Ethical immunity in business: A response to two arguments [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 36 (4):337 - 346 (2002)


In this paper I examine the claim that businesspersons have what might be called "ethical immunity" with respect to the duty not to deceive. According to this ethical immunity claim, businesspersons are exempt from the ordinary ethical prohibition against deception; and widespread business deception is therefore ethically permissible. I focus on two arguments for the claim. One of the arguments, which has been presented by Albert Carr, relies upon an analogy between business on the one hand, and games in which deception is permitted, on the other. The second argument is based upon the notion that exceptions to ethical duties may sometimes be justified on prudential grounds. In response to the arguments, I try to show that neither one provides strong support for the ethical immunity claim.

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References found in this work

Business Ethics and Stakeholder Analysis.Kenneth E. Goodpaster - 1991 - Business Ethics Quarterly 1 (1):53-73.
Is Business Bluffing Ethical?Albert Z. Carr - forthcoming - Essentials of Business Ethics.
A Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation.R. Edward Freeman - 2001 - Perspectives in Business Ethics Sie 3:144.
A Moral Evaluation of Sales Practices.David M. Holley - 1986 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 5 (1):3-21.

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Citations of this work

Taboos in Corporate Social Responsibility Discourse.Tomi J. Kallio - 2007 - Journal of Business Ethics 74 (2):165-175.

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