International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 36, Issue 2, Fall 2022

Julian Fink, Sophia Appl Scorza
Pages 179-190

Welfare, Profits, and Oughts
Does an Ought to Maximize Welfare Imply an Ought to Maximize Profits?

Suppose we morally ought to maximize social welfare. Suppose profit maxi­mization is a means to maximize social welfare. Does this imply that we morally ought to maximize profits? Many proponents of the view that we have a moral obligation to maximize profits (tacitly) assume the validity of this argument. In this paper, we critically assess this assumption. We show that the validity of this argument is far from trivial and requires a careful argumentative defence.