Practices, Governance, and Politics: Applying MacIntyre’s Ethics to Business

Business Ethics Quarterly 24 (2):229-249 (2014)
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Abstract

This paper argues that attempts to apply Alasdair MacIntyre’s positive moral theory to business ethics are problematic, due to the cognitive closure of MacIntyre’s concept of a practice. I begin by outlining the notion of a practice, before turning to Moore’s attempt to provide a MacIntyrean account of corporate governance. I argue that Moore’s attempt is mismatched with MacIntyre’s account of moral education. Because the notion of practices resists general application I go on to argue that a negative application, which focuses on regulation, is more plausible. Large-scale regulation, usually thought antithetical to MacIntyre’s advocacy of small-scale politics, has the potential to facilitate practice-based work and reveals that MacIntyre’s own work can be used against his pessimism about the modern order. Furthermore, the conception of regulation I defend can show us how management is more amenable to ethical understanding than MacIntyre’s work is often taken to imply.

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Matthew Sinnicks
University of Southampton

References found in this work

Nicomachean ethics. Aristotle - 1999 - New York: Clarendon Press. Edited by Michael Pakaluk. Translated by Michael Pakaluk.
Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior.John M. Doris - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Humanizing Business.Geoff Moore - 2005 - Business Ethics Quarterly 15 (2):237-255.

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