The Ethics of Bankruptcy

Overview

The fundamental ethical problem in bankruptcy is that insolvents have promised to pay their debts but can not keep their promise. The Ethics of Bankruptcy examines the morality of bankruptcy. The author compares and contrasts the Humean doctrine of promises as useful conventions with the Kantian view of autonomous agency constituting promissory obligations; he explores ethical concerns raised by forgiveness, utilitarianism and distributive justice and the moral aspects of insolvents' contractual, fiduciary, ...

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The Ethics of Bankruptcy

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Overview

The fundamental ethical problem in bankruptcy is that insolvents have promised to pay their debts but can not keep their promise. The Ethics of Bankruptcy examines the morality of bankruptcy. The author compares and contrasts the Humean doctrine of promises as useful conventions with the Kantian view of autonomous agency constituting promissory obligations; he explores ethical concerns raised by forgiveness, utilitarianism and distributive justice and the moral aspects of insolvents' contractual, fiduciary, tortious and criminal liability. Finally, the author assesses recent bankruptcy law reforms. Bankruptcies severly hurt creditors and society. For the insolvents and their families the experience is painful and stigmatising, yet philosophers have paid little attention to the moral aspects of this violent social phenomenon. The Ethics of Bankruptcy is the first comprehensive study that employs the tools of ethics to examine the controversies surrounding insolvency, which makes valuable and sometimes controversial reading in a decade recovering from the Recession.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The author draws on experience in public administration and banking as well as his extensive academic background in philosophy (doctorate from Monash U., Melbourne, Australia). He addresses ethical concerns raised by duty-based principles, utilitarianism, forgiveness, and distributive justice, as well as the moral aspects of insolvents' contractual, fiduciary, tortious, and criminal liability. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415171755
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/11/1998
  • Series: Professional Ethics Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

Series Editors' foreword
Acknowledgements
Prologue 1
1 The institution and the conflicts behind it 7
2 Natural law, consequentialism and contractualism: theories of promising and their shortfalls 19
3 In search of the ultimate obligation: why a metaethical affair? 27
4 Ethics founded on autonomy: a modest objectivist foundationalist interpretation of Kant 38
5 Autonomy and promissory obligations 51
6 Going broke, breaking promises 67
7 Deontological ethics and insolvency 73
8 What kind of discharge? 83
9 Propping up civil liability: contract, breach of trust and tort 93
10 Punishment 102
11 Bankruptcy law reform: an ethical perspective 129
12 Gearing up, crashing loud: should high-flyers be punished for insolvency? 141
13 Corporate moral personhood 163
14 Moral responsibility for corporate debts 177
Epilogue 192
Notes 197
Bibliography 208
Index 214
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