Business ethics and virtue
Robert C. SOLOMON
Business Ethics is characterized by 3 main concepts relative to actions : principles of action, the action itself and the consequences of the action. The views over those 3 concepts is separated between the deontologists- who focus on the principles of the action and their universal justifications inherent to any human being- and the utilitarians -who focus on the consequences of actions. However, the concept of “virtue ethics” was not covered by those two parties. It focuses on another aspect of the action which is the person who is acting and her character. Moderate version says that virtue ethics fills the traditional moral theory with an essential element of our moral life. For Aristotle, virtue is the “Golden mean”. It means that virtue is the desirable middle between two extremes, it is about using moderation while choosing the right action. Then he thought virtue ethics is acquired by established tradition, culture, in other words he thought relativism is part of virtue ethics. He also thought those different virtues do not come into conflict “Good person has them all”p31. On the contrary, Nietzsche had a non-relativist approach of virtue ethics and saw it as both a characteristic found in every one as human beings and a unique variable between people. To Nietzsche that is why virtues can enter into conflict from one person to another. Virtue ethicists argue that settlements of established ways of doing things is essential to ethics. It means that virtue in a sense is a shared understanding of pre-established rules. Everyone who act in the same situation understands the objective and knows the way to reach it. The practice then is the element enabling people to manage using the way of acting. The practice is the virtue. The action can not be well done without practice. To me this would assume that virtues can be improved. Furthermore, virtue ethicists argue that there...
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