17th and 18th centuries by writers of manifestos such as the Declaration of

17th and 18th centuries by writers of manifestos such

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17th and 18th centuries by writers of manifestos (such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights), who were anxious to protect individuals against the encroachments of monarchical governments. Positive rights became important in the 20th century when society increasingly took it on itself to provide its members with the necessities of life that they were unable to provide for themselves. There are other rights as well. Those most closely connected to business activity are contractual rights, sometimes called special rights and duties or special obligations. These rights attach only to specific individuals, and the duties they give rise to attach only to specific individuals. In addition, they arise out of specific transactions between parties and depend upon a pre-existing public system of rules. Without the institution of contracts, modern businesses could not exist. There are four ethical rules governing contracts: 1. Both parties to a contract must have full knowledge of the nature of the agreement. 2. Neither party must intentionally misrepresent the facts. 3. Neither party must be forced to enter the contract. 4. The contract must not bind the parties to an immoral act. Generally, a contract that violates one or more of these conditions is considered void. One of the most powerful groundings for moral rights (and therefore the ethical rules governing contracts) comes from Immanuel Kant. His principle, called the categorical imperative, requires that everyone be treated as a free and equal person. It states, "I ought never to act
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Business Ethics –MGT610 VU © Copyright Virtual University of Pakistan 20 except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law." A maxim , according to Kant, is the reason a person has for doing what he plans to do. Therefore, an action is morally right if the person's reason for doing it is a reason he would be willing to have every person in a similar situation act upon. For Kant: “An action is morally right for a person in a certain situation if, and only if, the person's reason for carrying out the action is a reason that he or she would be willing to have every person act on, in any similar situation .”
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