Ethical Theory and Business Chapter Two

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The language of ethics. FairnessJusticeDesertRightsObligationEqualityGreedEgo. PrincipleConsequenceIntegrityPersonal Autonomy. Relativism, Cultural and Moral Norman Bowie. Cultural RelativismDifferent cultures have ideas about ethical behaviorMoral (ethical) RelativismWhat is

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Ethical Theory and Business Chapter Two

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1. Ethical Theory and Business Chapter Two Jerry Estenson

2. The language of ethics Fairness Justice Desert Rights Obligation Equality Greed Ego Principle Consequence Integrity Personal Autonomy Desert: Reward or punishment that is deserved. The fact of deserving well: merit, virtueDesert: Reward or punishment that is deserved. The fact of deserving well: merit, virtue

3. Relativism, Cultural and Moral Norman Bowie Cultural Relativism Different cultures have ideas about ethical behavior Moral (ethical) Relativism What is “really right or wrong” is completely determined by the culture in which a person lives Cultural Imperalism - Sexual HarassmentCultural Imperalism - Sexual Harassment

4. CRITICISM OF MORAL RELATIVISM A culture thinking something is moral does not make it moral (slavery) It is not consistent with moral language which tends to be absolute All cultures tend to believe in universal principles There are no separate cultures (Bosnia, Somalia, Cambodia) Cultural traditions are bounded by physical laws (outlawing sex)

5. Dealing with ethical and cultural relativism The counter-point to relativism is: something is wrong since there is a wide variety of other beliefs and values contrary to the action. As an example sexual harassment is wrong because it is contrary to: people should be treated with equal respect, people should be free from coercion and threats, self-respect is good, loss of dignity is harmful.

6. Remember: “Accepting a deplorable situation as least harmful of the alternatives is not the same as accepting it as ethically valid.” “Tolerating diverse opinions and values is not the same as ethical relativism.

7. Utilitarianism – Consequentialist Hobbes, Hume, Adam Smith, Bentham, John Stuart Mills Can determine if act is good or bad based on the outcome (consequences of the act) Maximizing the overall good – “greatest good for the greatest number” Constructed as a counter-point to authoritarian policies that aimed to benefit the political elite. Thus the foundation of representative democracy.

8. Other Utilitarian perspectives Happiness is the ultimate good Utilitarians judge action not as happiness of the individual but the general or overall good Happiness is beyond the physical (hedonism) but also experiences of social and intellectual pleasure (Betham)

9. The Utilitarian Calculus Educated citizenry with freedom to pursue their own ends who make decisions through majority-rule democracy = a society that maximizes the happiness for the greatest number of people

10. Preference Utilitarianism – The foundation for market economies Because of limited resources people must rank order their wants. They then enter the market and are free to bargain in an open, free and competitive market environment. Thus competition among rational and self-interested individuals will continuously work to promote the greatest overall good

11. The Hedonist Calculus How do we quantify pleasure? Gross national product

12. The Utilitarian doctrines in business Deregulation of private industry Protection of personal property rights Allow for free exchange of goods and services Encourage competition “Allow the invisible hand of the market to work (Adam Smith) This even allows people to take risks and thus make more

13. Deontological (Duty) We will not use people as a means to an end Individuals have rights that should not be sacrificed simply to produce a net increase in the collective good – ethical rights which are basic to all individuals We have duties ( also defined as obligations, commitments or responsibilities) Child Labor from a deontological perspective cannot be support. It is simply wrong on principleChild Labor from a deontological perspective cannot be support. It is simply wrong on principle

14. KANT’S CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE A person should act that the principle of one’s act could become a universal law of human action in a world in which one would hope to live. A person should treat other people as having intrinsic value, and not merely as a means to achieve one’s end. People should not be treated as objects but as subjects

15. Rights Talk Want is a psychological state of the individual Wants get translated into interest work for that person’s benefit and are connected to what is good for the person Right are so important to well being of the individual that they should not be sacrificed to increase the overall good. Right override the collective will

16. Basic Human Rights Freedom to make our own choices Equal treatment (or consideration)

17. Virtue Ethics Ethics requires us, at least at times, to act for the well-being of others. It asks to define the virtues that lead to a life that is full, satisfying , meaningful, enriched and worthy. This is called “character” and is the emotional (affective) side of humans. Character is shaped while young by parents, schools, church, friends, and society. As adults it is modifies by workplace

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