Business Ethics by Bookboon.com

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Some economists regard ethics as an oxymoron. Bernard Mandeville is the first recognised ethical sceptic in the field of economics. In his poem, Fable of the Bees: or, Private Vices, Public Benefits. he talks about the vices of individuals, showing that these vices eventually lead to the economic benefit of all – that is, the whole of society. Ethics for most economists who emerged from the positivistic philosophical tradition largely meant just metaphysical speculation. In other words, there was no place for it in economics.

Let us have a look at the individual values and their definitions. 2 Freedom This concept comes from the Latin word ‘libertas’. The concept is reflected in many social science disciplines. Whether in abstract philosophical essays that focus on freedom, or explained from a legal point of view, it always proves to be the basic assumption for any human action or decision-making. Without freedom, there would be no talk of ethics or ethical or moral behaviour. Freedom means that people decide to act in a certain way, although they could have chosen differently or they decided not to act.

Salvation and the whole of Christian life was confirmed by material abundance. The thinking was that God blesses hard-working people who stand by his Commandments and wealth is the witness of people‘s orderly, pious lives. This is not however the original ethics of duty because the whole obligation of Protestantism narrowed down to the concept of accomplished profession. Through his/her work, a human being fulfils their duty to lead a meaningful life. If that goal is achieved, they can be satisfied.

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