Porportionalist reasoning in business ethics
AbstractProportionalist reasoning, found in the Aristo telian Just War theory, moderates the means taken by reference to the intended (moral) end. However, judging acts by their conformity or otherwise to one normative moral end might, in a liberal society, seem an imposition. Against this objection, I argue, with Spaemann, that values associated with the culture of commerce and its ethical theories are a breakaway from the culture of commitment and virtue that is the only possible framework for ethical reasoning. This commitment is unpacked by MacIntyre through the idea of a social practice and its internal goods. Applied to business, it is work itself, normatively conceived, that is the key internal good.
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