Virtue and Vice Attributions in the Business Context: An Experimental Investigation
- 353 Downloads
Recent findings in experimental philosophy have revealed that people attribute intentionality, belief, desire, knowledge, and blame asymmetrically to side-effects depending on whether the agent who produces the side-effect violates or adheres to a norm. Although the original (and still common) test for this effect involved a chairman helping or harming the environment, hardly any of these findings have been applied to business ethics. We review what little exploration of the implications for business ethics has been done. Then, we present new experimental results that expand the attribution asymmetry to virtue and vice. We also examine whether it matters to people that an effect was produced as a primary or side-effect, as well as how consumer habits might be affected by this phenomenon. These results lead to the conclusion that it appears to be in a businessperson’s self-interest to be virtuous.
KeywordsAttributions Knobe effect Side-effect Side-effect effect Vice Virtue
- Alfano, M., Beebe, J., & Robinson, B. (2012). The centrality of belief and reflection in Knobe effect cases: A unified account of the data. The Monist, 95(2), 246–289.Google Scholar
- Sripada, C. S. (2011). What makes a manipulated agent unfree? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2011.00527.x.
- Swint, B. (2010, November 2). BP profit drops after taking further charge on gulf spill. Bloomberg. Retreived from http://www.bloomberg.com/.
- Thomson, J. J. (1971). A defense of abortion. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 1(1), 47–66.Google Scholar
- Williams, B. (2010). Nightly news with Brian Williams. Retried from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#39858528.
- Zagzebski, L. (1996). Virtues of mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Zhang, Z., & Wang, L. (2009). BMEM: bootstrap mediation analysis using EM algorithm, Version 4.0. Retried from http://bmem.psychstat.org.