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Normative Contexts and Moral Decision

Michael Philips
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 4, No. 4 (Aug., 1985), pp. 233-237
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25071503
Page Count: 5
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Normative Contexts and Moral Decision
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Abstract

This paper attempts to explain the significance of the 'ideologies' - or 'middle-level' normative discourse - described by Kenneth Goodpaster in his paper 'Business Ethics, Ideology, and the Naturalistic Fallacy'. It is argued that the propositions constitutive of this discourse are not invokable moral principles (i.e. principles which generate solutions to actual moral problems). Rather, they are characterizations of the normative contexts in which moral decisions are made. As such, they place limits on the ways in which the abstract moral principles of traditional moral theory may be applied or interpreted in making real-life moral decisions.

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