Table of Contents

The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good

The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited by Kleio Akrivou and Alejo José G Sison

The evolution of modern capitalist society is increasingly being marked by an undeniable and consistent tension between pure economic and ethical ways of valuing and acting. This book is a collaborative and cross-disciplinary contribution that challenges the assumptions of capitalist business and society. It ultimately reflects on how to restore benevolence, collaboration, wisdom and various forms of virtuous deliberation amongst all those who take part in the common good, drawing inspiration from European history and continental philosophical traditions on virtue.

Chapter 14: Reflections on the concept of the common good from an economic perspective

Mark Casson

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


This chapter provides an economist’s perspective, discussing some of the strategic problems that arise in an organization or society where different members have different ideological perspectives. It considers how far values of tolerance and debate can prevail in the presence of strong commitments to opposing opinions. In particular, it considers critically, in the light of the previous chapters, whether an ethic based on the common good is of any help. The chapter argues that some ideologies cannot accommodate dissent better than others because they provide opportunities for dissenters to contribute constructively to the welfare of others. Other ideologies, by contrast, encourage critics to become disruptive. The chapter concludes by considering some practical applications of this analysis.

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