Virtue and Vice Attributions in the Business Context: An Experimental Investigation [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4):649-661 (2013)
Authors
Mark Alfano
Delft University of Technology
Brian Robinson
Texas A&M University - Kingsville
Abstract
Recent findings in experimental philosophy have revealed that people attribute intentionality, belief, desire, knowledge, and blame asymmetrically to side- effects depending on whether the agent who produces the side-effect violates or adheres to a norm. Although the original (and still common) test for this effect involved a chairman helping or harming the environment, hardly any of these findings have been applied to business ethics. We review what little exploration of the implications for business ethics has been done. Then, we present new experimental results that expand the attribution asymmetry to virtue and vice. We also examine whether it matters to people that an effect was produced as a primary or side- effect, as well as how consumer habits might be affected by this phenomenon. These results lead to the conclusion that it appears to be in a businessperson’s self-interest to be virtuous.
Keywords Attributions  Knobe Effect  Side-effect  side-effect effect  vice  virtue
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-013-1676-4
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References found in this work BETA

The Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.James R. Beebe & Wesley Buckwalter - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (4):474-498.
The Pervasive Impact of Moral Judgment.Dean Pettit & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (5):586-604.
A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
On Praise, Side Effects, and Folk Ascriptions of Intentionality.Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2004 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):196-213.

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