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The philosophical background of business ethics

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  • 1. “ Without moral perception, man is only an animal. without morality, man as a rational being is a failure.” The Philosophical Background of Business Ethics - Ramon B. Agapay
  • 2. Introduction Business Ethics as an applied branch of General Ethics must be studied from the perspective of Philosophy. This is because Ethics is a part of moral principles, you will not know Ethics without being philosophical.
  • 3. Ethics and Philosophy Philosophy, etymologically came from two Greek words philos, which means love and sophia, means wisdom. (Love of Wisdom) Hence, a philosopher is one who loves wisdom. As a science, philosophy is interested with the meaning of reality including our human experiences. It is a science that seeks to explain the ultimate cause of everything by the use of human reason alone.
  • 4. Ethics and Philosophy Ethics is philosophical science that studies the morality of human act. As a science, Ethics is concerned with the analysis of the nature of the human conduct from the point of view of morality. The two contradictory Principles 1. Man believes that there are certain things that he should not do to anyone. 2. Man believes that values are subjective and incapable of being disputed.
  • 5. Divisions of Philosophy 1. Theoretical Philosophy – studies the truth to be known, e.g. God, immortality of the soul, origin of the universe. 2. Practical Philosophy – studies truths to be acted upon, e.g. ethics, axiology, semantics, etc.
  • 6. Divisions of Philosophy PHILOSOPHY THEORETICA L PRACTICAL Cosmology Origin of universe Ontology The theory of being Metaphysics Meta (beyond) physikon (nature) Psychology Human/animal behavior Theodicy God on logical abstraction Epistemology Theory of knowledge Semantics Words and its linguistic forms Axiology Discourse of value judgment Aesthetics Principles of beauty and art Logic Reasoning to establish truth Ethics From Greek word “ethos” means “Characteristic way of acting” which is proper to as a rational being.
  • 7. Ethics and Morality Morality refers to the quality of goodness or badness in a human act. Good is described as moral and bad as immoral. It means conformity to the rules of right conduct. Ethics refer to the formal study of those standards and conduct. It is also often called “ moral philosophy”.
  • 8. Ethics as a Normative Science Ethics is considered a Normative Science because it is concerned with the systematic study of the norms of human conduct, as distinguished from formal sciences such as Mathematics, chemistry physics etc.. Ethics is a normative science because it involves a systematic search for moral principles and norms that are justify our moral judgments.
  • 9. Three Categories of General Ethics
  • 10. Descriptive ethics maintains objectivity in studying human behavior but it does not provide a clear standard of morality. It simply describes how people act and does not prescribe how people should act. Three Categories of General Ethics
  • 11. Involves moral judgment based on ethical norm or theory. This consists both the basic moral principles and values and the particular moral rules that govern people’s behavior, which is right or moral and wrong or immoral. Three Categories of General Ethics
  • 12. It does not describe moral beliefs of people, does not evaluate the process of moral reasoning, but simply analyzes the usage and meaning of words. Three Categories of General Ethics
  • 13. Ethical relativism claims that when any two cultures or any people hold different moral values of an action, both can be right. An action may be right for one person or society and the same action taken in the same way may be wrong for another reason, and yet, both persons are equally correct. The Problem of Ethical Relativism and Situation Ethics Ethical Relativism
  • 14. The Problem of Ethical Relativism and Situation Ethics Approaches to Moral Differences Approaches to Moral Differences There is no Moral Truth There is no Universal Truth Deep down, we can find basic Moral Truth There is One Universal Moral truth
  • 15. The Problem of Ethical Relativism and Situation Ethics Approaches to Moral Differences There is no Moral Truth There is no ultimate right or wrong. Moral views differ from one person to another. This results to a subjective morality, in which case, what is good for one person may be bad for another.
  • 16. The Problem of Ethical Relativism and Situation Ethics Approaches to Moral Differences Each Culture has its own set of rules that are valid for that culture, and we have no right to interfere, just as they have no right to interfere with our rules. This ethical paradigm maintains that there are moral truths that exist but these truths are relative and dependent on cultures and beliefs of people. There is no Universal Truth
  • 17. The Problem of Ethical Relativism and Situation Ethics Approaches to Moral Differences Despite differences, people of different cultures can still agree on a certain moral basics. There are some common ground on basic moral principles. This is called “Soft Universalism” Deep down, we can find basic Moral Truth
  • 18. The Problem of Ethical Relativism and Situation Ethics Approaches to Moral Differences This view is also known as hard universalism or moral absolutism. This moral paradigm maintains that there is only one universal moral code that everybody must follow. Because this moral code is universal and objective, moral problems, and moral conflicts can be solved through proper moral reasoning. There is One Universal Moral truth
  • 19. Deontological vs. Teleological Approaches To Ethical Evaluation of the Human Conduct A C T I O N Motives/Intentions End of the actor Means/Action itself End of the Act Consequences/Resul t, Probable and actual Non - Consequentialist Consequentialist
  • 20. Deontological vs. Teleological Approaches To Ethical Evaluation of the Human Conduct Deontological Ethics Also known as non-consequentialist approach is a body of ethical theories that measures and evaluates the nature of a moral act based on the validity of the motive of an act. This means that if the motive or intention of the act is good, then regardless of the consequences, the whole action is good.
  • 21. Deontological vs. Teleological Approaches To Ethical Evaluation of the Human Conduct Teleological Ethics Came from the Greek word “tele” which means far or remote. Known also as Consequentialist theory measures the morality of an action based on its consequences and not on the motive or intention of the actor. If the consequence is good, regardless what motive is, the act is always morally good.
  • 22. The “Moral Sense” in us The main difference between man and animal is that man has a moral perception. Man has a natural insight to morality, this being a gift of the Creator who gave man a ”Moral Sense”
  • 23. The “Moral Sense” in us The Synderesis of Man according to St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) This Italian philosopher, theologian, an d priest is sometimes called the Prince of Scholastics. He died at the age of 49 and 49n years later he was canonized as the Angelic Doctor of the Church.
  • 24. The “Moral Sense” in us The Synderesis of Man according to St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) According to Aquinas, the moral sense in man is manifested and expressed in the three different ways: 1. Man is able to distinguish or to know what is good and what is bad. 2. Man is always obligated to do good and avoid evil. 3. Man knows that he is accountable for his actions-good or bad.
  • 25. The “Moral Sense” in us Sigismund Schlomo Freud (1856- 1953) Theory of the ID, EGO, and the SUPEREGO He was the Founding Father of Psychoanalysis, which is a major school of psychology. His key points psychoanalytical theory are the following: 1. Man must learn to control inborn desires. 2. Man must achieve fulfillment in ways that are harmonious with others.
  • 26. The “Moral Sense” in us Sigismund Schlomo Freud (1856- 1953) Theory of the ID, EGO, and the SUPEREGO Superego – has elements in common with both reason and will power. It basically reflects social rules and values of the society that govern our behavior. Ego – is the rational self or the conscious self. It is part reason (intellect) but also part will power. It is under constant pressure to fight off the pleasure - seeking desires of the Id.
  • 27. The “Moral Sense” in us Sigismund Schlomo Freud (1856- 1953) Theory of the ID, EGO, and the SUPEREGO Id – is the irrational part in us or the unconscious instincts, such as sex and aggression. For Freud, a healthy personality is a person who has an ego that does an effective job of coping with the urges of the Id and the restrictions of the Superego.