Reconciling Traditional Morality and the Morality of Competition

Business and Society Review 119 (2):207-219 (2014)


It is commonly believed that the moral norms of “everyday” or “traditional” morality apply uniformly in all business contexts. However, Joseph Heath has recently argued that this is not the case. According to Heath, the norms of everyday morality apply with respect to “administered” transactions, but not “market” transactions. Market transactions are, he argues, governed by a distinct, “adversarial” morality. In this essay, I argue that Heath’s attempt to show that competitive contexts are governed by a distinct, adversarial morality does not succeed. I then undertake the task of showing that, contrary to what is commonly thought, competitive actions can be reconciled with the norms of traditional morality.

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Adam D. Bailey
University of South Carolina

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Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.

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