.Tom Dougherty - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):716-729.


Added to PP index

Total views
21 ( #470,067 of 2,343,879 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #514,299 of 2,343,879 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes