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Business and the Eudaimonic State: A Neo-Aristotelian Approach to the Conduct of Business

Seel, Nicholas (2014) Business and the Eudaimonic State: A Neo-Aristotelian Approach to the Conduct of Business. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This thesis is primarily concerned with the tension that exists between those who claim that the conduct of business should be exclusively in the interest of the owner and those who believe that business has responsibilities towards society generally. The outcome of the research is to establish a manner in which business might be conducted so as to satisfy at least some of the principal demands of the two opposing parties. The distinctive contribution the thesis makes to the existing literature is to describe and defend, from basic principles, an innovative form of business accreditation which respects both the primacy of owners and the interests of other stakeholders. The philosophical approach taken in the thesis is Neo-Aristotelian. It is Aristotelian in the sense that it concerns the idea of happiness as involving the acquisition and exercise of virtue. It is Neo-Aristotelian in the sense that, unusually, it treats virtue metanormatively, rather than in the normative manner of conventional Aristotelian thought. The research is also Aristotelian in that it employs the technique of dialectic in order to preserve as many as possible of the conflicting arguments. The research begins by establishing an understanding of happiness that is sufficiently objective to form the basis of a political system. It goes on to give an outline of the eudaimonic State, a State which embodies such a system. The role of business in a eudaimonic State is investigated and compared with the purpose an owner might have for a business. Based on this investigation, the principles of Ethical Naturalism are applied to establish what constitutes a good business. Finally a form of business accreditation is proposed that provides owners with control over the conduct of their businesses whilst aligning them with social needs through the formation of partnerships with local communities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Neo-Aristotelian, Happiness, Flourishing, Eudaimonia, Virtue, Dialectic, Ethical Naturalism, Capabilities, Business, Communitarian, Liberal, Shareholders, Stakeholders, Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Enterprise Partnerships, Corporate Citizenship, Free Market, Representation, Big Society, Accreditation
Academic Units: The University of York > School of Politics, Economics and Philosophy (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.644770
Depositing User: Mr Nicholas Seel
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 11:11
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:32
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8535

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