Philosophical Research Paper
Philosophical Research Paper
Deontology and consequentialism, are the two theories that would be the focus of attention in the given task. Deontology is one of the ethical theories that morality of any action must be based on whether an action is right or wrong in the light of certain rules, rather than focusing on its consequences. Consequentialism is also an ethical theory which claims that the consequence of one's behavior serves as the ultimate basis for judging about its wrongness or rightness.
Following are the chosen original texts of two of the most famous philosophers:
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
Utilitarian by John Stuart
Examination of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
In this philosophical work, Kant claims that centrally there are three fields that need to analyzed i.e. physics, ethics and logic and in this work metaphysics is focused upon that is the study of pure concepts as they are linked with morals and physical experiences. This work of Kant's view relates to the deontology which claims, wrongness or rightness of any action must be judged in light of a set of rules being formulated by society as every society has its rules and regulations to measure how moral an act is.
Examination of Utilitarian by John Stuart
In this philosophical work (Utilitarianism) Mill Stuart claims that any action should be judged in the light extent to which they promote happiness. Any action that is taken under the light of set rules that are accepted and encouraged in a society ultimately brings happiness. The ultimate aim of making rules in any society is to ensure the happiness of its people and the aim of achieving happiness is solely based on how effectively rules are being followed in society.
Analysis of deontology
In moral philosophy, this ethical uses rules for distinguishing between right and wrong and this theory claims that our actions must follow some universal moral rules and laws i.e. don’t cheat, don’t lie and don’t steal, etc. (Brenkert et al, 2019). Practicing deontology is very simple as it requires to follow certain universal rules and perform the assigned duty and it tends to fit one’s natural intuition about what is ethical and what is unethical when they perform any action.
Analysis of consequentialism
Considering consequentialism, it would be seen that this ethical theory concentrate on the consequence of the actions, if the consequence works best in the favor of majority than the action is considered to be right but if the consequence is destructive than the action is wrong ethically (W et al, 2019). This ethical theory requires weighing the situation whether it costs or benefits and it does not have to anything with rules whether one follows or not as in consequentialism only the end result matters.
Philosophical theories given by Mills and Kant claims the business ethical issue of selected case study “Galleon Insider trading" could have been avoided if the moral judgment was considered and also if universal laws were obeyed. Kant in his text “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals” claims “some actions are so constituted that their maxim cannot even be thought without contradiction as a universal law of nature, much less could one will that it ought to become one. This means that not the universal rules rather moral judgment should be given supreme position. On the other hand, considering Mills’ work it is stated, “the greatest happiness principle has had a large share in forming the moral doctrine even of those who most scornfully rejects its authority”. This means that happiness is centrally based on the rules that most authorities dislike as happiness ignores their personal benefits.
Case study: Business ethics issues in “Insider trading at the Galleon Group”
Galleon Group was one of the privately-owned hedge fund firms which are known for the provision of both services and information regarding investment such as bonds, stocks, and other financial instruments. It used to make money for itself and others by picking stock and managing their portfolios as well as funds. In 2009, the head of this company was indicted on 14 counts of securities conspiracy and fraud. Analysis of this selected case showed that there are various business ethics issues in it. The head of Galleon built an image that just cuts the edge of investment. Though it is an expert for making trading decisions after investigation, it was discovered that Raj Rajaratnam was involved in insider trading. In the light of business ethics, insider trading is wrong even if analyzed from any philosophical lens is used. All the ethical theories declared it as wrongdoing. Deontology asserts that lying is not justified in any case and is wrong and in insider trading, there is involved fraud or another form of deceit always (Chandler, 2019). The theft of information is a kind of fraud as well as an intrinsic wrong. While analyzing this case study under the lens of consequentialism it won’t be wrong to say it decries trading too as it promotes unreliability and undermines trust in markets. This fact cannot be denied that trust is one of the most vital for the growth and stability of markets. Rajaratnam was the main culprit who was ethically corrupt and this actor ruined the reputation of this organization and fraud and lies are the business ethical issues.
From the philosophical theories of the two selected philosophers, it would be analyzed that as per the utilitarianism actions being taken by the head of Galleon produced the reverse of the happiness and created issues for people and put them in hassle. Mill Stuart also claimed that happiness is the sole of ethics but unfortunately, actions of the head of Galleon caused financial and psychological sufferings for the investors (Kacperczyk et al, 2019). In the light of philosophical work “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, by Immanuel Kant, it is claimed that moral judgments must be given more weight than moral laws as one of the main teachings of this ethical philosopher is that something is better now to take action in accordance with laws or rules that seem ethically right but one must moral judgment should be a priority than rules, but as far as Galleon insider trading is concerned, Rajaratnam took unethical steps they were against both moral judgment as well as universal laws. It is easy to see how both the ethical theories would play with this business ethics issue as utilitarianism theory given by Mills emphasized on happiness that a person’s action brings and focused on the outcome of Rajaratnam’s action that put investors in difficult and focuses on his personal benefit. While on the other hand, Kant’s ethical philosophy claims that moral judgment should be given supreme priority in what way one chooses despite focusing on the outcome of the action one takes. Both philosophical theories’ implementation could be witnessed in the given case study as in the light of both theories his actions are analyzed with logical reasoning that his action was unethical. As a whole, it could be concluded that the given business ethical issue could be resolved by promoting ethical teachings and encouraging concerned people to follow the universal rules that are right as per their moral judgment. For resolving this ethical issue morality should be practiced and universally accepted rules must be followed before taking any action so that outcome would be constructive also would bring happiness for the majority.
Brenkert, G. G. (2019). Mind the gap! The challenges and limits of (Global) business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 155(4), 917-930.
Chandler, R. C. (2019). Deontological Dimensions of Administrative Ethics Revisited. In Handbook of Administrative Ethics (pp. 205-220). Routledge.
de Bakker, F. G., Rasche, A., & Ponte, S. (2019). Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives on Sustainability: A Cross-Disciplinary Review and Research Agenda for Business Ethics. Business Ethics Quarterly, 1-41.
Kacperczyk, M. T., & Pagnotta, E. (2019). Becker meets Kyle: Inside insider trading. Available at SSRN 3142006.
Wu, H. T. (2019). Insider Trading, Informed Trading, and Market Mechanisms: A Comparative Perspective from Taiwan (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley).
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