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by: Keagan DuBuque

BusinessEthics PHIL301

Keagan DuBuque
GPA 3.71


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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Keagan DuBuque on Wednesday September 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL301 at Drexel University taught by JamesStieb in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see /class/212556/phil301-drexel-university in PHIL-Philosophy at Drexel University.


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Date Created: 09/23/15
Business Ethics Phil 301 Midterm Study Guide The exam consists of some combination of the following questions The quiz consists of one question your choice Do not differ from the study guide though obviously you may want to go beyond it with examples points etc Expected length approximately 1 15 pgs per question Applied 1 Why does Friedman say that the only social responsibility of business is to make a profit provided it follows law and ethical custom 2 Give some arguments for and against codes of ethics 3 What is stakeholder theory How does Ed Freeman argue for it Philosophical 4 What is Kantian deontology Why does Kant believe one has a duty to tell the truth 5 Compare and contrast psychological and ethical egoism 6 What is ethics What are some common ethical types Explain 7 What is an argument What makes it a valid invalid b sound unsound c true 8 What is utilitarianism What are some problems with it 9 What is stakeholder theory How does Ed Freeman argue for it 1 Why does Friedman say that the only social responsibility of business is to make a profit provided it follows law and ethical custom See Stieb Social Responsibility Within and Without Self interestquot Friedman mostly gives the following reasons 1 The CEO is an employee of the stockholders and is supposed to do what the stockholders want The stockholders want a return on their investment Critics who say that the stockholders want general more than that are right It doesn t follow that self interest is to be given a purely financial interpretationquot Hannaford However what are they doing investing in a corporation to get anything else they might want 2 There are other experts including social workers and economists who are better at social responsibilitiesquot such as hard core unemployment and in ation 3 Decisions affecting a lot of people should be made by a lot of people Democracy is rule of the many by the many Socialism rule of the many by a few Even if someone has a good idea she should be able to convince others to put it into law or common practice If not she is seeking to attain by undemocratic means what she failed to get by democraticquot 4 The CEO is a small fish in a big pond not much ability to affect changes Yes CEO s could get together but to be effective they would probably form a monopoly which have their own problems Friedman lists Hardcore Unemployment in ation pollution beyond law etc These are chronic problems best solved by the govt I take these to be altruistic sacrificial responsibilities Social responsibility means what you must do for others This is divided into possibly helping others and harming self or helping others and helping self Friedman does not reject the second He rejects the idea that anyone has the ability to order me to sacrifice myself truly and overall for others I have argued that Friedman s doctrine must be amended for emergencies confidential situations new technology that only the creators know enough about and for places that do not have good laws and ethical customs 2 Codes of ethics have points for and against For Against Inspirational Yeah inspire criticism Guide us morally Doubtful and there are better moral guides Looks good Looks good to people who don t look deeply Disciplinary Yes and no Sometimes used as amicus brief 1 have already stressed that codes of ethics have a problem with application and justification First it isn t that they couldn t be justified It s that the authors don t bother to include a justification with them Just who are the authors anyway and what makes them think that what works for them has to work for everyone As Ladd says ethics has to be the end settled personally because if you do something even the right thing because someone or something is making you do it that doesn t make you any more ethical Even prisoners do what they are supposed to do Codes of ethics have a problem in their application For example the hold paramount clausequot makes sense if 90 of the PSHAW is in danger or even 50 But what about 05 No product is perfectly safe and the line has to be drawn somewhere No one needs to be told to hold the PSHAW paramount if there is a 90 danger You would need that info if there were a 05 danger but that is particularly where you don t know whether the line will apply Lots of lines in the code are this way In sum many of the lines in a code are simply regulative Compare drive on the right hand side of the roadquot with engineers shall not participate in strikes or other collective or coercive actionquot It isn t as if driving on the left hand side or participating in strikes is unethical 8 What is stakeholder theory How does Ed Freeman argue for it Stakeholder theory is the theory proposed by Freeman that we should a change the beneficiaries and b give them serious decision making power He argues for this on the basis of a legal argument and an economic argument In a nutshell the arguments go like this There are all these new cool laws constraining corporations We should change the beneficiaries and give them serious decision power Capitalism sucks We should change the beneficiaries and give them serious decision power The problem with these arguments is that they are invalid We can agree with the premises are true without the conclusion being true Take the first one Yes new laws constrain corporations But they only protect some third party say from pollution If A and B are doing business and C gets polluted The law then protects C The law makes C whole again But get this it doesn t give C anything she didn t have before She doesn t seem to have any new decision power either Secondly yes capitalism is the worst system there is except for all the others But again that doesn t make any alternative such as stakeholder theory any better for that reason Freeman talks about how stakeholder theory is supposed to affect each stakeholder Suppliers consumers etc 4 What is Kantian deontology Why does Kant believe one has a duty to tell the truth Immanuel Kant was an 18th century German philosopher who believed in absolute rules such as do not lie be beneficent and do not commit suicide These rules were to be followed no matter the consequences So to use Rachel s example even when an inquiring murdererquot asks us where his victim has gone we are required to tell the murderer Kant s absolute rules are derived from the two formulations of the categorical imperative a Act only according to that maxim you can will to be a universal law b Treat others as an ends a kingdom of ends and never as a means merely In the first formulation you are to take a maxim I should liequot and universalize it Suppose What if everyone lied all the timequot Kant argues that lying would cease to make sense ie result in a conceptual contradiction Kant is not concerned with any practical consequences say to education he is concerned that we avoid the conceptual contradiction In the second formulation Kant argues that lying to someone treats them as if they can t make decisions on their own ie it denies their rationality Kant believes that our rational nature is of supreme importance In order to be good have a good will we must be able to make decisions ourselves I Kant 1985 Groundin g for the Metaphysics 0f Morals Ellington Trans Indianapolis Hackett 5 Compare and contrast psychological and ethical egoism amongst themselves and between Rachels and an alternative View In this question I want you to both compare and contrast Rachel s and my definitions and also psychological and ethical egoism amongst themselves Psychological Egoism Rachels We are incapable of unselfishness We are always selfish Psychological Egoism alternative view To the extent we act voluntarily we always do what we think is in our best interest Psychological egoism is a psychological view ie a view about how we think Ethical egoism is an ethical view ie a view about what is bad or good or what we should or shouldn t do Ethical Egoism Rachels We should do whatever we want regardless of how it affects others exclusive of others Ethical Egoism alternative view We should do what is really in our best interest often inclusive of others With an enlightened enough view of self interest Stieb argues that doing things for others is often even frequently in our best interest For example a trade or a date You must appeal to what someone else wants to get what you want Tricky cases are cases where you can get away with something with no repercussions lillte stealing or the UCLA case where 35 of respondents said they would rape a woman if they could get away with it Stieb maintains that even so its not really in your best interest because you wouldn t want to be that kind of person virtue ethics 6 What is Ethics What are some Ethical types There is no one set of rules like no one right way to get to Drexel or Widener There are a number of different theories about what is good or bad right or wrong in human conduct Ethics is the study of such theories Hence it could be said Hitler held an Ethical theory that was unethical The first sense of Ethical indicates the study and contrasts with the N onethical the second indicates approval or disapproval ethical contrasts with unethical Moral theory in Western Ethics is typically divided into those theories where the results are most important or those theories where the rights duties or obligations are most important Consequentialism What is good or bad right or wrong in human conduct depends on the consequences a utilitarianism The philosophy of S Mill and Jeremy Bentham says right action tries to create the greatest good for the greatest number Mill and Bentham read this on a hedonistic calculus pain and pleasure Ethical egoism Typically the philosophy of Ayn Rand though sometimes ascribed to Hobbes Says we should pursue what is really in our best interest and often contrasts with altruism c There might be others b V Deontology What is good or bad depends on the rights duties or obligations From deon Greek for duty a Kantian deontology See the question on Kant Holds there are absolute rules we must follow no matter what such as do not lie be benevolent etc b Lockean deontology Endowed with certain inalienable rightsquot Belief in natural rightsquot such as life liberty property pursuit of happiness There are other forms of Ethics like virtue ethics character habits perhaps there is a distinct feminist ethics or a kind of religious ethics that is not simply a deontology an ethics of love for instance 7 What is an argument What makes it validinvalid soundunsound good bad true In philosophy law science an argument is not a squabble based on gaining the upper hand through loudness or rhetorical devices it is an effort at logical rigor Basically it is a series of sentences some premises and a conclusion meant to persuade someone of the truth of a conclusion An argument has an indefinite number of premises as many as you need but needs of course at least one conclusion If this conclusion serves as the premise for another argument then you can have arguments within arguments Logic is a method of precising what we do in natural language and in thought Some say it is the rules of thought but I don t think so since there are an indefinite number of ways of creating a logic For example you could use more than two truth values T F and 55 maybe How can there be an indefinite number of rules of thought The most rudimentary way of thinking of arguments is in terms of good and bad An argument is good if the premises give a large amount or logically infallible reasons for believing the conclusion It is bad if it gives little or no reason for believing the conclusion For example All Texans are idiots George B is a Texan George B is an idiot Or If we can help someone without harming someone else we ought to do so MP Transplanting T s organs will help other children without harming her FP We should or ought to transplant T s organs Rachel s example MC The first argument is obviously bad the second good But that doesn t help much in explaining why We need a more rigorous analysis if we are going to be able to evaluate other people s arguments and make ours as immune as possible from refutation So we start by thinking of logic as a machine 9 GIGO GIGO basically means good stuff in good stuff out or garbage in garbage out You want to build a machine that returns good for good certainly not bad for good So we list all the possible cases of Ts and Fs H H 11 man mam T F T F The second case where good leads to bad is declared immediately to be invalid That automatically makes every other case valid The problem is that this move isn t enough by itself you can have some pretty weird valid arguments lf pigs y then Stieb is a monkey T Pigs y F Stieb is a monkey So the next move is defining sound The problem with the above argument is that it has at least one false premise So we declare that an argument is sound if a it is valid b all the premises are true Hence we knock out case 3 and 4 in the chart above Some wonder why we just don t define sound in the first place I think it is because logicians want to move step by step and you just can t move to sound without defining valid first Hence Invalid A case where both the premises are all true and the conclusion false Valid No case where both 1 premises all true and 2 conclusion false Sound both 1 valid and 2 the premises are all true Unsound 1 invalid or 2 One or more false premises or both Finally while premises are true or false arguments aren t true or false they are valid invalid sound unsound or colloquially speaking good or bad 8 What is utilitarianism What are some problems with it Utilitarianism is the theory that good conduct creates the greatest good for the greatest number while bad increases suffering Every Ethical theory is a theory about what you should should not do is good bad to do Bentham and Mill proposed utilitarianism as sort of a legalistic alternative to deontology rule based ethics which often appealed to a questionable God Instead producing pain or pleasure or utility became the important thing There are a number of obvious problems with this theory as stated a lVhat is the good to be produced As I joke in class you can put cocaine in the ventilation system Everybody is happy right Well no everybody just feels happy until we are all sent to jail If you put a starving child in front of me I know what her greatest goodquot is to be fed But what is the greatest good of the average American College student Sleep Beer b Utilitarianism may sacrifice individuals Again as l joke in class we can all lessen our tax burden by killing all the criminals in prison We don t tell them we are going to kill them we tell them we are going to let them go Then when they are all happy we get rid of them I am sure some bright engineer can figure out how Of course this is ridiculous not to mention reminiscent of the Nazis The problem is that a greater good for the many may be achieved by visiting suffering on the minority or one For example a student who has to bring in coffee and donuts for the rest of the class c Utilitarianism taken to its logical extreme is very demanding For example if you believe Rachels guilt tripquot then you are supposed to spend your money on famine relief instead of the movies In fact any time you find two people worse off then you are you are supposed to do what you can to improve the greater good of the greater numberquot


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