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Alienation in capitalist society


In a recent paper in this journal Charles B. Saunders et al. argue that corporations have no social responsibility regarding alienation in the workplace in that there is no significant degree of alienation in the workplace, at least in white collar and management level positions in corporate America.

Contrary to Saunders et al., this paper defines the concept of alienation. Having done that, it proceeds to show that the argument Saunders et al. make flounders on logical grounds. I conclude that Saunders et al. provide no evidence for the claim that alienation is lacking (in any degree) in corporate America.

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J. Angelo Corlett is a fellow in the Philosophy Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published papers in the Journal of Business Ethics, Business & Professional Ethics Journal, Public Affairs Quarterly and the American Psychologist. His areas of specialization are Social/Political Philosophy, Ethics and Value Theory. He is currently editing a book on Rawls and Nozick, and he is also doing research on analytical marxism. The former of these projects is funded by a research grant awarded to him by the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Corlett, J.A. Alienation in capitalist society. J Bus Ethics 7, 699–701 (1988).

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  • Economic Growth
  • Social Responsibility
  • Significant Degree
  • Management Level
  • White Collar