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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