The regulation of virtue: Cross-currents in professional ethics [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 10 (8):561 - 568 (1991)
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This paper argues that more attention should be paid to the civic functions of ethical discourse about the professions and to the moral virtues inherent in their practice and traditions. The ability of professional ethics to articulate civic ideals and virtues is discussed in relation to three issues. First, should professional ethics aim to enlighten ethical understanding or to motivate ethical conduct? Second, how should professional ethics define the professional's moral responsibilities in the face of ethical dilemmas — should the professional attempt to resolve the dilemma ethically or to change the social conditions that create the dilemma in the first place? The third issue discussed in the paper is whether professional ethics should be based on the model of regulation and rational self-interest or on the model of virtue and a fundamental personal commitment to the ideal of a certain form of life? In order for work in professional ethics to attain intellectual credibility among a non-philosophical audience, it must develop a coherent and convincing position on each of these issues.



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Bruce Jennings
Vanderbilt University

References found in this work

Reconstructing Public Philosophy.William M. Sullivan - 1982 - University of California Press.

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