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Philosophy 2074F/G
Katy Fulfer

Amartya Sen – “Does Business Ethics Make Economic Sense?” 2. Exchange, Production and Distribution Adam smith – the butcher, the brewer and the baker  “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love”  The butcher, brewer and baker want our money, and we want their products, and the exchange benefits us all o Sen believes this is a limited claim o We have to ask:  1. Did smith think that economic operations and business activities consist only of exchanges of this kind?  2. Even in the context of exchange, we have to question: Did Smith think that the result would be just as good if the businesses involved, driven by self-interest, were to try to defraud the consumers, or the consumers in question were to attempt to swindle the sellers? o The butcher-brewer-baker simplicity does not carry over to problems of production and distribution, nor to the problem as to how a system of exchange can flourish institutionally o The BBB discussion is all about “motivation for exchange” 3. Organization and Exchange: Rules and Trust  BBB example o If he cannot trust the householder, the baker may have difficulty in proceeding to produce bread to meet orders, or in delivering bread without prepayment. o And the householder may not be certain whether he would be sensible in relying on the delivery of the ordered bread if the baker is not always altogether reliable  Third World Countries – lack of trust/confidence in the moral behaviour of particular groups of traders  The need for business ethics is quite strong even in the field of exchange o Despite the BBB motivation of “regard for their own interest” 4. Organization of Production: Firms and Public Goods  Japan – no-profit motivations underlying many economic and business
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