Business Ethics 10 (4):331–339 (2001)

Christopher Michaelson
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
The contrast between the philosopher and the sophist is subtle and significant. The significant difference is identified by Socrates when he claims, in the Apology 21d, to be the wisest man in Athens: “Neither of us has any knowledge to boast of, but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance.” Nearly two and one half millennia later, business ethics has transported street corner conversation into the meeting room and board room, where ethical leadership is cultivated or stifled. Are these conversations about ethics philosophy, or are they sophism? In this paper, I will evaluate the philosophical soundness of business ethics as it is practiced in business situations. My objective will be to outline the unfulfilled value of philosophical wisdom to ensuring the value of business ethics, and business, to society at large
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DOI 10.1111/1467-8608.00249
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