Business as a Humanity

Business as a Humanity

Business as a Humanity

Business as a Humanity


This latest volume in the acclaimed Ruffin Series in Business Ethics brings together the contributions to the annual Ruffin Lecture series, in which some of the leading scholars in business ethics addressed the question: Can business, and business education, be considered one of the humanities, or is it in a class by itself? At a time when business is coming under attack for its apparent transgressions, this book iluminates the special values that inhere in the business world. Arguing all sides of the issue, the distinguished contributors include Richard DeGeorge, Ronald Green, Thomas Dunfee, Robert Solomon, Edwin Hartman, Peter French, Patricia Werhane, Clarence Walton, W. Michael Hoffman, David Fedo, Kenneth Andrews, Joanne Ciulla, Manuel Velasquez, and George Brenkert. The editors contribute an informative Introduction and an Epilogue to set the debate in its proper context.


The purpose of The Ruffin Series in Business Ethics is to publish the best thinking about the role of ethics in business. In a world in which there are daily reports of questionable business practices, from insider trading to environmental pollution, we need to step back from the fray and understand the larger issue of how business and ethics are, and ought to be, connected. We need to integrate the teaching and practice of management more closely with ethics and the humanities. Such an integration will yield both a richer ethical context for managerial decision making and a new set of practical and theoretical problems for scholars of ethics.

During the past twenty years, scholarship in business ethics has blossomed. Today, more than ever before, there is a growing consensus among management scholars, ethicists, and business executives that ethics should be a vital part of the teaching and practice of management.

Responding to this need, in 1987 the Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation established a fund at The Darden School, University of Virginia, to create a distinguished lecture series in business ethics. The Ruffin Series in Business Ethics will publish these lectures, as well as other distinguished books of interest to management scholars, ethicists, and practicing managers. Each of these three audiences is important because it is only through a sustained dialogue among management thinkers, philosophers, and managers that lasting progress can be made in bringing ethics into the daily business of business.

It is a distinct pleasure to present the second volume of the Ruffin Lectures. A distinguished interdisciplinary group of scholars gathered in Charlottesville in the fall of 1989 to discuss the papers of Ruffin lecturers Richard De George, Joanne Cuilla, Robert Solomon, and Clarence Walton. Over the next few years a number of scholars undertook the project of developing the themes these lectures called to mind. The resulting volume can be viewed as a series of sketches . . .

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