Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 106, Issue 3, pp 313–324

For-Profit Business as Civic Virtue


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-011-0998-3

Cite this article as:
Brennan, J. J Bus Ethics (2012) 106: 313. doi:10.1007/s10551-011-0998-3


According to the commonsense view of civic virtue, the places to exercise civic virtue are largely restricted to politics. In this article, I argue for a more expansive view of civic virtue, and argue that one can exercise civic virtue equally well through working for or running a for-profit business. I argue that this conclusion follows from four relatively uncontroversial premises: (1) the consensus definition of “civic virtue”, (2) the standard, most popular theory of virtuous activity, (3) a conception of the common good widely shared by liberal political philosophers, and (4) the mainstream economic theory of for-profit business.


Civic virtue Civic republicanism Extrapolitical conception of civic virtue For-profit business 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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