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Business ethics and philosophical pragmatism

  • Robert E. Frederick
  • Edward S. PetryJr.
Article

Abstract

Today it is common for business people to refer to themselves as pragmatists. There is, however, at least one significant difference between business pragmatism and traditional philosophical pragmatism: the attitude towards ethics. In this paper we discuss several approaches business pragmatists have taken toward ethics in business. We then describe the approach taken by one philosophical pragmatist, William James. We conclude that, pragmatically speaking, philosophical pragmatism is the superior view.

Keywords

Business Ethic Business People Philosophical Pragmatism Approach Business Superior View 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Bird, Frederick B., and James A. Waters. 1989. “The Moral Muteness of Managers.”California Management Review Fall.Google Scholar
  2. The Business Roundtable. 1988.Corporate Ethics: A Prime Business Asset February: 9–10.Google Scholar
  3. Friedman, Milton. 1990. “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.”Business Ethics: Readings and Cases in Corporate Morality. Ed. W. Michael Hoffman and Jennifer Mills Moore. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  4. Hoffman, W. Michael. 1990. “The Ford Pinto.”Business Ethics: Readings and Cases in Corporate Morality. Ed. W. Michael Hoffman and Jennifer Mills Moore. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
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  6. —. 1979. “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life.”The Will to Believe, The Works of William James. Ed. Frederick H. Burkhardt, Fredson Bowers, and Ingas K. Skrupskelis. Cambridge: Harvard UP.Google Scholar
  7. Suckiel, Ellen Kappy. 1982.The Pragmatic Philosophy of William James. Notre Dame: Notre Dame UP.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Iona College 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Frederick
    • 1
  • Edward S. PetryJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Business EthicsBentley CollegeWaltham
  2. 2.Center for Business EthicsBentley CollegeWaltham

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