Kantian Business Ethics

Kantian Business Ethics

Critical Perspectives

Edited by Denis G. Arnold and Jared D. Harris

In this original collection of essays, a group of distinguished scholars critically examine the ethical dimensions of business using the Kantian themed business ethics of Norman E. Bowie as a jumping off point. The authors engage Bowie’s influential body of scholarship as well as contemporary themes in business, including topics such as: the normative foundations of capitalism; the applicability of Kantian ethics, virtue ethics, and pragmatism in normative business ethics; meaningful work; managerial ethics; the ethics of high leverage finance capitalism; business ethics and corporate social responsibility; and responsibility for the natural environment. The contributors to this volume include both scholars sympathetic to Bowie’s Kantian business ethics and scholars critical of that perspective.

Chapter 11: A Reply to My Critics

Norman E. Bowie

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, corporate social responsibility

Extract

Norman E. Bowie With thanks to my colleagues and friends. I am deeply honored that two of my former students have organized this festschrift and I deeply appreciate the contributions that my colleagues and friends have made to this volume. Each person writing for this volume is engaged in major research projects of his or her own. I realize that everyone needed to take time off from their own important work to contribute to this volume. I have read each piece carefully and I appreciate all of the comments, including critical ones. As a matter of fact I am persuaded by a number of these critical comments and my own future work will be taking them into account. I am also pleased that several of the contributors have extended the Kantian project, bringing Kantian insights into other areas of business that I have not considered. 1. HOW TO APPROACH BUSINESS ETHICS Richard De George points out correctly how much my thinking about business ethics has been influenced by management and topics of interest to management theorists. De George is certainly correct in pointing out the weaknesses that come with this affiliation. He is also correct in pointing out that there has been a lack of interest in the evaluation of capitalism itself – a lack of interest in evaluation at the systemic level. Recently that has begun to change, in part because of the influence of European business ethics scholars affiliated with Business Ethics Quarterly (BEQ). Over this past decade, I...

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