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Aristotelian Business Ethics: Core Concepts and Theoretical Foundations

  • George BraguesEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter offers an introductory overview of the key ideas and concerns of an Aristotelian business ethics. Based on a close reading of the Greek philosopher’s writings, we point out that an Aristotelian business ethics is fundamentally oriented around the quest for happiness or human flourishing. Behaving morally in business is about acting in ways that conduce to one’s authentic well-being. Using a dialectical mode of analysis involving the examination of prevailing opinions, Aristotle concludes that happiness consists of activity in accord with reason, a life devoted to the practice of the moral and intellectual virtues. As such, the pursuit of wealth characteristic of business life is properly limited to what is necessary to materially support those virtues. Aristotle suggests, too, that the virtues relevant to commerce require a supportive political framework. The peak expression of virtue attainable in business involves the undertaking of leadership roles.

Keywords

Aristotle Virtue theory Dialectics Happiness Human flourishing Good life Character Wealth Intellectual virtue Moral virtue Leadership 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Guelph-HumberTorontoCanada

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