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How to be Profitable and Moral: A Rational Egoist Approach to Business

How to be Profitable and Moral: A Rational Egoist Approach to Business

by Jaana Woiceshyn
How to be Profitable and Moral: A Rational Egoist Approach to Business

How to be Profitable and Moral: A Rational Egoist Approach to Business

by Jaana Woiceshyn


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A basic dilemma confronting today’s manager is how to be both profitable and moral. Making profits through immoral means—such as deceiving investors or customers—is unsustainable. Likewise, remaining moral while losing money will cause a business to fail. According to conventional morality, either a business manager maximizes profits and necessarily compromises on ethics, or necessarily sacrifices profits in order to be moral. Woiceshyn explains why this is a false dichotomy and offers rational egoism as an alternative moral code to businesspeople who want to maximize profits ethically. Through logical argument and various examples, this book shows how to apply principles such as rationality, productiveness, honesty, justice, and pride for long-term self-interest.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761861607
Publisher: Hamilton Books
Publication date: 08/15/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 166
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jaana Woiceshyn holds a Ph.D. in applied economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught business ethics for over twenty years to undergraduate, MBA, and Executive MBA students and to various corporate audiences at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, and elsewhere. This is her first book. For more information, please see her website:

Table of Contents

Introduction: How to Be Profitable and Moral Which Ethics? • Overview Values as End Goals, Principles as Road Maps The Necessity of Pursuing Objective Values: An Issue of Life and Death • The Necessity of Guiding Principles: Why Acting on the Spur of the Moment Is Harmful • Rational Moral Principles Are Contextual—But Not Relative Why Egoism? The Principle of Self-Interest • Human Nature as the Gauge of Value • Why Happiness Cannot Be the Standard of Value Rationality as the Primary Virtue Thinking as the Main Means of Survival—and of Being Moral • The Virtue of Rationality in Business • What Rationality Requires in Thinking and in Action • The Role of Emotions • Guarding against Irrationality • Applying Rationality Productiveness Material and Spiritual Benefits of Productiveness • Productive Work Requires Thinking and Action • What about Rest and Retirement? • Guarding against “Unproductiveness” • Applying Productiveness Honesty Why Is Honesty Egoistic? • Honesty in Thinking and Action • Guarding against Dishonesty • Applying Honesty Justice Justice in Thinking • Justice in Action • Justice as Contextual • Justice as Trade • Guarding against Injustice • Applying Justice Independence Relevance of Independence in Business • Independence in Thinking • Independence in Action • Guarding against Second-Handedness • Applying Independence Integrity Relevance of Integrity in Business • Integrity in Thinking and Action • How to Guard against Failures of Integrity• Applying Integrity Pride Relevance of Pride in Business • Pride in Thinking and Action • Pride as Contextual • Humility as Anti-Virtue and How to Guard against It • Applying Pride Common Misconceptions about Egoism Selfishness (and Greed) • Charity • Conflicts of Interest The Social Context of Business: Capitalism, Rights, Government and the Current Reality Production, Trade and Their Proper Social Context: Capitalism • Individual Rights • Initiation of Physical Force as Evil • The Role of Government • The Current Reality How to Pursue Rational Self-Interest in a Mixed Economy Defending Business to Create a More Pro-Business Environment • Running a Business and Resolving Moral Dilemmas Objectively Conclusion Bibliography Index  

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