University of Pittsburgh, Summer 1999
Philosophy 1380: Business Ethics
Ben Eggleston

Business Ethics

Course documents:

Description: What are the ethical responsibilities of businesses? Should a business just look out for its “bottom line,” or should it look out for its employees, customers, community, and environment, too? When a business such as Nike operates in a third-world country, is it morally obligated to pay wages that would be considered fair in America, or is Nike doing enough if it abides by local laws and regulations? And how can the ethical point of view shed light on a disaster such as the Challenger explosion, which was apparently caused more by the corporate culture of NASA than by any individual’s negligence? These are the kinds of questions we will be considering in this course, by reading not only introductory discussions of various issues in business ethics but also studies—some of them first-hand—of particular cases. Evaluation will be based on a mix of writing assignments, tests, presentations, attendance, and participation in discussions.