Business Ethics Test 2 Study Guide
Business Ethics Test 2 Study Guide PHIL 3730
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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by Jada Notetaker on Wednesday April 20, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PHIL 3730 at Georgia State University taught by Dr. Suzanne Neefus in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 92 views. For similar materials see Business Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Georgia State University.
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Date Created: 04/20/16
PHIL 3730 Final Exam Study Guide The following topics are intended to guide your review. Some may appear as test questions in various forms; others may not appear at all. Test questions will draw from the assigned readings and material discussed in class. 1. Privacy Panopticon A guard tower placed in the middle of a prison, with all the cells facing it. They can’t see if anyone’s actually in the tower, so they operate as if they are always being watched. Privacy The ability to control what info someone wants to divulge or withhold about themselves Names of major court cases related to the right to privacy Roe vthWade (abortion rights) The 4 Amendment (property) Bowers v. Hardwick and Lawrence v. Texas (sexual acts committed in one’s home) Griswold v. Connecticut (access to contraceptions) Be able to describe the two positions on privacy as a distinct, coherent moral right. Reductionists: Privacy isn’t its own concept. Reducing it far enough, you can find it becomes known by other names, such as property rights and bodily autonomy. Coherentists: Privacy is totally its own thing. Know the different theories of why privacy is valuable. Kant: It’s a matter of respecting human dignity. Virtue Ethics and Utilitarianism: Intimacy is worth protecting. Objections to privacy Nothing to Hide: “If you’re not guilty of anything, not having privacy shouldn’t be a problem for you.” Feminist Objection: Abuse can be hidden under the cover of privacy. Arguments for and against workplace monitoring. For: “You’re on company time, using companyowned/provided materials, being paid to get a certain amount of work done every day. You signed a contract, so it’s only fair to make sure you aren’t slacking off.” Against: “I see your point, but what if I can’t focus because of the monitoring? What if I’m working from home? What about on breaks?” 2. Whistleblowing Know the different interests affected by whistleblowing Is the info worth the public’s time? How will this affect the company? Other employees? Your family? Others considered in Stakeholder Theory? Are your job’s duties defeasible? How defeasible? Different moral conflicts a whistleblower might face Do you think of yourself as someone who’s loyal to your chosen profession first, or someone who just happens to do the kind of work asked of you? Company’s interests vs. The Public’s interests Public Interest vs. Your Job Are you prepared for the stress this will bring into your life? Are you bringing anyone down with you (say, a coworker who helped you)? Dangers of whistleblowing The main danger is having the company retaliate. It might fire you, rescind its bonuses, demote you, transfer you to (insert last place you wanna be) for the foreseeable future, impact work friends, not be worth the risk, etc. Bok’s analysis of the nature of whistleblowing She likens the act to calling a foul on your own team. It involved dissent (challenges common expectations and beliefs), a breach of loyalty (contract, usually), and accusation (it has to be specific and relevant to the general public). Obstacles to whistleblowing Are you an employee or citizen with interests in the public good first? How will this affect you getting hired in the future? Being known as a snitch will not endear you to other employers. How accessible is the questionable content to you? Advantages and disadvantages of anonymity Advantages: It’s harder for the company to track you down and come for you (or your family). Disadvantages: However, everything you reveal will automatically be cast in more doubt. People want to be able to look them up and uncover any undisclosed biases. As a first resort or a last resort? Bok says this should only be done as an absolute last resort. Try working it out internally and taking the concerns up the chain of command first. 3. Advertising Crisp’s thesis He was kind enough to put his thesis in the first sentence: “In this paper, I shall argue that all forms of a certain common type of advertising are morally wrong, on the ground that they override the autonomy of consumers” (505). Persuasive vs. Informative Advertising Persuasive ads: *group of beautiful people laughing while using product* (instead of getting info, you just get positive/negative associations with the product) Informative ads: “This is our product. This is what it does, what it’s made of, where you can get it, blah blah blah.” Free Will vs. Free Action Free action: Nothing’s stopping you from buying that album you want. If you want to do something, you absolutely can. Free will: But where did that want come from? If it came from within, it’s free will. If it’s from an outside influence, that’s not free will. First order desire and Second order desire Firstorder desire: A desire for an object. (I want to buy a bag of apples.) Secondorder desire: A desire about a desire. (I want to be the kind of person who is healthy, so that’s why I want apples.) Crisp’s view of autonomy Crisp: You need first and second order desires to be autonomous. Arrington: You just need to be able to act freely. Crisp: But robots can be programmed to desire something and act “freely.” Does that make them autonomous? Arrington:… Arrington’s view of autonomy If Person A intends for Person B to act in some way, their actions cause this to come about, and A wants the actions to meet all of its requirements, A is controlling C. For someone to act freely, they can come up with reasons to justify their action. If they act voluntarily, they know of at least one reason not to do something. 4. Oppression and Privilege Formal vs. Substantive Equality Formal equality is equality in the rules. Substantive equality is equality in practice. Most people wouldn’t object to the former. Sexual harassment laws may be in place (formal), but there is still a disregard for them and complaints are “misplaced” (substantive). Kinds of privilege/oppression Race Sex Sexual Orientation Gender identity/expression Ability Religion Citizenship Mental health, etc. The knapsack analogy Let’s say you wake up to find yourself in the middle of the rainforest with nothing but a knapsack. Having privilege is like opening the bag to see a map, GPS, water, changes of clothes, a survival book, a satellite phone, and all this other helpful stuff. Not having privilege is like having maybe one or two items, or just having nothing but rock which weigh you down. How privilege and oppression are related In order to have privilege, someone or group has to be oppressed. How privileged someone enjoys is inversely related to how much someone else is oppressed and vice versa. Intersectional Intersectionality deals with how the multiple identities everyone has saddles them with different advantages/disadvantages at the same time. For example, a white man can suffer from a mental illness. A Black woman can be a religious minority. Unconscious bias Prejudices everyone has. For example, if a hiring manager is male and receives two identical résumés, the only difference being one name is male and the other is female, he is acting on his unconscious bias against women if he hires the man. Relevant laws/statutes important to know for legal compliance Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX (prevents discrimination based on sex), Americans with Disabilities Act, and various state laws. 5. Alienated Labor Common misconceptions Marxism, socialism, and communism are all interchangeable. If you want to say Marx has a point, you have to denounce all religions. Private property is really what Marx is protesting. The USSR’s collapse shows that Marxism is good for nothing. Three kinds of alienation Man alienated from himself nature the species Private property as cause or effect? Private property is an effect. It’s what happens due to alienated labor. 6. Inequality What is the utilitarian justification for inequality? “In the grand scheme of things, inequality just isn’t that big a deal. Not with all the other, better things going on for more people?” What is Rawls’s principle limiting inequality? The Maximin Principle. Positions of power must be available to all in fair conditions and the inequalities have to benefit the worstoff people in society. However, there’s a chance it’ll breed envy where there was none before. Arguments for and against limiting corporate pay For: There will be more money available for the average worker. Against: There’re only so many qualified executives available and they know this. By capping their salaries, they won’t really see a reason to go for the job. Plus, this also functions as incentive to work harder to get promotions. 7. Management and Moral Theories Be familiar with the basic principles of the major theories we discussed in the first part of the semester (stockholder, stakeholder, utilitarianism, Kant’s duty ethics, and virtue ethics). Stockholder: The title pretty much sums it up: “The Social Responsibility of a Business is to Increase its Profits.” (which Friedman says is similar to Taxation without Representation™). As such, CEO’s are only responsible for maximizing profits, since Friedman assumes that’s what the stockholders want. Only individual people have to bear social responsibilities, not business. The CEO is a person and may pursue social causes on his/her/their own time, but certainly not at the expense of the stockholders. Cloaking is when a company does a socially responsible thing not because it’s “right,” but to cover up that they’re doing it to look good to the public and capitalize on that image. The downside is that consumers will eventually see companies profiting without being socially responsible as “evil,” which affects every company. Stakeholder: A company should strive to maximize value for all of its stakeholders (from customers to employees to stockholders and everyone in between, betwixt, and beyond). Criticisms 13 about stockholder theory below came from Freeman. For his own theory, he argues that the consequences are more value for all involved, it respects the rights of its stakeholders equally, it promotes better character, and it’s simply more pragmatic. Freeman sees companies as made up of people. A corporation’s responsibility is to advance the interests of every stakeholder (anyone invested in the corporation in any way). There are primary, secondary, internal, and external stakeholders. Utilitarianism (Bentham): An action is only good if produces the largest possible amount of pleasure and the reduction of pain. It’s bad if the pain outweighs the pleasure. Bentham figured the goodness of actions with his hedonistic calculus. 1. Intensity (of the pleasure) 2. Duration 3. Certainty (the likeliness of the pleasure occurring) 4. Remoteness (what’s the distance between you and the outcome?) 5. Repeatability 6. Purity (how much pain is expected to come with the pleasure?) 7. Extent (how many people will be involved in the consequences of the action?) Utilitarianism (Mill): Mill changed “pleasure” to “happiness” and introduced the concept of higher and lower pleasures. Think of lower pleasures as base bodily pleasures and higher pleasures as imagination, noble feelings, intellect, and moral sentiments. Kant: “How do you know you did a morally good thing?” “Did you act out of respect for the Categorical Imperatives regardless of how you feel about them? Yes? That’s it.” Everyone has a duty to respect the rights of others insofar as they are rational. Hypothetical Imperative – If you want do something (get a job), you have to do something else first (meet the requirements for the job). Categorical Imperative – Necessary actions that apply to everyone all the time and it doesn’t matter if you like it or not (like an ethical blanket, it covers everybody). st 1 Formulation: Only do something if you would will everyone else to be able to do it (even to you). So, don’t lie if you’re not okay with everyone lying. nd 2 Formulation: Always treat yourself and others as ends in themselves (multifaceted people deserving of respect who have their own goals and desires), never only as a stepping stone to your ends. Negative freedom – freedom to not be coerced or lied to Positive freedom – freedom to become a better person (“develop one’s capacities”) Also, one should be free to pursue “meaningful” work. rd 3 Formulation: Act like you’re already living in a perfect world (“ideal kingdom of ends ”) where everyone abides by these ethics and you’re both subject to and a sovereign leader of this kingdom. Virtue Ethics: If an action strikes the balance between two vices and becomes a positive habit, it’s good. A person builds character by acting justly and developing the habits of acting justly (eventually they will begin to appreciate the virtues in themselves). Instead of focusing on every possible thing that goes into each choice, the import thing is how it affects you as a person (your trajectory on a map of character development, if you will). The Golden Mean is pretty much the main idea of Virtue Ethics. Imagine Cowardice, Bravery, and Foolishness on a straight line (in that order). The virtue is bravery, since a deficiency in it results in cowardice, and an excess leads to foolishness. Everyone’s threshold for virtues is different. Striking that balance is what you should always go for. Applying the theories to mini case studies Practice on the “H.B. Fuller in Honduras” case. How would these theories handle it (if at all)? Objections to the theories: Stockholder: 1. Ignoring the complexity of life and only basing actions on the single criteria of stakeholders’ whims is too inflexible (resistant to change). 2. It’s illegal (inconsistent with the law). Things like consumer protection laws are now in place for a reason. 3. It’s inconsistent with basic ethics (ouch). 4. “Businesses are better at getting social messages across.” Stakeholder: The biggest critique is Freeman’s lack of directions for CEOs on how to uphold the theory. Also, he leaves out the category of the Unorganized Stakeholder. Utilitarianism: The Swine Objection: “If we should only be seeking pleasure, then nothing’s separating us from animals. A wellkept pig’s life is better than ours since it can live in constant pleasure!” Kant: Under his standards, you can’t wrong an animal. Purity of motive/Conflicting duties: “Let’s say a murderer shows up to your door and says ‘I’m bout to kill John and I think he’s hiding in your garage. Is he here?’ Does your duty to save John’s life supersede your duty to never lie?” Virtue Ethics: There’s no list of “right actions?” “Virtuous actions aren’t the only right actions.” “Don’t you have to already be virtuous to do virtuous things?” “What if someone has the moral luck of being born into a position that makes it easier for them to be virtuous?” “It encourages mediocrity.”
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