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Honorable BusinessA Framework for Business in a Just and Humane Society$
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James R. Otteson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190914202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190914202.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

Markets and Morality

Markets and Morality

Chapter:
(p.83) 4 Markets and Morality
Source:
Honorable Business
Author(s):

James R. Otteson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190914202.003.0005

Chapter 4 raises the question of how markets and morality go together, and how our conception of honorable business might deal with some of the leading objections critics have raised to markets and business. It looks at and offers initial responses to a several worries, including inequality, unfairness and luck, externalities, low worker pay, price gouging, manipulation of consumer desires and choices, and profit-seeking. It also explores the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and the extent to which there can be such a thing as “honorable profit.” Finally, the chapter suggests that the field of political economy, which informs the argument of this chapter and the book, is an exercise not in ideal theory but rather in practical, second-bests—and, as such, should aim at steady and widespread improvement if not perfection.

Keywords:   markets and morality, inequality, unfairness, luck, externality, worker pay, manipulation, corporate social responsibility, ideal theory, political economy

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