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Business Ethics MAN 3065 (Prof. Loubeau): Moral Philosophies and Values

Moral Philosophy

The specific principles or rules that people use to decide what is right or wrong

  • Moral philosophies are person-specific.

  • Moral philosophies provide guidelines for determining how to settle conflicts and optimize mutual benefit.

  • Moral philosophies direct businesspeople in formulating strategies and resolving ethical issues.

Goodness Theories

Goodness theories

  • Monists believe that only one thing is intrinsically good.

    • Exemplified by hedonism: One’s pleasure is the ultimate good

      • Qualitative hedonism

      • Quantitative hedonism

  • Pluralists believe that no one thing is intrinsically good.

  • Instrumentalists reject the idea that

    • Ends can be separated from the means that produce them;

    • Ends, purposes, or outcomes are intrinsically good in themselves.


Relativist Perspective

Relativist perspective: Individuals and groups derive definitions of ethical behavior subjectively from experience.

Value Orientation

Value Orientation

  • Economic value orientation: Associated with values that can be quantified by monetary means.

  • Idealism: A moral philosophy that places special value on ideas and ideals as products of the mind.

  • Realism: The view that an external world exists independently of our perception of it.

Obligation Theories

  • Obligation theories: Emphasize the means and motives by which actions are justified. Teleology and Deontology fall under obligation theories.

  • Teleology: Considers acts as morally right or acceptable if they produce a desired result.

  • Deontology: Moral philosophies that focus on the rights of individuals and on the intentions associated with a particular behavior.