Moral Education at Work: On the Scope of MacIntyre’s Concept of a Practice

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JournalJournal of Business Ethics
DateAccepted/In press - 23 Nov 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2017
DatePublished (current) - Sep 2019
Issue number1
Volume159
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)105-118
Early online date1/12/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper seeks to show how MacIntyre’s concept of a practice can survive a series of ‘scope problems’ which threaten to render the concept inapplicable to business ethics. I begin by outlining MacIntyre’s concept of a practice before arguing that, despite an asymmetry between productive and non-productive practices, the elasticity of the concept of a practice allows us to accommodate productive and profitable activities. This elasticity of practices allows us to sidestep the problem of adjudicating between practitioners and non-practitioners as well as the problem of generic activities. I conclude by suggesting that the contemporary tendency to regard work as an object of consumption, rather than undermining MacIntyre’s account of practices, serves to demonstrate the potential breadth of its applicability.

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© The Author(s) 2017

    Research areas

  • MacIntyre, Practices, Virtue ethics

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