Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Business EthicsAn Economically Informed Perspective$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Christoph Lutge and Matthias Uhl

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198864776

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198864776.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 25 July 2021

Historical-economic background

Historical-economic background

Premodernity and modernity

(p.41) 3 Historical-economic background
Business Ethics

Christoph Lütge

Matthias Uhl

Oxford University Press

First, this chapter distinguishes between an ethics of individual behavior that focuses on the individual’s actions and an ethics of conditions that focuses on the circumstances under which the individual is supposed to act. It is emphasized that much of today’s ethics was developed against the background of premodern societies, which implies the absence of economic growth and a high social control, both of which are in stark contrast to modern conditions. The ethical benefits of markets and competition are outlined. The market is interpreted as an instrument for the use of distributed and local knowledge, a method of discovery, an engine of innovation, a control mechanism, and an instrument of disempowerment and of self-discipline. Traditional concepts of business ethics are illustrated by the historical examples of the just price and the prohibition of lending money at interest.

Keywords:   ethics of behavior, ethics of conditions, market, competition, distributed knowledge, discovery and innovation, disempowerment, self-discipline, fair price, interest and usury

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .