Essays in Philosophy 6 (2):6 (2005)

We consider whether public corporations can be ethical, using the notion of corporate social responsibility . We distinguish between ‘weak’ CSR and ‘strong’ CSR and consider four possible positions in relation to strong CSR. First, CSR is unnecessary – good ethics is synonymous with good business. Second, CSR is unethical as the government is responsible for intervention in markets. Third, CSR is ethical and is being implemented by corporations. We find none of these positions convincing and argue a fourth position – CSR is ethical but impossible for corporations to implement due to competitive markets and the legal requirements of the corporate form. We conclude that public corporations are best considered amoral entities. In order to alleviate the inevitable negative social and environmental outcomes arising from corporate activities, we suggest strengthening the regulatory environment and using alternate organizational forms to conduct economic activities
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/eip2005624
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: 58,242
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Capitalism and Freedom.Milton Friedman - 1962 - Ethics 74 (1):70-72.
Is Business Bluffing Ethical?Albert Z. Carr - forthcoming - Essentials of Business Ethics.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Market Hegemony and Economic Theory.Stephen Ellis - 2008 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (4):513-532.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Differences in Moral Values Between Corporations.Paul C. Nystrom - 1990 - Journal of Business Ethics 9 (12):971 - 979.
Saturday Review's Annual Advertising Awards.James R. Bennett - 1983 - Journal of Business Ethics 2 (2):73 - 78.
On Multinational Corporations and the Provision of Positive Rights.Baris Parkan - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 85 (S1):73 - 82.
Modified Vendettas as a Method of Punishing Corporations.Shannon Shipp - 1987 - Journal of Business Ethics 6 (8):603 - 612.
Corporations and the Cause of Environmental Protection.Napoleon M. Mabaquiao - 2002 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 12 (1):11-15.
Amorality.Ronald D. Milo - 1983 - Mind 92 (368):481-498.
Corporations as Intentional Systems.William G. Weaver - 1998 - Journal of Business Ethics 17 (1):87 - 97.


Added to PP index

Total views
23 ( #456,007 of 2,419,596 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #542,199 of 2,419,596 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes