What Is the Purpose of Business Ethics? in advance

Business Ethics Quarterly 24 (1):119-134 (2014)

If the ultimate purpose of ethical argument is to persuade people to act a certain way, the point of doing business ethics is to persuade others about what constitutes proper ethical behavior. Given that teleological perspective, the role of the business ethicist is to be an orator or rhetorician. Further, since one cannot expect more certitude than the subject warrants, from Aristotle’s perspective, while rhetoric is the most persuasive means of arguing, it is not scientific demonstration. Rhetoric uses examples and enthymemes. Such an approach answers the postmodern claim that ethical argument cannot lead to certitude and shows how the use of rhetoric helps avoid relativism and leads to more effective persuasion. According to Aristotle, rhetoric involves gaining truth with a “rough and general sketch.” This rhetorical approach allows the listener to “see as” the persuader sees, by attending to aspects of our shared experience and language. This mirrors insights of Kant’s reflexive judgment in his third critique as well as the later Wittgenstein, who compares ethics to aesthetics.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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Reprint years 2014
ISBN(s) 1052-150X
DOI 10.5840/beq20141271
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