Business and Economic Ethics
Links to my publications in Business and Economic Ethics.
“What Business Ethics Can Learn from Entrepreneurship” [pdf]. In Journal of Private Enterprise, 24(2), Spring 2009, 49-57.
Also available online at the Social Science Research Network and from Amazon in Kindle e-book version.
Translated into Serbo-Croatian by Alma Causevic.
Business Ethics Cases: My video discussions of Minimum Wages, Rent Control, The Tragedy of the Commons, Laetrile and Experimental Cancer Drugs, The FCC’s “Fairness Doctrine,” and more.
Invited Lecture Series at Francisco Marroquín University, 2011. Videos:
I. Entrepreneurial Ethics.
II. Philosophy and the Evolution of the Mixed Economy.
III. Socratic seminars on the Best Arguments against Free-Market Capitalism:
1. “Capitalism is dog-eat-dog.”
2. “We live in a world of scarce resources.”
3. “Humans are too depraved for freedom” (at 23 minutes).
4. “Humans are too incompetent for freedom.”
5. “Wealth is a social creation” (at 11 minutes).
6. “Value is not of this world” (at 32 minutes).
IV. Seminar on “Economics as a Value Science.”
V. Public Address: “Entrepreneurs and Philosophers: Why a Philosophy of Freedom Matters.”
VI. Interview: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Review of Kevin Gibson, Ethics and Business: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2007) [pdf]. In Teaching Philosophy (Spring 2010).
From my introduction: “Gibson’s approach is middle-of-the-road in the content of his beliefs about business and ethics, so this is a mainstream publication. As such Ethics and Business embodies the strengths of the mainstream—and a few of its weaknesses. So from the perspective of someone outside the mainstream, let me indicate what I take those weaknesses to be in the context of reviewing a textbook written for students. …”
Ethics and Economics
In David Henderson, editor, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Liberty Fund, 2008).
CEE is the second edition of The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics, which was published to acclaim in 1993, and includes essays by “Nobel Prize winners Gary Becker and George Stigler, former presidential economic advisors, financial columnists, and economists such as Armen Alchian, Don Boudreaux, Deepak Lal, Anna Schwartz, Lawrence Summers, and Murray Rothbard.”
Ayn Rand and Contemporary Business Ethics [pdf]
Originally published in The Journal of Accounting, Ethics & Public Policy 3:1 (Winter 2003), pp. 1-26.
Also available online at the Social Science Research Network, in Kindle e-book format, and in a monograph edition from Amazon.
Also available in Korean and German translations.
Abstract: “Most traditional systems of business ethics hold that business is essentially amoral or immoral. Such systems share a common assumption: that conflicts of interest—either because of scarce resources or innate human badness or sin—are basic to the human condition. That assumption of fundamental conflict is rejected in Ayn Rand’s system of ethics. Rand’s system, by contrast, emphasizes the power of human reason to shape one’s character and beliefs, and it makes fundamental reason’s power to develop new resources and cultivate win-win social relationships. In this essay, Stephen Hicks applies Rand’s radical ethical perspective to key issues in business ethics and contrasts it to those perspectives based on the assumption of the amorality or immorality of business.”
Defending Shylock: Productive Work in Financial Markets [pdf]
In this essay I discuss the great value that financial markets add to an economy and the nature of the intellectual work that underlays them. In addition, I argue against the usual criticisms of financial markets that those who work in them are zero-sum parasites upon the physical labor and that they make merely “paper profits.” Along the way, I discuss controversial figures such as Martha Stewart, Michael Milken, Aristotle Onassis, Ivan Boesky, Jesus, Augustus, and Shakespeare’s character Shylock from The Merchant of Venice.
Also available at the Social Science Research Network.
Also in pamphlet form at Amazon.
The Ethics of Outside Funding. Published in Proceedings of the International Association for Business & Society, 2008.
Collected posts on the Financial Crisis of 2007-12.