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Stakeholder thinking | The Routledge Companion to Business Ethics | Taylor & Francis Group
Rokeach, M. Schachter, S. Schein, E. But then he reminds us that it is individuals who have to pay the costs. It could be the actual culprits, the major players. Or, it could be the stockholders, in loss of profits, or perhaps the downfall of the company. And furthermore, it could be the loss of jobs of employees; so, innocents may be affected. In the literature, French does reply to Danley, as well as to the worries of others.
Certainly, there is room for disagreement and discussion. Hopefully, it can be seen that this is an important issue, and that room for argumentative maneuver is possible.
Deception is usually considered to be a bad thing, in particular something that is morally bad. Whenever one is being deceptive, one is doing something morally wrong. But this kind of conventional wisdom could be questioned. There are at least three arguments one can take from this piece.
In this section, we will explore them. The most obvious argument is his Poker Analogy Argument. Now, obviously, this argument is overly simplified, and certain modifications should be made. In poker, there are certain things that are not allowed; you could be in some serious trouble if it were found out what you were doing. So, for example, the introduction of winning cards slid into the mix would not be tolerated. As such, we can grant that such sliding would not be morally permissible. Similarly, any kind of business practice that would be considered sliding according to Carr's analogy would also not be permissible.
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But there are some obvious permitted kinds of deception involved in poker, even if it's disliked by the losing parties. Similarly, there will be deceptive practices in business that, although disliked, will be permitted. Here is one objection though. Whereas, the loser of deception in poker is the player, the loser of deception in business is a wide group of people. Employees, for example, could lose their jobs because of the deception of either corporate executive of competing companies or the bad deception of the home companies.
There are other ways to respond to this charge, as well. The second reason one might side with Carr's deception thesis is based on a meta-theoretical position. One might take the metaethical position that moral judgments are truth-apt, but that they are categorically false. So, we might think that a certain action is morally wrong when in fact there is no such thing as moral wrongness. When we make claims condemning a moral practice we are saying something false.
As such, condemning deception in business is really just saying something false, as all moral judgments are false.
The way to reply to this worry is then through a metaethical route, where one argues against such a theory, which is called Error Theory.