From responsibility for oneself to shared responsibility
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The article presents various links between business and ethics. The idea of responsibility, used to describe legal, economic and ethical aspects, forms the main, unifying thread. The author employs it to analyze three spheres of human activity. The first sphere, the subjective one, concerns self-responsibility, when individuals are striving to satisfy their own needs and to achieve happiness. The second, the encounter with the Other, embraces two meanings: responsibility for and towards the Other. The third sphere, the social one, extends the idea of responsibility onto the historical community we belong to. The concept of co-responsibility is not confined to our life span, but it embraces the future generations as well. The author pinpoints an important element in creating the foundations of a given community, i.e., regulations that form its basis, especially the principle of justice, encompassing the distribution of goods. Many contemporary authors underline this ethical, political and economic aspect (Rawls, communitarians, Ricoeur, Habermas). The main thesis the author would like to substantiate is as follows: in business activities, the ethical conduct of an individual is not sufficient. It needs to be broadened to encompass other perspectives since contemporary societies are based on the multidimensional idea of co-responsibility.
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