Casuistry and the Case for Business Ethics


If you put your ear to the ground of history and listen closely, you will hear a variety of ongoing conversations about the moral problems of everyday life. Sometimes strange and sometimes familiar, these discussions take place at the crossroads of the humanities. Philosophers, theologians, historians, poets, and playwrights each, in their own way contribute to the dialogue. Today, real-life ethical problems sell newspapers and glue people to TV soap operas. As the stuff of gossip, moral problems titillate. As the foundation of comedy and tragedy, they move us to laughter and tears -- reminding us that we are not simply spectators but participants in the human condition. Against the backdrop of this long-standing fascination with morality, it is odd to think that a subject such as business ethics is new.

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Copyright (c) 1994 Oxford University Press. This book chapter first appeared in Business as a Humanity.

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