Price Gouging

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 171
  • Published : February 12, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
PRICE GOUGING

IMMORAL, IRRESPONSIBLE OR FULLY JUSTIFIED BEHAVIOUR???

By
Alicja Weiss

Abstract: Price gouging arises when, in the wake of a disaster, retailers roughly increase their prices for basic commodities to gain more revenue. The majority of people believe that price gouging is immoral others that it is a fully justified behaviour. The rationale of this document is to investigate a quantity of issues surrounding price gouging, and to argue that the widespread ethical criticism of it is for the most part incorrect. I will also attempt to illustrate price gouging from philosophical views of Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.

Introduction

Prices for critical goods are expected to rise when a disaster strikes. Price gouging is not legally prohibited but it is generally thought to be immoral and exploitive. The rationale of this document is to investigate a quantity of issues surrounding price gouging, and to argue that the widespread ethical criticism of it is for the most part incorrect. I will make this argument in four steps: 1) explaining the difference in philosophical views between Immanuel Kent and Aristotle, 2) clarifying The Moral Status of Laws Against Price Gouging 3) clarifying The Moral Status of Laws Against Price Itself 4) presenting ethics of Price Gouging.

Difference in philosophical views between Immanuel Kent and Aristotle

The basic philosophy of Aristotle opposed to the contemporary ideas of Immanuel Kant created a good competition for the most intriguing analysis of the human good. Nevertheless, after studying each philosopher's beliefs, Kant's view spoke about the good in a collective sense throughout the unconditional imperatives of man, on the other hand Aristotle stated that, "Happiness, then, is something final and self-sufficient, and is the end of action."(Nicomachean Ethics, 1999) In his book “Nicomachean Ethics” Aristotle invited the reader to give an explanation of what he believed is good. Aristotle listed various frequent examples such as having friends, experiencing pleasure, being healthy, and so on. Aristotle supplemented his disagreement by reaching to the origin of every good action. He observed that if a man kept questioning different actions he reasoned as good, he would discover that every good action lead to some shape of happiness. Aristotle characterised the utmost good as "eudemonia" or happiness. To accomplish eudemonia, man is required to develop virtue within in his life. Aristotle explained virtue as the tendency and willingness to perform with distinction in every situation. It is the constant virtuous activity over the duration of man's life that will reach eudemonia.

In opposition, in “Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals” (Kant, 2002) Kant declared, "A good will is good not because of what it effects or accomplishes, nor because of its fitness to attain some proposed end; it is good only through its willing, i.e., it is good in itself". Good will is the law on which the utmost ethics rest, letting man to conclude actions with the most moral worth, “…good will appears to constitute the indispensable condition even of the worthiness to be happy” (Kant, 2002). Kant alleged good will is the only entity that is actually good in itself and not a product of anything else.

Kant wrote: “The Formula of Universal Law: Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law’’ (G 4:421; cf. G 4:402)” (Kant, 2002). His reasoning being everyone makes their own happiness but at the same time if the action can be applied collectively to all humans, then the action would understandably be believed as a good.

Immanuel Kant would oppose to Aristotle's idea of the good through Aristotle's meaning of virtue. Kant would declare that if a man is excessively honest in every situation, just to reach the mean of his actions, he would need to lie. Therefore the consequence of these actions...
tracking img