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DOI 10.12887/31-2018-1-121-09

Włodzimierz KACZOCHA – From Separatism to the Attitude of Solidarity: The Norms of Ethics and Free Market

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The paper discusses five theoretical and ethical approaches regarding the place of ethics in the areas of economics and free market. The very first separatist approach was developed by theoreticians of neoclassical economics (mainstream economics), Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, among others, who claimed free market is autonomous and neither politics nor ethics should interfere with it. The remaining four approaches have been defined within the realms of (1) utilitarian ethics (Jeremy Bentham, John S. Mill), (2) ‘enlightened egoism’ (Peter Pratley), (3) holistic ethics (Robert C. Solomon), (4) Catholic solidarity (John Paul II, Benedict XVI). Discussing each of these ideas the author describes the theoretical, ethical, or theological assumptions underlying it and used to form general or more detailed ethical concepts containing values, norms and ethical virtues relating to individual or institutional actions. Some sections of the paper quote business practitioners and thus well illustrate the contents of particular ideas.

The listed approaches are analyzed in view of issues such as what market areas should be regulated and controlled regarding ethics, and what values, norms and ethical virtues relate to economic activities.

Keywords: ethics, free market, utilitarianism, ‘enlightened egoism,’ holism, social solidarism

Contact: Europejska Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu,
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E-mail: wkaczocha@gmail.com
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  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887