Experimental economics as a method for normative business ethics

Business Ethics 24 (supplement S1):41-53 (2015)
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Abstract

We advance the thesis that the method of experimental economics can make significant contributions to normative, as opposed to descriptive, business ethics. We contend that there are two basic ways in which experimental economics may make this contribution, and we exemplify these ways by pointing to experimental support of social contract theory as rational foundation for business ethics. These two ways are: (1) adding psychological realism; and (2) testing some quasi-empirical assumptions present in normative theory. In order to make good our methodological claim, we first describe the methodological rules of experimental economics, distinguishing this method from other behavioral business ethics approaches. We also contemplate the possible objection that empirical methods cannot bear on normative ethics because there is no way of bridging the gap between descriptive theory (how people behave) and normative theory (how people ought to behave).

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References found in this work

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Justice as fairness: a restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Morals by agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The emotional construction of morals.Jesse J. Prinz - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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