Topics for Consideration Paper I Phil 320
1) Business or corporate leaders charged with unethical practices may (and often do) rightly point out that everything they did was perfectly legal. They broke no laws. Does that mean that their actions are necessarily ethical? What is the difference between a law and an ethical decision?
2) To what extent is the ‘free’ market at all compatible with moral considerations? (This, like almost all meaningful questions, is not going ...view middle of the document...
A truly rigorous stance would lead to absurdly paralyzing situations. Owning a car, buying affordable clothing, or just eating many foods (practically all), could be seen as ethically dubious. And yet it is often the case that we avoid certain businesses if we know that they treat their employees unfairly. How do we draw the line?
4) The same question (as above) can be asked of corporations. For example, Peter A. French argues that “corporations should be treated as full-fledged moral persons” with “whatever privileges, rights, and duties as are, in the normal course of affairs, accorded to moral persons” (HW, 250). What is the basis of this belief (which, incidentally, was recently the subject of a supreme court ruling concerning the constitutionality of limitations on political campaign contributions)? Do you agree with French’s (and the supreme court’s) claim? In what ways are corporations different from individuals in moral terms?