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Economics makes the incommensurable commensurable by money prices. On the other hand, there are varieties of goodness like the ethical that seem not to fit into the scale of prices of economics, but cannot be neglected in economizing. Ways of integrating ethics into economics must therefore be found. The aim of this book is the integration of the ethical discourse into the economic discourse about the economical and efficient. It investi§ gates into the structure of goodness. The contribution of this volume to the current debate in economic ethics and business ethics lies in its analysis of the different meanings of the good and in its reflection on the possibilities of implementing ethical goods into the practice of the economist and the manager of the firm. Its essays investigate the role of ethics in social and individual choice. They examine and compare the cultural determinants of the Western and the Japanese economies, their ethical and cultural foundations. They look into the principles of good management. How can the management incorporate human goods and consider the virtues of impartiality and of due consideration to the particular in its business practice? The book develops the idea of an ethical economizing in economics and of an ethical managing in business administration. The business of business is ethical business.



The Business of Business is Ethical Business Introduction

The Business of Business is Ethical Business Introduction

Economics makes the incommensurable commensurable by money prices. The numeraire of money allows economics to value the different kinds of goods in one scale. On the other hand, there are varieties of goodness that seem not to fit into the numeraire of economics. The ethical is constantly unfit for the scale of prices. It cannot be neglected, however, in considerations of economizing on the good. Therefore, ways of integrating ethics into economics must be found.
Peter Koslowski

Social and Individual choice: Utilitarianism and Beyond


Chapter 1. A Non-Utilitarian Interpretation of Pigou’s Welfare Economics

One of the major issues in contemporary moral and political philosophy is a controversy between utilitarianism and contractualism, or between utility and rights, which began with the publication of John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice. His contractarian theory of justice is a systematic alternative to utilitarianism or more generally any teleological theory.
Yuichi Shionoya

Chapter 2. The Impossibility of Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is the ideology of two tribes: a vast majority of academic economists, and a notable fraction of English-speaking philosophers. It enjoins one to maximize the sum of individuals’ “pleasures less pains”, or “utilitiesor “felicities”. Now, we will make clear that there is no entity, attached to individuals, that can meaningfully both (1) be subjected to an operation of addition, and (2) sufficiently “measure” individual happiness, pleasure, etc. Hence, utilitarianism strictly understood is simply meaningless. The various attempts one can imagine for making sense of it indeed turn out to fail when closely scrutinized. These attempts include casual empirical interindividual comparisons of “happiness” or “pleasure”, mathematically “separable” “social welfare functions”, and the justifications using uncertainty. Among the latter, the “Original Position” theory indeed delivers utilitarianism, but it is not a social ethical theory.
Serge-Christophe Kolm

Chapter 3. Goodness is Reducible to Betterness: The Evil of Death is the Value of Life

The methods of economics can contribute in many ways to the study of ethics. One way is that utility theory can help to analyse the structure of goodness.
John Broome

Ethical Economy and Cultural Economics


Chapter 4. Economy Bounded. Reflections About Peter Koslowski’s Program of Ethical Economy

Everybody talks about business ethics. There is no other sphere of ethical theory in which a relatively new field of discussion is opened with comparable quantitative force.1 In the face of serious ecological problems and in view of urgent questions about justice, but also because of the victory of economic imperatives over moral standards the need for business ethics is certainly not to be questioned. It is indeed ‘economy’ that appears to be the signature of the modern power of self-representation and of the progressive mastery of nature. But at the same time it is the experience of the limits of economy which indicates that “appassionated awareness of human finiteness” (Sloterdijk) that has put a definite end to any secular doctrine of salvation.
Jean-Pierre Wils

Chapter 5. Two Possible Approaches to the Building of Moral Standards in the Modern World

I shall begin with a twofold statement. (1) In our world, deficient in so many respects, people are in need of rules of behaviour, and these have to be based on value judgements, in other words, moral standards; in this world, the setting up of moral standards, while not totally impossible, is subject to a great deal of ambiguity and deception.
Philippe J. Bernard

Chapter 6. Hermeneutics of Culture and the Universality of Ethics: Beyond the Formalism and Culturalism of Economic Philosophy and Social Ethics

Economic Philosophy and Ethics, which have been totally neglected by the dominant paradigm of neoclassical economics, stand now at an inchoate stage. According to Peter Koslowski, in the postmodern age the economy, sciences and arts must be studied in the light of interpénétration among them, whereas in the modern age these areas used to be separately treated. Economic actions and institutions can no longer be understood simply in a quantitative-mathematical way, as neoclassical economics assumes. It is now necessary to introduce a qualitative-hermeneutical method into economics, so that one can understand the cultural role played in a given economic society. Indeed, the cultural study of economics, as Peter Koslowski advocates, may be regarded as a positive theory of Ethical Economy in distinction from a normative theory. But it seems to me that there is still plenty of room for discussion about the problem of to what degree cultural theory and ethical theory should overlap.
Naoshi Yamawaki

Managing the Good


Chapter 7. Human Goods in Ethical Business

Life in companies is not habitually conducive to reflection. Managers and decision-makers need their time, or so they think, for action and not for philosophy or reflection. In some cases, reflection can even be suspect: if you have time to think, you have nothing to do.
Michael Shanks

Chapter 8. Impartiality and Particularity in Business Ethics

Should you give a job to your son or daughter? Should you promote a friend over a stranger? Should you fire someone simply out of revenge? Should you hire somebody because they are good looking? Is hiring a divorced ex-spouse nepotistic? Should an honest but negative recommendation be written up for one’s best friend? Might race be a legitimate reason for hiring somebody?
F. Neil Brady


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