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The Ontological Ground of Business Ethics

The Ontological Ground of Business Ethics

Conceição Soares, “The Ontological Ground of Business Ethics,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 74, no. 2–3 (2018): 385–408, DOI 10.17990/RPF/2018_74_2_0385.

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The Ontological Ground of Business Ethics

Type Journal Article
Author Conceição Soares
Rights © 2018 Aletheia - Associação Científica e Cultural | © 2018 Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
Volume 74
Issue 2-3
Pages 385-408
Publication Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
ISSN 0870-5283
Date 2018
DOI 10.17990/RPF/2018_74_2_0385
Language English
Abstract In this article we shall argue that the analysis of the ontology of exchange in which our human life is based, is crucial to understand the place of ethics in the business world. Otherwise, ethics is only seen in a prescriptive or normative way. The normative way of looking to reality is a crystallization of time and history and a distortion of our understanding of human life. As human beings we are social beings and our lives are built by interchanges and interactions of all kinds which presuppose the interplay with others in relations of reciprocal esteem and estimation. The question concerning business and companies does not arise for a lone human being, but only in human beings’ practical interrelations. Our quest is first and foremost to see these interrelations and the specificities of these interrelations in the business world in order to improve our life together. It is important to appreciate these issues clearly because it is only from a deep understanding of reality that we are in a position to assess which practices are to be valued and which are to be kept out of the business world. To do so, my reasoning is based upon the work of Michael Eldred namely his understanding of the phenomenon of the ontology of exchange (whoness/persons) as the structure of social intercourse in contrast to the ontology of production (whaness/things). By sketching the socio ontological outlines of these, it will be possible to see what kind of ethics could the developed in the business world.
Date Added 20/10/2018, 22:19:58
Modified 22/10/2018, 14:11:10


  • care,
  • esteem,
  • ethics,
  • ontology of exchange and production,
  • whatness
  • whoness,


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