Law-05b - Chapter 5 Business Ethics Ethical Theories Two...

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Chapter 5 Business Ethics
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Ethical Theories Two primary types of normative ethical theories: 1. Consequentialism 2. Deontology (aka Nonconsequentialism)
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Consequentialism Consequential: The morality of an action is determined solely by its consequences Good consequences - the underlying actions were right Bad consequences - the underlying action was wrong Two primary consequentialist theories: 1. Egoism 2. Utilitarianism
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Egoism Promoted by Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) An act is morally right to the extent that it promotes the actor’s long-term best interests Long term advantage is the sole standard for judging the appropriateness of any action. Actor can mean an individual or an organization.
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Egoism Misconceptions All egoists are hedonists Pursuit of pleasure may be one form of self interest, but it is not the only form Knowledge, power, wealth, self-actualization all constitute valid goals according to egoism Egoists never help others Egoists help others to the extent that it may benefit them in the future Benefits may be tangible or intangible
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Psychological Egoism Psychological egoism is a descriptive, not a normative theory All human beings are selfish by nature and thus all human actions are self-interested Even sacrificing one’s one life for another is ultimately selfish - avoiding guilt or in furtherance of some higher ideal Famous egoists include Glaucon (Plato’s brother), Thomas Hobbes, and Ayn Rand
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Law-05b - Chapter 5 Business Ethics Ethical Theories Two...

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