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Brian Berkey
University of Pennsylvania
  1. Sweatshops, Structural Injustice, and the Wrong of Exploitation: Why Multinational Corporations Have Positive Duties to the Global Poor.Brian Berkey - 2021 - Journal of Business Ethics 169 (1):43-56.
    It is widely thought that firms that employ workers in “sweatshop” conditions wrongfully exploit those workers. This claim has been challenged by those who argue that because companies are not obligated to hire their workers in the first place, employing them cannot be wrong so long as they voluntarily accept their jobs and genuinely benefit from them. In this article, I argue that we can maintain that at least many sweatshop employees are wrongfully exploited, while accepting the plausible claim at (...)
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  2. The Institutional Critique of Effective Altruism.Brian Berkey - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):143-171.
    In recent years, the effective altruism movement has generated much discussion about the ways in which we can most effectively improve the lives of the global poor, and pursue other morally important goals. One of the most common criticisms of the movement is that it has unjustifiably neglected issues related to institutional change that could address the root causes of poverty, and instead focused its attention on encouraging individuals to direct resources to organizations that directly aid people living in poverty. (...)
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  3. The Philosophical Core of Effective Altruism.Brian Berkey - 2021 - Journal of Social Philosophy 52 (1):93-115.
    Effective altruism’s identity as both a philosophy and a social movement requires effective altruists to consider which philosophical commitments are essential, such that one must embrace them in order to count as an effective altruist, at least in part in the light of the goal of building a robust social movement capable of advancing its aims. The goal of building a social movement provides a strong reason for effective altruists to embrace an ecumenical set of core commitments. At the same (...)
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  4. The Demandingness of Morality: Toward a Reflective Equilibrium.Brian Berkey - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):3015-3035.
    It is common for philosophers to reject otherwise plausible moral theories on the ground that they are objectionably demanding, and to endorse “Moderate” alternatives. I argue that while support can be found within the method of reflective equilibrium for Moderate moral principles of the kind that are often advocated, it is much more difficult than Moderates have supposed to provide support for the view that morality’s demands in circumstances like ours are also Moderate. Once we draw a clear distinction between (...)
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  5.  96
    Rawlsian Institutionalism and Business Ethics: Does It Matter Whether Corporations Are Part of the Basic Structure of Society?Brian Berkey - 2021 - Business Ethics Quarterly 31 (2):179-209.
    In this article, I aim to clarify some key issues in the ongoing debate about the relationship between Rawlsian political philosophy and business ethics. First, I discuss precisely what we ought to be asking when we consider whether corporations are part of the “basic structure of society.” I suggest that the relevant questions have been mischaracterized in much of the existing debate, and that some key distinctions have been overlooked. I then argue that although Rawlsian theory’s potential implications for business (...)
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  6.  50
    The Value of Fairness and the Wrong of Wage Exploitation.Brian Berkey - 2020 - Business Ethics Quarterly 30 (3):414-429.
    In a recent article in this journal, David Faraci argues that the value of fairness can plausibly be appealed to in order to vindicate the view that consensual, mutually beneficial employment relationships can be wrongfully exploitative, even if employers have no obligation to hire or otherwise benefit those who are badly off enough to be vulnerable to wage exploitation. In this commentary, I argue that several values provide potentially strong grounds for thinking that it is at least sometimes better, morally (...)
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  7.  86
    Effectiveness and Demandingness.Brian Berkey - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (3):368-381.
    It has been argued in some recent work that there are many cases in which individuals are subject toconditional obligationsto give to more effective rather than less effective charities, despite not being unconditionally obligated to give. These conditional obligations, it has been suggested, can allow effective altruists (EAs) to make the central claims about the ethics of charitable giving that characterize the movement without taking any particular position on morality's demandingness. I argue that the range of cases involving charitable giving (...)
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  8.  93
    Against Rawlsian Institutionalism about Justice.Brian Berkey - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (4):706-732.
    One of the most influential claims made by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice is that the principles of justice apply only to the institutions of the “basic structure of society,” and do not apply directly to the conduct of individuals. In this paper, I aim to cast doubt on this view, which I call “Institutionalism about Justice,” by considering whether several of the prominent motivations for it offered by Rawls and others succeed in providing the support for the (...)
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  9.  80
    Collective Obligations and Demandingness Complaints.Brian Berkey - 2019 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (1):113-132.
    It has been suggested that understanding our obligations to address large-scale moral problems such as global poverty and the threat of severe climate change as fundamentally collective can allow us to insist that a great deal must be done about these problems while denying that there are very demanding obligations, applying to either individuals or collectives, to contribute to addressing them. I argue that this strategy for limiting demandingness fails because those who endorse collective obligations to address large-scale moral problems (...)
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  10. Double Counting, Moral Rigorism, and Cohen’s Critique of Rawls: A Response to Alan Thomas.Brian Berkey - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):849-874.
    In a recent article in this journal, Alan Thomas presents a novel defence of what I call ‘Rawlsian Institutionalism about Justice’ against G. A. Cohen’s well-known critique. In this response I aim to defend Cohen’s rejection of Institutionalism against Thomas’s arguments. In part this defence requires clarifying precisely what is at issue between Institutionalists and their opponents. My primary focus, however, is on Thomas’s critical discussion of Cohen’s endorsement of an ethical prerogative, as well as his appeal to the institutional (...)
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  11. Ethical Consumerism, Democratic Values, and Justice.Brian Berkey - 2021 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 49 (3):237-274.
    It is widely believed that just societies would be characterized by some combination of democratic political institutions and market-based economic institutions. Underlying the commitment to the combination of democracy and markets is the view that certain normatively significant outcomes in a society ought to be determined by democratic processes, while others ought to be determined by market processes. On this view, we have reason to object when market processes are employed in ways that circumvent democratic processes and affect outcomes that (...)
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  12.  64
    Obligations of Productive Justice: Individual or Institutional?Brian Berkey - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 21 (6):726-753.
    If it is a requirement of justice that everyone has access to basic goods and services, then justice requires that the work that is necessary to produce the relevant goods and provide the relevant services is performed. Two widely accepted views, however, together rule out requirements of justice to perform such work. These are, roughly, that the state cannot force people to perform it, and that individuals are not obligated to perform it voluntarily. Lucas Stanczyk argues that we should resolve (...)
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  13.  93
    Collective Obligations and the Institutional Critique of Effective Altruism: A Reply to Alexander Dietz.Brian Berkey - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (3):326-333.
    In a recent article in this journal, Alexander Dietz argues that what I have called the ‘institutional critique of effective altruism’ is best understood as grounded in the claim that ‘EA relies on an overly individualistic approach to ethics, neglecting the importance of our collective obligations’. In this reply, I argue that Dietz’s view does not represent a plausible interpretation of the institutional critiques offered by others, primarily because, unlike Dietz, they appear to believe that their critiques provide reasons to (...)
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  14.  47
    Limitarianism, Institutionalism, and Justice.Brian Berkey - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (5):721-735.
    In recent years, Ingrid Robeyns and several others have argued that, whatever the correct complete account of distributive justice looks like, it should include a Limitarian requirement. The core Limitarian claim is that there is a ceiling – a limit – to the amount of resources that it is permissible for any individual to possess. While this core claim is plausible, there are a number of important questions about precisely how the requirement should be understood, and what its implications are (...)
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  15.  31
    Offsetting Risks to the Unjustly Advantaged: Why Doing More Good Sometimes Takes Priority Over Offsetting Risks We’ve Unjustly Imposed.Brian Berkey - 2022 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 25 (3):261-263.
  16.  34
    Prospects for an Animal-Friendly Business Ethics.Brian Berkey - 2022 - In Natalie Thomas (ed.), Animals and Business Ethics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 67-89.
    Despite the increased attention that has been paid in recent years to the significance of animal interests within moral and political philosophy, there has been virtually no discussion of the significance of animal interests within business ethics. This is rather troubling, since a great deal of the treatment of animals that will seem especially problematic to many people occurs in the context of business, broadly construed. In this chapter, I aim to extend the growing concern that our normative theories should (...)
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  17.  69
    Prospects for an Inclusive Theory of Justice: The Case of Non‐Human Animals.Brian Berkey - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (5):679-695.
    In this article, I argue that there are three widely accepted views within contemporary theorising about justice that present barriers to accepting that non-human animals possess direct entitlements of justice. These views are that the basis of entitlements of justice is either contribution to a cooperative scheme for mutual advantage or the capacity to so contribute; political liberalism, that is, the view that requirements for coercive state action can be justified only by appeal to the ideal of citizens as free (...)
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  18. Climate Change, Moral Intuitions, and Moral Demandingness.Brian Berkey - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 4 (2):157-189.
    In this paper I argue that reflection on the threat of climate change brings out a distinct challenge for appeals to what I call the Anti-Demandingness Intuition, according to which a view about our obligations can be rejected if it would, as a general matter, require very large sacrifices of us. The ADI is often appealed to in order to reject the view that well off people are obligated to make substantial sacrifices in order to aid the global poor, but (...)
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  19.  21
    Autonomous Vehicles and the Ethics of Driving.Vikram R. Bhargava & Brian Berkey - 2024 - Social Theory and Practice 50 (2):179-206.
    In this paper, we argue that if a set of plausible conditions obtain, then driving a standard vehicle rather than riding in an autonomous vehicle (AV) will become analogous to driving drunk rather than driving sober, and therefore impermissible. In addition, we argue that a ban on the production, sale, and purchase of new standard vehicles would also become justified. We make this case in part by highlighting that the central reasons typically offered in support of state-mandated vaccination will also (...)
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  20. Human Rights, Harm, and Climate Change Mitigation.Brian Berkey - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3):416-435.
    A number of philosophers have resisted impersonal explanations of our obligation to mitigate climate change, and have developed accounts according to which these obligations are explained by human rights or harm-based considerations. In this paper I argue that several of these attempts to explain our mitigation obligations without appealing to impersonal factors fail, since they either cannot account for a plausibly robust obligation to mitigate, or have implausible implications in other cases. I conclude that despite the appeal of the motivations (...)
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  21.  13
    Justice, Democracy, and the Role of Political Philosophy.Brian Berkey - 2020 - Australasian Philosophical Review 4 (1):51-56.
    In this paper, I argue that de Shalit’s claim that there is a tension between a commitment to democracy and methodological approaches in political philosophy that do not take the views of members of the public as inputs to theorizing is mistaken. I also argue that adopting the method of ‘public reflective equilibrium’ that de Shalit recommends would undercut important roles that political philosophy should play in both our thinking about and our pursuit of justice.
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  22.  79
    Benefiting from Unjust Acts and Benefiting from Injustice: Historical Emissions and the Beneficiary Pays Principle.Brian Berkey - 2017 - In Lukas H. Meyer & Pranay Sanklecha (eds.), Climate Justice and Historical Emissions. Cambridge University Press. pp. 123-140.
    It is commonly believed that the history of behavior that has contributed to the threat of climate change bears in a significant way on the obligations of current people. In particular, a number of philosophers have defended the Beneficiary Pays Principle, according to which those who have benefited from unjust emitting activity have a special obligation to bear costs of mitigation and adaptation. I claim that versions of the BPP that have been defended by others share a common problematic feature. (...)
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  23.  14
    Effective Altruism, Global Justice, and Individual Obligations.Brian Berkey - 2023 - Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy 21:675-692.
    On at least most accounts of what global justice requires, those living in severe poverty around the world are unjustly disadvantaged. Remedying this unjust disadvantage requires (perhaps among other things) that resources currently possessed by well-off people are deployed in ways that will improve the lives of the poor. In this article, I argue that, contrary to the claims of some critics, well-off individuals’ effective altruist giving is at least among the appropriate responses to global injustice. In addition, I suggest (...)
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  24.  31
    Ethical Consumerism, Human Rights, and Global Health Impact.Brian Berkey - 2024 - Developing World Bioethics 24 (1):31-36.
    In this paper, I raise some doubts about Nicole Hassoun's account of the obligations of states, pharmaceutical firms, and consumers with regard to global health, presented in Global Health Impact. I argue that it is not necessarily the case, as Hassoun claims, that if states are just, and therefore satisfy all of their obligations, then consumers will not have strong moral reasons, and perhaps obligations, to make consumption choices that are informed by principles and requirements of justice. This is because (...)
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  25.  36
    Utilitarianism and Poverty.Brian Berkey - 2023 - In Gottfried Schweiger & Clemens Sedmak (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Poverty. Routledge. pp. 127-137.
    This chapter provides an overview of the most prominent debates about the moral significance and implications of poverty among those who accept a broadly utilitarian account of poverty’s most morally important dimensions. The first section outlines the central features of utilitarian moral theory and describes the basic features of a broadly utilitarian account of poverty’s moral significance. The next section examines the various accounts of the moral obligations of the affluent to contribute to alleviating poverty that have been defended by (...)
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  26.  85
    Business Ethics and Free Speech on the Internet.Brian Berkey - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):937-945.
    The unique role of the Internet in today’s society, and the extensive reach and potentially profound impact of much Internet content, raise philosophically interesting and practically urgent questions about the responsibilities of various agents, including individual Internet users, governments, and corporations. Raphael Cohen-Almagor’s Confronting the Internet’s Dark Side is an extremely valuable contribution to the emerging discussion of these important issues. In this paper, I focus on the obligations of Internet Service Providers and Web Hosting Services with respect to online (...)
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  27.  18
    Relational Egalitarianism, Institutionalism, and Workplace Hierarchy.Brian Berkey - 2023 - In Julian David Jonker & Grant J. Rozeboom (eds.), Working as Equals: Relational Egalitarianism and the Workplace. New York, US: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 194-213.
    According to relational egalitarians, the fundamental value that grounds requirements of justice is egalitarian social relationships. Hierarchical authority relations appear to be a threat to relational equality. Such relations, however, are pervasive in our working lives. Contemporary workplaces, then, seem to be potential sites of substantial injustice for relational egalitarians. This presents us with a challenge: the view that justice requires that individuals relate as equals appears difficult to reconcile with the view that it is permissible for firms to be (...)
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  28.  36
    What Should Business Ethics Be? Aims, Methodology, Substance.Brian Berkey - 2022 - In Guglielmo Faldetta, Edoardo Mollona & Massimiliano M. Pellegrini (eds.), Philosophy and Business Ethics: Organizations, CSR, and Moral Practice. pp. 13-40.
    Few would deny that some central questions in business ethics are normative. But there has been, and remains, much skepticism about the value of traditional philosophical approaches to answering these questions. I have three central aims in this chapter. The first is to defend traditional philosophical approaches to business ethics against the criticism that they are insufficiently practical. The second is to defend the view that the appropriate methodology for pursuing work in business ethics is largely continuous with the appropriate (...)
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  29.  35
    Climate Justice, Feasibility Constraints, and the Role of Political Philosophy.Brian Berkey - 2021 - In Sarah Kenehan & Corey Katz (eds.), Climate Justice and Feasibility: Normative Theorizing, Feasibility Constraints, and Climate Action. London, UK: pp. 93-113.
  30.  15
    Public Philosophy in Effective Altruism.Brian Berkey - 2022 - In Lee C. McIntyre, Nancy Arden McHugh & Ian Olasov (eds.), A companion to public philosophy. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 166–174.
  31. How Should Autonomous Vehicles Redistribute the Risks of the Road?Brian Berkey - 2019 - Wharton Public Policy Initiative Issue Brief 7 (9):1-6.
  32.  46
    Exploitation, Trade Justice, and Corporate Obligations.Brian Berkey - 2022 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 9 (1):11-29.
    In On Trade Justice, Risse and Wollner defend an account of trade justice on which the central requirement, applying to both states and firms, is a requirement of non-exploitation. On their view, trade exploitation consists in ‘power-induced failure of reciprocity’, which generates an unfair distribution of the benefits and burdens associated with trade relationships. In this paper, I argue that while there are many appealing features of Risse and Wollner’s account, their discussion does not articulate and develop the unified picture (...)
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  33.  62
    Relational Egalitarianism and the Grounds of Entitlements to Health Care.Brian Berkey - 2018 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 13 (3):85-104.
    In recent years, a number of philosophers have argued that much theorizing about the value of equality, and about justice more generally, has focused unduly on distributive issues and neglected the importance of egalitarian social relationships. As a result, relational egalitarian views, according to which the value of egalitarian social relations provides the grounds of the commitment that we ought to have to equality, have gained prominence as alternatives to more fundamentally distributive accounts of the basis of egalitarianism, and of (...)
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  34.  62
    Climate Justice, Climate Policy, and the Role of Political Philosophy.Brian Berkey - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (2):145-147.
  35.  38
    State Action, State Policy, and the Doing/Allowing Distinction.Brian Berkey - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (2):147-149.
  36.  38
    Facing up to Conflicts Between Ethics and Profits: Against Wishful Thinking in Business.Brian Berkey - 2022 - In Nicholas Ind & Oriol Iglesias (eds.), In Good Conscience: Do the Right Thing While Building a Profitable Business. pp. 43-47.
  37.  33
    Autonomous Vehicles, Business Ethics, and Risk Distribution in Hybrid Traffic.Brian Berkey - 2022 - In Ryan Jenkins, David Cerny & Tomas Hribek (eds.), Autonomous Vehicle Ethics: The Trolley Problem and Beyond. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 210-228.
    In this chapter, I argue that in addition to the generally accepted aim of reducing traffic-related injuries and deaths as much as possible, a principle of fairness in the distribution of risk should inform our thinking about how firms that produce autonomous vehicles ought to program them to respond in conflict situations involving human-driven vehicles. This principle, I claim, rules out programming autonomous vehicles to systematically prioritize the interests of their occupants over those of the occupants of other vehicles, including (...)
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  38.  41
    The Climate Imperative for Business.Brian Berkey & Eric W. Orts - 2021 - California Management Review 63.
  39.  49
    Against Moderate Morality: The Demands of Justice in an Unjust World.Brian Berkey - 2012 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    Extremism about Demands is the view that morality is significantly more demanding than prevailing common-sense morality acknowledges. This view is not widely held, despite the powerful advocacy on its behalf by philosophers such as Peter Singer, Shelly Kagan, Peter Unger, and G.A. Cohen. Most philosophers have remained attracted to some version of Moderation about Demands, which holds that the behavior of typical well-off people is permissible, including the ways that such people tend to employ their economic and other resources. It (...)
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  40.  22
    Pandemic Windfalls and Obligations of Justice.Brian Berkey - 2021 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 14 (1):58-70.
    The Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant economic hardships for millions of people around the world. Meanwhile, many of the world’s richest people have seen their wealth increase substantially during the pandemic, despite the significant economic disruptions that it has caused on the whole. It is uncontroversial that these effects, which have exacerbated already unacceptable levels of poverty and inequality, call for robust policy responses from governments. In this paper, I argue that the disparate economic effects of the pandemic also generate (...)
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  41.  6
    When Money Shouldn't Be King.Brian Berkey - 2019 - In Randall E. Auxier & Megan A. Volpert (eds.), Tom Petty and Philosophy: We Need to Know. Chicago, Illinois: Open Court Publishing. pp. 163-172.
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  42.  43
    Review of Larry S. Temkin, Being Good in a World of Need. [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2023 - Ethics 133 (4):649-653.
  43. Review of Giving Well: The Ethics of Philanthropy (eds. Illingworth, Pogge, and Wenar). [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2014 - Mind 123 (489):220-223.
  44.  55
    Review of Dale Dorsey, The Limits of Moral Authority. [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2017 - Ethics 128 (1):235-240.
  45.  69
    Review of Andrew Mason, Living Together as Equals: The Demands of Citizenship. [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2015 - Mind 124 (494):653-656.
  46.  32
    Review of Darrel Moellendorf, The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change: Values, Poverty, and Policy. [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2016 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (1):108-111.
    Moellendorf describes this book as a work of ‘public philosophy’, by which he means that it is a philosophical discussion of an issue of public importance that is aimed at an audience broade...
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  47.  77
    Review of Gary E. Varner, Personhood, Ethics, and Animal Cognition: Situating Animals in Hare's Two-Level Utilitarianism. [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  48.  43
    Review of Robert Garner, A Theory of Justice for Animals: Animal Rights in a Nonideal World. [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  49.  37
    Review of Ryan Burg, Business Ethics for a Material World: An Ecological Approach to Object Stewardship. [REVIEW]Brian Berkey & Eric W. Orts - 2019 - Business Ethics Quarterly 29:143-146.
  50.  37
    Review of The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers' Perspectives on Philanthropy (ed. Woodruff). [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.