Can Finance Be a Virtuous Practice? A MacIntyrean Account

Business Ethics Quarterly 31 (1):75-105 (2021)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTFinance may suffer from institutional deformations that subordinate its distinctive goods to the pursuit of external goods, but this should encourage attempts to reform the institutionalization of finance rather than to reject its potential for virtuous business activity. This article argues that finance should be regarded as a domain-relative practice. Alongside management, its moral status thereby varies with the purposes it serves. Hence, when practitioners working in finance facilitate projects that create common goods, it allows them to develop virtues. This argument applies MacIntyre’s widely acknowledged account of the relationship between practices and the development of virtues while questioning some of his claims about finance. It also takes issue with extant accounts of particular financial functions that have failed to identify the distinctive goods of financial practice.

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Ignacio Ferrero
University of Navarra