BUS 303 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Alasdair Macintyre, Deontological Ethics

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Ch. 3 – The Futility of Grand Principles
- grand principles too general & tend to float above problems
 often contradict each other
CREDOS & MISSION STATEMENTS
- biggest problem of corporate credos: too vague
- most credos & mission statements are short yet must cover multitude of situations
 cannot provide much guidance for countless varied, complex situations
 vague b/c try to simplify what is inescapably complex
- mostly only help w/ right vs. wrong situations, not so much right vs. right
LEGAL DUTIES
- basic legal duties for businesses = increase its profits
- maximizing profits for shareholders does little justice to other stakeholders
THE ETHICS MACHINE
- philosophers tried to find universal, objective principle to solve ethics problems,
create “morality machine” to feed all our problems into
 Alasdair MacIntyre “Enlightenment Project”
- project actually created several diff theories of ethics, each claiming to be objective
& universal
 utilitarian & deontological
ETHICS AS AN ELECTRIFIED FENCE
- cannot just forget about grand principles
1) clarify fundamental issues at stake in a practical problem
2) essential for understanding diff b/t right & wrong, good & evil
 serve as an electrified fence that separates sphere of right actions
from surrounding territory of wrong ones
WARM AND BREATHING TRUTHS
- grand principles cold & impersonal
- “warm & breathing truth” = a belief that will animate & shape their lives
- “sleep-test ethics” = if ppl can sleep well after making difficult ethical decision, they
have probably made the right choice
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