Principles of Justice and Business Ethics
Q1. Explain Rawls’ Original Position (OP).
The core feature in John Rawls’s social contract is the original position (OP). The main attribute in the OP is “the veil of ignorance”, which assists individuals to evaluate the morality of their actions. Behind the veil, an individual is party to OP and knows nothing about his/her natural capacity or position in society. The real world is also unknown to individual. For instance, if the slave-owner stands behind the veil, he may imagine himself being a slave and realize that the practice is unjustifiable. By using the veil, Rawls argued that an individual is capable of weighing the implications of the action from other individuals’ perspectives. The two principles that guarantee justice in the OP are equal basic rights and equality on opportunities.
Q2. Explain Rawls’ principles of justice.
John Rawls is a great defender of the contractual theory of justice. He argued that it is in the concept of justice that rational people make democratic choices guided by defined constraints. Rawls’s principle of justice originates from the OP where the society takes the responsibility of offering all individuals an equal access to resources and opportunities. Rawls argued that rational individuals in their OP could structure society through the principle of equal liberty and the difference principle. The difference principle ensures that social inequality benefits the least advantaged persons and equality in sharing opportunities (Hinman 224). According to Rawls, the most rational concept of justice is utilitarianism where men choose actions that guarantee greater advantage to others.
Q3a. Explain Rawls’ view of the AA Case.
Rawlsian view of AA, or a “plus”, is built on the concept of differentiating nature and nurture. In the veil of ignorance, Rawls pointed out that the eventualities of social class and fortune should not disadvantage or favor any individual. To be fair in choosing the principles of justice, Rawls advocated for the removal of biasness. All resources should be distributed equality in society to guarantee fairness of justice, unless, the inequality in resource sharing is meant to benefit the disadvantaged.
- Explain why you agree or not with Rawls.
I support Rawls’s strategy for just distribution because endeavors to bring equality and liberty in resource distribution. Although it is extremely hard for the unfairly advantaged to agree on how distribute their efforts to the poor, taking actions to offer greatest benefit to the disadvantaged is perceived as a principle of distributive justice. For instance, if police have to stop all speeding vehicles but let an ambulance go free in order to save a life, then they do not infringe Rawls’s theory of justice.
Q4. Explain Nozick’s principles of justice.
Nozick’s principle of justice has been explained in the entitlement theory, where he emphasized on equal distribution of resources. The theory of distributive justice necessitates justice in acquisition of resources; justice in transfer of holdings and justice in rectification of earlier injustice. No individual should own property without following the process of acquisition and transfer of holdings. Nozick is against extensive state, as it coerces individuals to work extra hours in order to gain something, thus, interfering with distribution justice. According to Nozick, justice involves respecting individuals’ rights, especially the rights to property, as people should be allowed to decide what they prefer to do with their possessions.
Q5. Explain Nozick’s view of rights.
For Nozick, a state that is more extensive infringes people’s rights, thus, a minimum state is justifiable. A minimum state respects people’s rights and their autonomy. Nozick illustrates an individual human being as a self-owner, who values his body, talents, as well as ability, thus, slavery can be termed as an infringement of individual rights. In support of John Locke, Nozick believed that individuals have certain rights, such as rights to live and own property. The controversy against Nozick’s view is that taxation is a form of forced labor, which goes against individuals rights. Taxing the rich highly to feed the poor is infringing the rights of affluent.
Q6a. Explain Nozick’s view of the AA Case.
Nozick opposed an AA program that awards all individuals because awarding the least favored group is a form of discrimination. Nozick believed that the advantaged white people are innocent because they violate no rights in practicing their talents. The AA program should treat the talented white individual as a means to assist the disadvantaged. When an individual breach the rights of another individual, then the individual violating the rights of others should compensate the person whose rights have been violated.
- Explain why you agree or not with Nozick.
I tend to disagree with Nozick because people have different talents at different environment. If children from rich families compete with children from poor families on the same prize, the rich families’ children would win because they their capacities are enhance by their parents’ resources.
Q7. Explain Solomon’s Aristotelian theory of business.
Aristotle was renowned for emphasizing on the fostering of the virtues. The Aristotelian concept of business ethics starts by recognizing the essence of individual virtue and integrity, which are nurtured by excellent corporate and social policy. Solomon’s argument was that businesses are intrinsically social activities, and that Aristotelian virtues could be applied in managerial and corporate behavior (Higgins and Sherman 95). Good corporate and community policy are preconditions of careful cultivation of individual virtue. Aristotle’s defense of slavery is adequate to convince individuals that they still require the language of rights, even when the language of the virtues is fully developed.
Q8. Explain why Solomon rejects Rationalist approaches to business ethics.
Solomon rejected rational approaches to business ethics because rational criteria are external measures by which emotions are judged. He believed that the modern Western culture has stressed on using rational approaches to an extent of forgetting other modes of thinking. Rational approaches result from over-thinking about a problem. Solomon’s work on business ethics is derived from traditional ethical theories, such as deontology and utilitarianism, thus, he opposed rational theories because they are modern concepts resulting from lack of emotional connection. Rational theories are essential in business, but people tend to overuse them.
Q9. Explain Solomon’s six dimensions of business ethics.
Solomon has emphasized on ethical styles, which manifest themselves through individual conduct. The six dimensions of virtue ethics, as explained by Aristotle include the community, role identity, integrity, intimate interconnection, judgment, and excellence (Higgins and Sherman 109). An ethical individual should function as a moral agent in the community. Role identity marks the domains of human activities in business practice. Integrity depicts being competent in undertaking individual’s roles. Judgment is critical for exercising virtue while holism depicts unity in carrying our individual’s responsibilities. Excellence involves comprehending how to carry out any particular virtue.
Q10. Explain Solomon’s view of business and the virtues.
Solomon maintained that sound ethics are essential for long-term success in business. He emphasized that corporations are like individuals who are answerable to community, and corporate values are pointless if they are not transformed into action. Virtues are values that are accompanied by actions, and virtues enhance business corporate relationship. Solomon assured business people that it is indeed possible to apply ethics in business without forgoing profit, as long as they practice integrity in business operations. Lack of trust, shared values, and mutual benefits make international business quite difficult to sustain.
Higgins, Kathleen M, and David Sherman. Passion, Death, and Spirituality: The Philosophy of Robert C. Solomon. Dordrecht: Springer, 2012. Internet resource.
Hinman, Lawrence M. Ethics: A pluralistic approach to moral theory. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2013. Print.