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3_January 25+27.doc

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Brock University
Thomas Mulligan

Monday, Jan 25: A First Look at The Nature of Business and Its Place in Society Important concepts: - Business Ethics: The study of moral right and wrong ( actions) and of moral good and evil ( result) as they apply to business actions and to the result of business actions. - Business as a game - Thesis: The author’s position/point/conclusion (what he’s trying to prove) o May be told in the beginning, end or not directly at all o Every position paper entails a thesis Argument: Example 1: A good argument (valid) 1: Socrates was a greek male (T) A is B (Premise) 2: All Greek males were human beings (T) All Bs are Cs (Premise) 3: Therefore, Socrates was a guman being A is C(Conclusion)  ‘Greek male’ is the bridge  The conclusion follows from the premises: If the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true Example 2: A bad argument (non-sequitur) 1: Einstein was a European (T) 2: All Europeans are human beings (T) 3: All human beings are intelligent (T) 4: Therefore, Einstein was an exceptionally intelligent human being  The conclusion (4) does not follow from the premises (‘exceptionally’) Example 3: Another bad argument 1. Einstein was a European (T) 2. All Europeans are exceptionally stupid human beings (F) 3. Therefore, Einstein was an exceptionally stupid human being (F)  In any of the premises is false, then the conclusion has not been proven Example 4: Argument containing a contradiction S. 59ff: Albert Z. Carr – Is Business Bluffing Ethical? SUMMARY OF CARR'S ARGUMENT 1. PREMISE: BUSINESS HAS THE IMPERSONAL CHARACTER OF A GAME. (p. 60)  Anagolizes business as game; Question: Is business unreal? (p. 63)  rules are laws set by government: Ethics embodied in law; are there more rules one should obey? 2. PREMISE: IN SITUATIONS WHICH HAVE THE IMPERSONAL CHARACTER OF A GAME, BLUFFING AND LYING ARE EXPECTED (see p. 59 ‘expected’, p. 60 ‘negotiating rules’).  Example: Poker  in games you don’t need to reveal all you know 3. CONCLUSION: THEREFORE, IN BUSINESS LYING IS JUSTIFIED. p. 59: ‘the ethics of business are game ethics’  THESIS p. 60: ‘He was a subscriber...’: is it ethical to hide political orientation by intentionally hiding subscribed magazines? ‘This man was 58...’: Is it ethical to lie about own age?  Is it a lie within the accepted rules of a business culture?  Non-sequitur: author goes from being ‘expected’ to being ‘justified’ (not the same: only because you expect someone to behave a certain way, his/her behaviour is not justified Questions: 1. Is this a satisfactory summary of the argument? 2. Is this argument a non-sequitur? Wednesday January 27/2010: Two Separate Topics: (1) Defining business ethics, and (2) two "opposite poles" in political/economic thought Defining business ethics (cont’d) - Moral agents in business: ‘3 levels’ 1. Individual Business Person 2. Organization(al behavior) 3. System – Political/Economic (e.g. questioning whether Capitalism is a good system) - More concerning intentions and results in ethics and law (sometimes called motives and consequences) Both, intentions and results, are considered when legal judgements are made considering someone’s behavior Example: 1) Hitting someone by car and killing them a) unintentionally b) only meant to scare them – did not expect that outcome c) planning the murder over a longer period of time  result is always the same but intention is different  different legal judgements made and 2) Planning to murder someone but not succeeding  same intention like 1c) but different result  different legal judgement  idea of intention result carried into law Capitalism and socialism, market and command economies, right- wing and left-wing social/political views - Capital: Any kind of wealth (e.g. money, property) which can be used to produce more wealth - 3 kinds of trade: Home trade, foreign trade, carrying trade - Self-interest - ‘Invisible hand’ Political Economy: TWO POLITICAL/ECONOMIC SYSTEMS MARKET ECONOMY: AN ECONOMIC SYSTEM IN WHICH PRICES ARE SET BY SUPPLY AND DEMAND FOR GOODS AND SERVICES • Other names: o Pure capitalism o "Laissez-faire" capitalism o Free enterprise o ‚Right-wing’ • Associated with CONSERVATISM (in North America) In Europe, (neo)liberalism used to describe market economy) COMMAND ECONOMY: AN ECONOMIC SYSTEM IN WHICH PRICES FOR GOODS AND SERVICES ARE SET BY AN EXTERNAL AUTHORITY (USUALLY THE GOVERNMENT) (associated with ‘left-wing’) • Many degrees: o Governm
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