2nd Edition

Markets, Ethics, and Business Ethics

ISBN 9781138580992
Published July 23, 2018 by Routledge
314 Pages

USD $79.95

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Book Description

This book introduces a study of ethics and values to develop a deeper understanding of markets, business, and economic life. Its distinctive feature is its thorough integration across personal and institutional perspectives; across applied ethics and political philosophy; and across philosophy, business, and economics.

Part 1 studies markets, property rights, and law, and introduces normative theories with many applications. Part 2 examines the purpose of corporations and their responsibilities. Parts 3 and 4 analyze business and economic life through the ethics and values of welfare and efficiency, liberty, rights, equality, desert, personal character, community, and the common good.

This second edition maintains the strengths of the first edition—short, digestible chapters and engaging writing that explains challenging ideas clearly. The material is user-friendly, with an emphasis on a strong theoretical core. Easily adaptable to the instructor’s teaching, the chapters are separable and can be shaped to the interests of the instructor with suggested course outlines and flexible application to case studies. This text is designed both for coursework in business ethics, as well as interdisciplinary programs in philosophy, politics, economics, and law.

This second edition:

  • revises presentation of eight normative theories, with increased emphasis on linksto business and economic life;
  • incorporates recent scholarship on shareholder/stakeholder debates about the purpose of corporations, bringing this important topic up to date;
  • includes a new, streamlined preface that provides a quick overview of the book before smoothly guiding the reader to the first chapter;
  • uses updated examples and applications;
  • revamps a useful appendix, including enhancing the popular primer on ethics;
  • includes Key Terms, Discussion Questions, Biographies, and Lists of Further Readings at the end of each chapter;
  • includes a new ending chapter on the value of an ethical life.

Table of Contents

Part I: Basic Concepts 1. Markets 1.1 What are Market Exchanges? 1.2 Why Begin this Study with Market Exchanges? 1.3 Debates about How to Define Markets 1.4 Blocked Exchanges 1.5 Background Conditions for Markets to Operate 1.6 Dialogues That Shape This Book 1.7 Personal and Institutional Points of View 1.8 Summary 1.9 Looking Ahead 2. Property Rights 2.0 Introduction 2.1 Property as Relations Among People 2.2 Hohfeld’s Conception of Property Rights 2.3 Tips for Learning and Applying Property Relations 2.4 Ownership and a Bundle of Sticks 2.5 Further Distinctions 2.6 Patents and Intellectual Property 2.7 The Limits of Property Rights 2.8 Summary 3. Property Rights, Markets, and Law 3.0 Introduction 3.1 Property Rights and Markets 3.2 Property Rights and Law 3.3 Property Rights and Culture 3.4 Economic Systems Today 3.5 Why Study Property Rights? 3.6 Relativism 3.7 Two Normative Theories about Property Rights 3.8 Summary 3.9 Looking Ahead Part II: The Purpose and Responsibilities of Corporations 4. Shareholder Primacy Theory of Corporations 4.0 Introduction 4.1 A Debate 4.2 Corporate Purpose: Advance Shareholder Interest by Maximizing Profits within the Law 4.3 Debates about Shareholder Rights and Managerial Duties 4.4 Ethical Justifications 4.5 Interpreting the CSR Movement from the Shareholder Perspective 4.6 Separating the Roles of Business and Government 4.7 Self-Interest and Markets 4.8 Summary 5. Stakeholder Theory of Corporations, and Other Perspectives 5.0 Introduction 5.1 A Global Perspective: "All Is Not Well" 5.2 Corporate Purpose, Stakeholder Rights, and Managerial Duties 5.3 Ethical Justifications 5.4 Interpreting the CSR Movemnet from a Stakeholder Perspective 5.5 Corporations and Government 5.6 Ethics, Self-Interest, and Markets 5.7 Personal and Institutional Points of View Revisited 5.8 Other Theories of Corporate Purpose 5.9 Corporate Personhood 5.10 Summary Part III: Efficiency and Welfare: The Most Common Ethical Guides in Business and Economics 6. Efficiency and Welfare 6.0 Introduction 6.1 Pareto Efficiency as an Ethical Ideal 6.2 How Idealized Markets Create Efficiency Gains 6.3 Background Conditions 6.4 How Actual Markets Approximate Ideal Markets 6.5 How Efficiency is a Basis for Criticizing Markets 6.6 The Ethical and Practical Appeal of the Efficiency Standard 6.7 Complications about the Meaning of Efficiency 6.8 Summary 7. Public Goods and Utilitarianism 7.0 Introduction 7.1 Public Goods 7.2 Two Neighborhoods and a Park: A Public Goods Problem 7.3 The Tragedy of the Commons 7.4 Responsibility for Collective Action Problems 7.5 Limitations to Pareto Efficiency as a Normative Standard 7.6 Utilitarianism 7.7 Attractions and Limitations to Utilitarianism 7.8 Summary 8. The Invisible Hand: Ethics, Incentives, and Institutions 8.0 Introduction 8.1 The Invisible Hand Model 8.2 The Government Regulation Model 8.3 The Professional Ethics Model 8.4 Conflicts of Interest 8.5 The Dance between Ethics, Incentives, and Institutions 8.6 Beyond Welfare 8.7 Summary Part IV: Ethics Beyond Efficiency 9. Liberty 9.0 Introduction 9.1 Two Concepts of Liberty 9.2 Kantian Ethics 9.3 Institutional Implications of Negative Freedom 9.4 Institutional Implications Positive Freedom 9.5 Two Visions of a Free Society Drawing on both Positive and Negative Freedom 9.6 Summary 10. Rights 10.0 Introduction 10.1 Preliminaries 10.2 Rights as Side-Constraints 10.3 Rights and Markets: Nozick’s Entitlement Theory of Justice 10.4 Applying the Entitlement Theory to Global Capitalism 10.5 Criticisms of Nozick’s Entitlement Theory of Justice 10.6 Justifying Rights 10.7 Summary 11. Equality 11.0 Introduction 11.1 Fundamental Equality 11.2 Implications for Institutions 11.3 Professional Ethics and the Personal Point of View 11.4 Social Contract Theory: Liberty and Equality Joined 11.5 Rawls’s Theory of Justice 11.6 Beyond Rawls: Businesses and the Social Contract 11.7 Integrative Social Contracts Theory 11.8 Summary 12. What People Deserve 12.0 Introduction 12.1 The Concept of Desert 12.2 Deserved Wages 12.3 Desert and Professional Ethics 12.4 Capitalism and Debates about the Relevance of Desert 12.5 Deserving Anythin at All 12.6 Summary 13. Relationships and Character 13.0 Introduction 13.1 Relationships 13.2 Criticisms of Markets and Capitalism based on Relationships and Character 13.3 Virtue Ethics 13.4 Ayn Rand and Virtuous Rational Egoism 13.5 The Ethics of Care 13.6 Religious and Non-Western Ethical Approaches: Less of the Self 13.7 Integrating Earlier Debates with Discussions of Relationships and Character 13.8 Advocacy for Markets and Capitalism based on Relationships and Character 13.10 Summary 14. Community and the Common Good 14.0 Introduction 14.1 Creative Destruction and Community: Institutional Perspective 14.2 Change and Tradition from the Personal Point of View 14.3 Markets that Undermine Communities 14.4 Markets that Build Communities 14.5 The Meaning of the Common Good 14.6 Communitarianism 14.7 Justice and the Common Good: Complementary or Conflicting Values? 14.8 Summary 15. The Value of an Ethical Life 15.0 Introduction 15.1 Why Study Ethics? 15.2 Skepticism and Ethics 15.3 Weighing Values 15.4 Conclusion Appendix I. A Primer on Ethics I.A. Ethics, Norms, and Law I.B. Personal and Institutional Points of View I.C. Ethical Theories II. The Overall Approach of the Book II.A. Three Competing Views about the Role of Ethics in Business II.B. The Ethics and Values of Business and Economic Life: A General Model II.C. Chapter Organization III> Syllabi Suggestions IV. Summary

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Steven Scalet is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Baltimore (UB). Prior to UB, he was the Director of the Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Law at Binghamton University (SUNY), where he received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Scalet received his PhD in Philosophy and MA in Economics from the University of Arizona. Scalet is the editor of Morality and Moral Controversies: Readings in Moral, Social, and Political Philosophy, 10th Edition (Routledge, 2019).   


"An outstanding work! This distinctive and illuminating textbook provides students with a thorough understanding of markets, property rights, and the role and responsibilities of corporations. It shows how the ethics of our business and economic lives are impacted by the values of efficiency and welfare, justice and liberty, desert and rights, as well as community and personal relationships. Steven Scalet does an excellent job of bringing alive sophisticated moral, political, and economic issues in an accessible, student-friendly text, full of pertinent examples and helpful illustrations."

-William H. Shaw, San Jose State University

"Steven Scalet’s Markets, Ethics, and Business Ethics, 2nd Edition is an impressive text. Integrating several areas of study (namely, ethics, political philosophy, and economics), its clear prose makes many important but often puzzling ideas from within those areas easily accessible to newcomers. Fair-minded and comprehensive, Markets, Ethics, and Business Ethics, 2nd Edition is an invaluable guide for students who seek moral understanding of the modern economy."

-Craig Duncan, Ithaca College

"Scalet’s Markets, Ethics, and Business Ethics, 2nd Edition strikes the right balance in all the right places. The coverage and approach of the book put key concepts in moral theory to work so that students are prepared for ethical problems in business contexts and social and economic life more generally. Perhaps its greatest strength is its integrative nature—the theoretical and practical connections it makes throughout and the connections its asks students to make, and build upon, in their own thinking and in their own lives."

-Terry L. Price, University of Richmond