Essay on Virtue Ethics and Business Ethics

1949 Words 8 Pages
Virtue Ethics and Business Ethics

When considering Aristotelian ethics and then placing them in the context of modern business practices, it is important to note that the Greek paradigm was very different to that of our own in the modernist age. Homer’s Greek myths, imminent wars and conflicts and empires were all important issues in Greek times, society however does not place such emphasis on these in today’s society. The concept of strong bonds in a community where individuals must dutifully care for one another is not integral in today’s society especially in a more capitalist society upon which the western world works and flourishes. Individuals in a community can live without the obligation
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Moreover, Aristotle’s ethics could be applied to the issue of the exploitation of workers which is can be sometimes seen in less economically developed countries where locals are ‘exploited’ by multi national corporations and are paid minimal amounts relative to the equivalent job in the country where the company is based (usually a developed country). This would offend Aristotle’s ethics because of the exploitation of humans. Aristotle’s moral virtue is based upon the idea of a state of character that allows us to operate as an effective and good human being. Hence, exploitation is not choosing the good and is not choosing well and furthermore, is not being virtuous. Aristotle would argue that appropriate business conduct would be to avoid excess, an excess of money being a good example. In the same way, a deficiency of money or trade for example would be equally negative. He would believe in his Doctrine of the Mean – where through reason and trial and error, an appropriate amount of money could be brought about as to not have either a deficiency or an excess. Furthermore, those businessmen who are not ‘prudent’ should emulate those who are and try to emulate them. Aristotle would argue that when we speak of ‘flourishing’ that we should have the drive to do what will benefit oneself and one’s character. Therefore, for Aristotle, by giving to

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