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Business, Science, and Ethics

The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics, Volume 4

R. Edward Freeman and Patricia Werhane, Editors

Business, Science, and Ethics brings together the ideas of those in business ethics with some scientists working in biology, evolution, and evolutionary psychology. It represents the vision of William Frederick, who has argued for some time that business ethicists should learn more about the sciences and their implications for value creation and trade. The lectures address the question of what business ethicists can learn by paying attention to the sciences.

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  • Jessica C. Flack and Frans B. M. de Waal suggest that the origins of morality can be found in our evolutionary cousins: nonhuman primates. Paul Lawrence suggests that the human sense of morality is innate, or at least has evolved over a long period of time, to fulfill our need to bond with and care for others. Leda Cosmides and John Tooby argue that the evolutionary psychology framework can be useful for understanding business ethics in its account of “cheater detection,” participation in collective action, and how our minds socially construct groups. William Frederick suggests that we come to see firms as natural phenomena. Edwin Hartman argues that we should take an Aristotelian approach to understanding nature and evolution. This volume also includes papers by Joshua Margolis, Robert Solomon, Timothy Fort, David Messick, Saras Sarasvathy, Mollie Painter-Morland, Sandra Waddock, Joseph DesJardins, Ronald Mitchell, and Tara Radin.


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    · ISBN-13: 978-1-889680-36-1 · ISBN: 1-889680-36-2 · 315 pages, 18 contributions · Published 2004 ·
    · PRINT FORMAT (paperback) · Online access available with The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics ·


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