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Conclusion

  • Norman Barry
Chapter
  • 56 Downloads

Abstract

The argument of this book has been addressed to some of the claims of business ethics as that is conventionally understood; and indeed taught in business schools and philosophy departments. The idea seems to be that the activity of business is essentially morally neutral (or even in certain respects immoral) and that ethical value must be imposed from outside the activity itself. Business must meet certain external criteria, derived from moral philosophy if it is to be legitimate. It is not normally accepted that there is a morality that is intrinsic to business itself; an ethic that drives from the virtues of free exchange, valid claims to property and the sanctity of contract The values that are implicit here are thought to be insufficient for a genuine business morality.

Keywords

Business Ethic Moral Philosophy American Business Valid Claim Business Agent 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Wilhelm Röpke, A Humane Economy (London: Wolff, 1960) p. 125.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alfred Müller-Armack, who coined the phrase’ social market economy’, was a significant figure in the theoretical and practical reorientation of the German market system. For a discussion of this, see N. Barry, ‘The Political and Economic Thought of German Neo-Liberalism’, in A. Peacock and H. Willgerodt (eds), Germany Neo-Liberals and the Social Market Economy (London: Macmillan, 1989) pp. 107–9.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    D. Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, ed. H. Aiken (New York: Macmillan, 1948) Book III, pp. 61–2.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Richard Epstein, Simple Rules for a Complex World (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995) p. 75.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Norman Barry 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Barry

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