A Genealogy of Business Ethics: A Nietzschean Perspective

Journal of Business Ethics 84 (3):427-456 (2009)
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This article approaches the field of business ethics from a Nietzschean vantage point, which means explaining the weakness of the field by means of providing an etiological account of the values esteemed by the decadent business ethicists therein. I argue that such business ethicists have wandered from their immanent philosophical ground to act as scientists, business persons, and preaching-moralists as a way of evading their human self-contradictions. In actuality, this fleeing exacerbates them into a sickness of self-idolatry and selfloathing. I bring in Nietzsche's approach to the value of truth and his ascetic priest figure to get to the origin of this problem. Moreover, I attend throughout to delimiting the field of business ethics as that branch of ethics that can be taught in business schools. Indeed, the article itself is a movement in this direction, being inherently and intentionally philosophical



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