Women, Ethics and the Workplace

By Candice Fredrick; Camille Atkinson | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION
We maintain that we can learn something here. Once again, although there can be no systematic method for moral deliberation, we can become more thoughtful, careful, and self-conscious in the choices we make. Still, as human beings we wear many hats, and thus we face many responsibilities that may come into conflict. We are employees and employers, friends, lovers, parents, children, brothers, sisters, and public citizens; so we have personal, professional, and social or political responsibilities that cannot be denied. How to negotiate this network of possible moral dilemmas is something that clearly will require time and experience, and even then one will often be forced to compromise something of value. Perhaps recognizing this one thing above all will be what is most beneficial to us. For true wisdom consists in knowing one's weaknesses and limits as well as one's strengths, knowing what aspects of our lives we can and cannot control. As Socrates would say, the wise person is one who is aware of his or her own ignorance. Also, we can draw something from the lessons of the philosophers above, even if this merely involves the discovery of what we ought not do. That is, we should not ignore our desires and passions or suppress them as if they are necessarily detrimental to moral reasoning and deliberation; nor should we appeal strictly to pleasure and happiness or to duty and good will as "ultimates," pretending that these are things that are clearly definable, measurable, or quantifiable. As Aristotle indicates, we need to remain sufficiently open in order to "see" what the good might be, and how it may be realized, in each and every particular situation.Some cases will, of course, be harder to evaluate than others. That is why a practically wise person must have some sense of what is of universal value, or what his or her ends and objectives in life are. The problem is that these can be quite elusive, since they are manifold and subject to change for any thoughtful individual. Moreover, the contingencies of human history and culture preclude the possibility of giving any stable interpretation to concepts of justice, friendship, generosity, or any other basic goods. We are left, then, with doing the best that we can in a world that refuses to make this a simple enterprise. Thus, we hope that what this book will provide are some basic guidelines for discussion--that is, that we can stimulate or encourage dialogue among men and women who share a concern for ethics and who are seeking to establish a working environment that is productive and satisfying for all.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
1. Can ethical theory adequately respond to the specific needs and demands of the workplace?

-17-

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Women, Ethics and the Workplace
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Ethical Theory 1
  • Conclusion 17
  • Notes 18
  • 2 - Feminist Theory 19
  • Conclusion 44
  • Notes 45
  • 3 - Sexual Harassment 47
  • Notes 65
  • 4 - Comparable Worth and Value 67
  • Notes 87
  • 5 - Advertising 89
  • Notes 108
  • 6 - Leadership 111
  • Conclusion 131
  • Notes 132
  • 7 - Working-Class Women 135
  • Notes 157
  • Conclusion 159
  • Notes 162
  • Appendix A Anita Hill Testimony 163
  • Appendix B Women, Family, Future Trends: A Selective Overview 169
  • Index 175
  • About the Authors 181
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