October 31, 2010
Ethical Issues in Business and Accounting
The business and accounting worlds are full of ethical dilemmas and scandals. The works of great philosophers of the past can be directly applied to current situations in today’s business and accounting ethical situations. David Hume is one of the philosophers whose works could be applied to the business world today.
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher. Hume introduced the moral philosophy known as metaethics. Metaethics refers to the study of moral language and its meaning. (Gaffikin, 2007.) Metaethics focuses on the following questions:
* semantic questions such as the meaning of moral terms such as good, right and ought; * logical questions such as the (syllogistic) validity of moral arguments; * ontological questions such as the existence of moral facts; and * epistemological questions such as the possibility of moral knowledge and, if so, the scope of such knowledge Hume felt that although moral beliefs hold meaning they are not logical thought. According to Hume morals are psychological thoughts and can’t be taught.
Hume’s theory regarding morals can be tied to the business world in many ways. The most prominent of these would be an organizations decision to hire someone with a history of less than reputable behavior in hope that the person has learned the error of their ways. According to Hume, this person cannot be reformed, as moral behavior can’t be taught.
David Hume also believed that the products and services of a nation are the true measure of the nation’s wealth. Hume was a staunch supporter of the Quantity Theory. He felt that money was not the most important factor in the business world, but rather a tool that allows business operation to run more smoothly. Hume’s theory taught that low interest rates were a result of a strong economy rather than an abundance of funds available for lending. (Unknown,...