Aristotelean Approach to Business Ethics

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In his article, “An Aristotelean Approach to Business Ethics,” Robert Solomon argues that business should be viewed from the Aristotle way. He discusses that this view is not something very new but something that originated back to the ancient times. “What the Aristotelean approach promises is not something novel and scientific but an approach that is very staid and established and above all very human.” This approach differs from other philosophies that we have learned in class because it incorporates and combines one’s personal values and one’s business values. The one motive that every individual ought to aim for is something that benefits the community. The individuals and the businesses are part of the larger community, where individuals have to “strive to excel, to bring out what is best in ourselves and our shared enterprise.” Previously, Albert Carr separates personal ethics and business ethics; how one can follow the ‘golden rule’ in their personal life, but discard the gold rule in business and become game players whose ultimate goal is to win in business. The Aristotelean approach, on the other hand, argues that one should not pretend to separate personal ethics from business ethics. ‘The Bottom Line’ should not be the most important thing, but it is “ultimately one’s character, one’s integrity, that determines happiness.” Thus Solomon does not agree with Ayn Rand’s egoism approach of selfishness nor does he agree with being fully vested to a corporation’s or its shareholder’s interest. This is a lose-lose situation when trying to chose between profits and social responsibility. The Aristotelean approach is a win-win solution, where both the individual and the corporation is happy. So what is links an individual and society? It is the virtues. “The underlying assumption was that a person is who he or she is by virtue of his or her place and role in the community, by virtue of his or her actions and sense of judgment, bu virtue of his or her...
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