A Nietzschean re-evaluation of values as a way of re-imagining business ethics

Business Ethics 28 (2):234-242 (2019)
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Whereas a range of business and management scholars have argued that business is in an ethical crisis, Nietzsche makes it possible to see that it is ethics itself that is in crisis, and that only as the crisis in ethics is dealt with can ethics in specific areas such as business be addressed. Nihilism is the name that Nietzsche gives to the crisis in ethics. The failure to fully appreciate nihilism and its pervasiveness as the root cause of the problem, as evident in the perpetual quest to obliterate nihilism through the creation of ethical frameworks and foundations, has plunged business and ethics scholarship in the field, ever deeper in the quagmire of nihilism. In response to nihilism, Nietzsche offers a re‐evaluation of all values. To re‐evaluate all values means to accept nihilism and see it as a basis for questioning taken for granted assumptions that have supported the notion of ethics or values in order to re‐imagine an ethics which is responsive to the crisis of nihilism. The paper thus proposes that rather than trying to invent new ethics or ethical foundations, or figuring out “how” to be ethical, we need to turn our attention on the “why to be” of ethics.



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Payman Tajalli
Macquarie University (PhD)

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References found in this work

After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Samuel Scheffler - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (3):443.
Beyond Good and Evil.Friedrich Nietzsche & Helen Zimmern - 1908 - International Journal of Ethics 18 (4):517-518.
Ethical Decision-Making Theory: An Integrated Approach.Mark S. Schwartz - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 139 (4):755-776.
Nietzsche on Morality.Brian Leiter - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):729-740.

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