The gap between economic rationality, as embedded in utility maximization, and ethical rationality, identified with a set of rules that prescribe the right course of action, has been a challenging issue for economists, philosophers, and business ethicists. Despite the difference and the noncompetition between a scientific economic approach of economics and business ethics, and a behavioral and philosophical one, we highlight the importance of the Aristotelian concept of prudence or phronesis applied to business activity. Phronesis allows for a conceptualization of (...) rationality that can be simultaneously applied to economics and ethics. It also allows conceiving the intrinsically ethical nature of economic rationality. This relationship requires an appropriate education and the intervention of the state. (shrink)
In this article I maintain the importance of the Aristotelian concept of prudence or phronesis applied to business ethics, distinguishing its meaning from Solomon and Hartman’s approaches to Aristotelian business ethics. Whereas Solomon stresses the value of perception of particulars and Hartman criticizes the incapacity of Aristotelian phronesis to dwell with the interests of others, I advocate that Aristotelian virtue ethics is important because the concept of phronesisdoes three things: (a) stresses the rational calculation and general principles or rules in (...) virtue ethics, in general, and business ethics, in particular; (b) provides a communal-based ethics principle; and c) offers us a clear comprehension about what calculation or reasoning is in ethics. (shrink)
Habermas maintains that neoliberalism precludes the building of a European demos and entails a regression towards the exclusionary but still democratic nation state. Although this article agrees with Habermas’s claim regarding the regressive impact of neoliberalism, it argues that this regression is best described as moving not towards an exclusionary but still democratic national people but rather towards an illiberal, anti-democratic nation state.