For-Profit Business as Civic Virtue

Journal of Business Ethics 106 (3):313-324 (2012)
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According to the commonsense view of civic virtue, the places to exercise civic virtue are largely restricted to politics. In this article, I argue for a more expansive view of civic virtue, and argue that one can exercise civic virtue equally well through working for or running a for-profit business. I argue that this conclusion follows from four relatively uncontroversial premises: (1) the consensus definition of “civic virtue”, (2) the standard, most popular theory of virtuous activity, (3) a conception of the common good widely shared by liberal political philosophers, and (4) the mainstream economic theory of for-profit business
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