Department of Philosophy
University of Winnipeg Department of Philosophy Phil 2230: Moral Issues in Business Applied Ethics Exercise: 35% of Final Grade Due Date: March 4,202 1 Length: 4-5 Pages (Not Including Title Page & Bibliography) In the Applied Ethics Exercise, students are being evaluated on whether they can demonstrate knowledge of the required readings, and meaningfully apply that knowledge to acritical analysis of aspecific moral issue in business. You will be expected to examine one of the given case studies (Enron, Trans Mountain, Volkswagen, or Bernie Madoff) from the perspective of aparticular school of moral philosophy (Aristotelian Virtue Ethics, Thomistic Virtue Ethics, Utilitarianism, or Moral Sentimentalism). *write an essay on ONE of the following case study topics* 1) Examine the 2001 financial scandal at Enron from the perspective of Aristotle ’sVirtue Ethics.
Aristotle (1999). Read Parts I-II, IV &VIII-XI of ‘Book I’.Politics ,Jowett (trans.). Batoche Books: Kitchener. .
[UW LIBRARY E-BOOK] Dierksmeier, Clauss, &Pirson, Michael (2011). ‘Aristotle ’s Economic Ethics ’.Humanistic Ethics in the Age of Globality .Dierksmeier, Amann, et al. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan: London.
Anonymous (2002). ‘When Greed isFact, and Control isFiction ’,The Guardian . .
Romney, Lee and Streitfeld, David (2002). ‘Enron ’sRun Tripped by Arrogance, Greed ’, LA Times . . Before and while drafting their essays, students may want to consider some of the following questions:
How might Aristotle ’sdistinction between ‘oikonomia ’and ‘chrematistics ’be applied to acritical analysis of this financial scandal?
In what sense did executives at Enron fail to practice the sorts of moral and intellectual ‘virtuosity ’esteemed by Aristotle?
Did Enron ’scorporate culture ignore the ultimate ‘end ’of economics? Was it responsible for preventing the realization of agreater degree of ‘eudaimonia ’?
Does Aristotle ’scharacterization of the human being as a‘political animal ’provide a sound foundation for developing amodel of corporate social responsibility? How can this model be applied to the specific case study of Enron? 2) Critically analyze the Volkswagen emissions scandal from the perspective of Thomistic Ethics.
Aquinas, Thomas (1947). Question 77, Articles 1, 3-4, &Question 78, Article 1of Pars Secunda-Secundae of Summa Theologicae ,Alfred J.Freddoso (trans.). .
[UW LIBRARY E-BOOK] Dierksmeier, Claus, &Celano, Anthony (2011). ‘Thomas Aquinas on Business and the Fulfillment of Human Needs ’.Humanistic Ethics in the Age of Globality .Dierksmeier, Amann, et al. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan: London.
Hakim, D., Kessler A.M., and Ewing J.(2015). ‘As Volkswagen Pushed to Be No. 1, Ambitions Fueled aScandal ’.New York Times . .
Bansal T., King M., and Sejgts T. (2015). ‘The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal: ACase Study in Corporate Misbehaviour ’,The Globe and Mail. .
Rothfeder J.(2016). ‘The Volkswagen Settlement: How Bad Management Leads to Big Punishment ’.The New Yorker Magazine. . Before and while drafting their essays, students may want to consider some of the following questions:
How might Aquinas ’critique of false advertising be applied to acritical analysis of the Volkswagen emissions scandal?
Were Volkswagen ’sactions consistent with aThomistic respect for ‘natural law ’?
In what sense did Volkswagen fail to live up to an Aquinian ethic of ‘stewardship ’?
How might Aquinas ’critique of sellers who fail to disclose harms be applied to acritical analysis of the Volkswagen emissions scandal?
Does Aquinas ’distinction between ‘ius gentium ’and ‘ius civile ’provide asound foundation for developing amodel of corporate social responsibility applicable to this scenario? 3) Provide aconsequentialist analysis of the Trans Mountain Pipeline debate. Considering the arguments for and against its construction, isitjustified according to Utilitarianism? Required Readings:
[URL LINK] Mill, John Stuart (2001). ‘What Utilitarianism Is’.Utilitarianism .Batoche Books: Kitchener. .
[UW LIBRARY EBOOK] Gustafson, Andrew (2013). ‘In Defense of aUtilitarian Business Ethic ’.Business and Society Review ,Vol. 118, Is. 3.
Cruickshank, Ainslie (2020). ‘Supreme Court Rejects Trans Mountain Legal Challenges. So What ’sNext? ’,The Narwhal . .
Alini, Erica (2018). ‘Trans Mountain Pipeline: Some of the Arguments For and Against it’, Global News . . Before and while drafting their essays, students may want to consider some of the following questions:
Would the proposed pipeline contribute to the ‘Greatest Happiness Principle ’,i.e., realizing the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people?
What isthe ‘utility ’of the potential jobs created vs. the ‘utility ’of conserving the environment from potential catastrophes?
Isdisregarding indigenous concerns not an example of the ‘tyranny of the majority ’?
Would the pipeline not increase the ‘pain ’,and decrease the ‘pleasure ’,felt by non-human animals impacted by its construction? Isthe potential harm done to the well-being of such animals outweighed by the benefits to human well-being?
Would the Utilitarian business ethicist be in favour of, or opposed to, the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline? Ifthe project was to proceed, how would aUtilitarian model of Corporate Social Responsibility ensure that itmaximizes social well-being? 4) Explore the rise and fall of Bernie Madoff from the standpoint of Smith ’sMoral Sentimentalism.
: [URL LINK] Smith, Adam (1904). Read Chapters I-II of Book Iof Volume Iof The Wealth of Nations .Methuen & Co. Ltd.: London. .
[URL LINK] Smith, Adam (1790). Read Chapter Iand Chapter IIof Section 1of The Theory of Moral Sentiments ,Millar (ed.), .
[UW LIBRARY E-BOOK] Wells, Thomas (2013). ‘Adam Smith on Morality and Self-Interest ’.Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics ,Luetge (ed.). Springer: Dordrecht.
Bandler, James and Varchaver, Nicholas (2009). ‘How Bernie Did It’,CNN Money . .
Lenzner, Robert (2008). ‘Bernie Madoff ’s$50 Billion Ponzi Scheme ’,Forbes Magazine .
html#4811b71a650b>. Before and while drafting their essays, students may want to consider some of the following questions:
Was Madoff ’sPonzi scheme morally justifiable according to Smith ’sview of ethics and economics, and the relationship between them?
Did Madoff fail to live up to the ‘virtues ’prized by Adam Smith?
How would an ‘impartial spectator ’evaluate the rise and fall of Bernie Madoff?
IsSmith ’saccount of human nature relevant to acritical analysis of Madoff ’sactions?
Was Bernie Madoff ’sconduct consistent with the values of Smith ’stheory of the ‘moral sentiments ’? Citations, Bibliography, & Formatting: Students are expected to substantiate their interpretative claims about the philosophers in question and factual claims about the given topics by referring to, paraphrasing from, and/or directly quoting the required readings and given articles. To avoid plagiarism, provide a citation when borrowing the words, ideas, or research of others. Follow asimple in-text author-page system. For example, when quoting: Whitehead ’scritique of economics parallels his critique of science: economics, like science, is“suffering from abad attack of muddle-headed positivism ”(Whitehead, 204). However, even when paraphrasing an author in your words, or referring to aspecific idea or argument of theirs, you must still offer acitation. For example: Whitehead ’scritique of economics parallels his critique of science: economics, like science, isbased on positivistic assumptions (Whitehead, 204). A‘Works Cited ’page containing all relevant bibliographic information should also accompany the assignment. Each entry should look something like this: Whitehead, A.N. (1938). ‘Nature Lifeless ’.Modes of Thought .Free Press: New York. Students must use 12-point Times New Roman font. Pages must be double-spaced with 2.5 cm margins. Your assignments should also have aseparate title page with your name and a title. The Applied Ethics essay must be uploaded onto NEXUS in .PDF format. Apart from extenuating circumstances, late submissions will be penalized 5% per day. However, ifdiscussed beforehand, extensions may be granted. Please familiarize yourself with the student code of conduct, specifically, the academic misconduct policies of the University of Winnipeg at the ‘Policies and Regulations ’webpage.