Irrational Advertising and Moral Autonomy

Journal of Business Ethics 144 (3):479-490 (2017)
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Abstract

This article analyzes the four main criticisms against commercial manipulative advertising : the virtue ethics criticism, the utilitarian criticism, the autonomist criticism, and the Kantian criticism. After demonstrating the weaknesses of the virtue ethics criticism, the utilitarian criticism, and the autonomist criticism, I reconstruct the latter using Kant’s conception of autonomy. In doing so, I simultaneously expand the Kantian criticism: irrational advertising not only entails treating humanity merely as means, but it also threatens moral autonomy by encouraging heteronomy and sometimes even a rebellion against the moral law.

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Author's Profile

Alonso Villarán
Universidad del Pacifico

References found in this work

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Utilitarianism.John Stuart Mill - 1863 - Cleveland: Cambridge University Press.

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