chapter  5
1 Pages

Concluding remarks

There is hardly a scientist, who does not marvel at his own discipline, from time to time. Scientific disciplines often take different courses than those expected by its representatives. Which factors influence the development of a science and how they relate to each other is a subject, methodologists love to ponder and discuss. The present treatise is not a methodological study, although, occasionally, it strikes methodology a glancing blow. It is rather the result of correlating reflections on phenomena, resulting from an intersection of ethics, economy and political philosophy, which is usually rubricated under business ethics. It was originated by the question why (so many) business ethicists view particular questions as theirs, while ignoring others; why accepting some assumptions unquestioned, while treating others as questionable. The author realized rather early that he would not be equipped to deal with this problem in a sufficiently systematic way, let alone answer them sufficiently systematic. This book serves a different purpose. It lays bare reasons, insights and reflections, which confirm the author’s belief that many themes in business ethics are discussed either unduly intensely, unbalanced or rarely, measured against what business ethics as a science should deliver. The criteria for what business ethics as discipline should accomplish are discussed controversially, of course. The book is supposed to contribute its mite to the debate. It does so by offering an answer to (in the author’s view) one of the most crucial questions in business ethics, namely that of justice in moral economic actions. The core element of that answer is the definition of moral economic justice. It is developed in the course of three chapters and subsequently used as a yardstick, from which, in Chapter 4, we read which of the relevant topics in business ethics receive unduly intense, unbalanced or rare attention. Whatever resonance the theses of this book may bring about: if the present treatise gives an impulse to deepened reflections on the foundations of business ethics, it has achieved what the author hopes for, and much more than he expects.