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Final exam notes/Review Contents: 1) Four ethical theories and theories of justice 2) The regulations of profit-seeking 3) “Economic Efficiency and the Quality of life” 4) Brown – “Are profits deserved?” 5) Pros and cons of corporate loyalty 6) Busi

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PHIL 215
Ethan Wilding

1) Teleology (Virtue Ethics) a. An inquiry into purpose (founded by Aristotle) i. Achieving a goal, realizing an end, fulfilling a purpose b. Rationality (capacity for reason) i. “Be the best you can be” (for an individual’s actions) ii. Pursue our own well-being and flourishing c. Decision process i. What would a virtuous person do in my position? (Short term) ii. What are the resources and education I need to become such a person myself? (Long term) d. Criticisms i. Selfish (Focus on self-realization) ii. Optimistic (perfectibility) iii. Elitist (Hierarchical, conservatism, experts) iv. Vague (Emphasis on character) v. Unhelpful (coming to advice of wise expert) vi. Relativism (what is a good life varies in cultures) What is a flourishing life? - Pleasure - External goods (Financial resources, good upbringing, friends, just society, good looks) - Internal goods (Wisdom, Courage, Moderation, Justice/ Faith, hope, charity, love) 2) Deontology a. An Inquiry into duty i. Christianity (Ten commandments, the golden rule) ii. Kant 1. Universality Test a. One ethical and moral code for all b. Discoverable by reason c. Not sensitive to cultural diversity d. Would anyone veto of what you do? If so, NO! 2. Humanity Test a. Cannot use people to forward our own ends b. Human autonomy (People should have their rights) b. Decision process i. Which rule applies? Follow it. ii. Objective Duty vs. Subjective Intention c. Criticisms i. Interpretation of the universal rules (very generalized) ii. Artificial (people are the ones who set the rules) iii. Rule worship (unlike consequentialist: results are more important) 3) Consequentialism a. Consequences of our actions matter the most i. Objective Results driven (not subjective intentions) b. Utilitarianism i. “Greatest happiness for the greatest number” ii. Goal: to make the world a better place in a demonstrable and measurable way (Utility - to measure betterment) c. Decision Process i. Moral cost-benefit analysis (pleasures and pain) d. Criticisms i. Over-estimation of our capacity to predict consequences ii. Too demanding on individual (loss of personal priorities) iii. Intent is important (Intention can be terrible with good results) 4) Rights based a. An inquiry into Rights b. Decision process i. When I act, am I violating anyone’s rights? c. What is a right? A justified entitlement i. LEVEL 1: A claim to a set of objects ii. LEVEL 2: Minimally decent treatment 1. minimally good life (First  second generation rights) d. Criticisms i. Legalistic (following the rights) ii. Vagueness in meaning of rights iii. Lack of intent requirement (different with Deontology) Institutions of Justice (Government  Legal system, education, health care) Theories of Justice (Traditions of thought on how social institutions should be put together) 1) Conservatism a. Values i. Nationalist ii. Hesitancy about change iii. Pro attitude toward past iv. Would like the state to take positive action to preserve a certain way of life v. Social institutions should foster values transmitted over time to next generations b. Comfortable with the state intervening in issues of social morality c. Comfortable with inequality (politically, socially, legally) d. Concept of Justice i. Elite running institutions e. Influences i. Role of State in education (what should be taught) ii. Issues of marriage and sex iii. Against conservatism (industrial revolution, women enter workforce) 2) Classical liberalism a. Maximizing Personal freedom i. Negative freedom: freedom from obstacle b. Classical liberalism i. Minimal government intervention (“Night Watchman” State) ii. Want maximum economic freedom 1. Free trade 2. Free market 3. Minimal government intervention 4. Minimal taxation iii. Inequality is acceptable 1. Different wants, interests, and capacities = different rewards 2. Inequalities are the price of individual freedom iv. Not nationalist (“It’s all about me!”) v. Classical liberal = economic issues vs. social conservatism = social issues c. Welfare Liberalism i. Both personal freedom and equality are important (Government is in between those two values) ii. Both Negative freedom and positive freedom (freedom to do something) iii. Mixed economy & Government is not minimal 3) Socialism a. Born in industrial revolution i. Massive social problems (Disease, mental illness, violence, crime) b. More equality c. Massive government intervention but: i. government must be accessible to everyone ii. cannot be elitist in structure iii. effects of intervention must be fair iv. government must be involved in people’s lives Canadian Law and the regulations of profit-seeking - restricts profit-seeking from criminal enterprises o Narcotics, prostitution, fraud, use of intimidation, bribery of public official, insider trading (stocks: insiders would profit off the public) o Fraud: making false promises, not fulfilling contract  E.g. Security speculation: conscious use of deception to inflate the price of a stock (Stock skyrocket) o Unjust enrichment: monitor any windfall profit that look suspicious Jacobsen – “Economic Efficiency and the Quality of life” - Economy should be about quality of life o Reasonable affluence  To pursue further affluence costs quality of life (e.g. pollution)  Trade-off between amount of time worked and income o Psychologically we are satisficers not maximizers  Satisfied with a certain level of income o Agree Friedman’s argument  It’s not good to invest too much power in corporations that cannot be removed Brown – “Are profits deserved?” - Risk taking o Does risk taking deserve anything? o Successful handler of risk show prior acts of successfully managing in a socially useful way  superior skill creates incentives  consequences to society  can have perverse effects: oil and gas company hold the majority of the technology for solar energy  a profit created through a freely contractual process without violation to another’s rights is procedurally justified Pros and cons of corporate loyalty - Duska o does not agree with corporate loyalty (only appropriate to friends and family) o Team analogy (Get employees to give more to the company than is rational) - De George o Whistle-blowing is permissible  Seeks to prevent serious harm injury to life and limb  Inform superior but get no results  Exhaust all internal channels o Whistle-blowing is required  Documented evidence  Probability of success - James o Often getting evidence is extremely difficult o Puts the burden on the individual for what occurs afterwards o Main standard should be whether the issue will threaten the health and safety to public o Kinds of whistle-blowing  Internal vs. external  Personal vs. impersonal  Open vs. anonymous  Current vs. alumni Business v.s. professional codes - Codes of ethics in business o Intra-business code (one company) o Inter-business co
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