2009 | 149 | 89-105
Article title

Elementy kantyzmu w myśli Normana Bowiego oraz R. Edwarda Freemana

Title variants
Kantian Aspects of Norman Bowie and R. Edward Freeman Business Ethics
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The aim of the article is to present the Kantian aspects of N. Bowie and R.E. Freeman business ethics. Both authors are well-known in English-area business ethics as the thinkers working on stakeholder theory. R.E. Freeman, a founder of the stakeholder theory, stated the position called “Kantian capitalism” in 1988-1993. N. Bowie has been working on Kantian business ethics since 90‘s till now. R.E. Freeman uses the second formulation of categorical imperative to redefine the aim of the corporation. According to him the traditional definition is false, because it treats stakeholders (excluding shareholders) as means to profi t (as a traditional firm’s aim). Thus, he defines the new aim as acting for interest of all stakeholders. However, this position is sensitive to strong objections what probably caused the author himself to reject it. Furthermore, Freeman’s position seems to be rather utilitarian than Kantian: acting for other’s interest as an aim of morally good company, weighing and sacrificing interest as a method of morally good acting. N. Bowie’s application of Kantian ideas is wider and more systematic than Freeman’s approach. Nonetheless, it is also sensitive to many particular objections, especially misunderstanding of Kantian ideas. Bowie rejects the idea of purity of motive in Kantian ethics in order to justify the possibility of rational Kantian ethics application to area of business. Finally, making the possibility of application seems to be a proof for economical usefulness of Kantian ethics what makes this position close to utilitarianism too (like in Freeman case).
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