Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (2):213-232 (2008)
Many writers in the field of business ethics seem to have accepted R. Edward Freeman’s argument to the effect that what he calls “the separation thesis,” or the idea that business and morality can be separated in certain ways, should be rejected. In this paper, I discuss how this argument should be understood more exactly, and what position “the separation thesis” refers to. I suggest that there are actually many interpretations (or versions) of the separation thesis going around, ranging from semantic, empirical and reformative to some which are straightforwardly normative. While it is generally agreed that the separation thesis should be rejected, then, there is not as much agreement on what this thesis actually says. I suggest that whether or not we should<br>reject the separation thesis, however, ultimately must depend on how we understand it more exactly—on certain interpretations, the thesis comes out as more or less trivially false, but we should demand more evidence or argument to reject it on certain other interpretations. This result presents a challenge for all those writers who are committed to the rejection of the separation thesis.
|Keywords||Applied Philosophy Business and Professional Ethics Social Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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Citations of this work BETA
Stakeholder Theory, Fact/Value Dichotomy, and the Normative Core: How Wall Street Stops the Ethics Conversation. [REVIEW]Lauren S. Purnell & R. Edward Freeman - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 109 (1):109-116.
Reintegrating Ethics and Institutional Theories.Richard P. Nielsen & Felipe G. Massa - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 115 (1):135-147.
The Reconciliation Project: Separation and Integration in Business Ethics Research. [REVIEW]Miguel Alzola - 2011 - Journal of Business Ethics 99 (1):19 - 36.
One Justice or Two? A Model of Reconciliation of Normative Justice Theories and Empirical Research on Organizational Justice.Natàlia Cugueró-Escofet & Marion Fortin - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 124 (3):1-17.
Avoiding the Separation Thesis While Maintaining a Positive/Normative Distinction.Andrew V. Abela & Ryan Shea - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 131 (1):31-41.
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