Hume’s Theory of Business Ethics Revisited

Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2):163-174 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Hume’s examination of the conventions of property, trade, and contract addresses the moral foundations that make business possible. In this light, Hume’s theory of justice is also a foundational work in business ethics. In Hume’s analysis of these conventions, both philosophers and game theorists have correctly identified “proto” game-theoretic elements. One of the few attempts to offer a Humean theory of business ethics rests on this game-theoretic interpretation of Hume’s argument. This article argues that game-theoretic reasoning is only one part of a Humean business ethics and this can be shown by further analyzing Hume’s theory of justice. As we examine his theory, it becomes clear that Hume is not trying to show how it is always rational to respect the rules of business. Hume is not engaging in, or attempting, a reconciliation project and neither is a Humean business ethics. The final section of the article is a brief Humean analysis of the effectiveness of codes of ethics. The purpose of this section is not to decide the issue but to show how a Humean approach is both useful, relevant, and involves more than reconciling rationality and morality.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,594

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Looking for Answers in All the Wrong Places.Earl W. Spurgin - 2004 - Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (2):293-313.
Hume’s Game-Theoretic Business Ethics.Peter Vanderschraaf - 1999 - Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (1):47-67.
Hume and Humeans on Practical Reason.Michelle Mason - 2005 - Hume Studies 31 (2):347-378.
Humean Pleasures Reconsidered.Stephen D. Hudson - 1975 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 5 (4):545 - 562.
Was Hume a Humean?Elijah Millgram - 1995 - Hume Studies 21 (1):75-94.
Hume’s Projectivist Legacy for Environmental Ethics.Paul Haught - 2006 - Environmental Ethics 28 (1):77-96.
Hume and Mutual Advantage.John Salter - 2012 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (3):302-321.
Business and Game-Playing: The False Analogy. [REVIEW]Daryl Koehn - 1997 - Journal of Business Ethics 16 (12-13):1447-1452.

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-12-08

Downloads
60 (#196,041)

6 months
2 (#278,494)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Two Concepts of Rules.John Rawls - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (1):3-32.
Wittgenstein on rules and private language.Saul A. Kripke - 1982 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 173 (4):496-499.

View all 46 references / Add more references