Journal of Business Ethics 10 (8):569 - 576 (1991)
Applied ethics is sometimes understood on the engineering model: As engineers apply physics to human problems, so philosophers apply ethics to dilemmas of professional practice. It is argued that there is nothing in ethics comparable to physics. Using legal ethics as an example, it is suggested that political philosophy provides a better approach to understanding professional ethics. If, for example, the adversary system is a legitimate social institution, and if attorneys must adhere to certain principles in order for that institution to fulfill its purposes, then attorneys may be said to be subject to those ethical principles.
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