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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, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

Honorable Business and Treating People the Right Way

Honorable Business and Treating People the Right Way

(p.153) 7 Honorable Business and Treating People the Right Way
Honorable Business

James R. Otteson

Oxford University Press

Chapters 7 and 8 look more carefully at a series of worries about, and objections raised to, business, markets, and commercial society generally. Chapter 7 looks specifically at concerns about how we should treat people and whether markets and business are, or can be, consistent with proper relations among people. It examines the inequality to which markets can lead, considering in this connection G. A. Cohen’s famous “camping trip” scenario and his argument for “socialist equality of opportunity.” In contrast to Cohen’s “camping trip,” this chapter offers a “shipwrecked on an island” scenario, from which conclusions different from Cohen’s may be drawn. The chapter also examines the seeming unfairness of some of the outcomes of business activity, including in particular the undeserved luck involved. Finally, it explores the instability and displacement inherent in the “creative destruction” (in Schumpeter’s famous phrase) of markets, including its effects on human community.

Keywords:   G. A. Cohen, equality, camping trip, shipwrecked on an island, Adam Smith, J. S. Mill, Joseph Schumpeter, creative destruction

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