Sunday, November 5, 2017

Short summary: Virtue ethics in business

Virtue ethics in business.  The idea of virtue ethics presupposes some end (happiness is the end of life for Aristotle), and so applying virtue ethics to business requires us to determine the end toward which business aims.  Adopting an Aristotelian approach, Robert Solomon argues that the main purpose of business is not merely to create wealth but to enable us to live the good life.  Thus, business is a matter of getting along with others, having a sense of self-respect, and taking pride in what we do.  Business, from an Aristotelian point of view, is essentially a communal activity in which people work together for a common good.  The virtues in business are those character traits that enable us to achieve this end of business.  For the most part, these are the character traits necessary for everyday life, but some exceptions must be made.  For example, honesty in business is compatible with a certain amount of concealment that is unacceptable in personal relations, and so the virtue of honesty must be redefined for the purposes of business.