A Philosophical Framework for Case Studies

TitleA Philosophical Framework for Case Studies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsBuchholz, RA, Rosenthal, SB
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Publication Languageeng
AbstractPeople who teach business ethics seem locked between two general approaches: an applied philosophy approach that emphasizes the application of abstract ethical theories and principles to specific cases, and the case method approach that leaves the students without any more general theoretical framework with which to approach ethical issues. Classical American Pragmatism, understood as a school of philosophical thought, links these two approaches by providing a new grounding for moral theory in which moral rules are understood as working hypotheses abstracted from concrete situations and moralreasoning demands the return to concrete situations as the foundation for moral decision making that is inherently contextual. Thus moral decision making is bottom up rather than top down, and a sense of moral rightness comes not from the indoctrination of abstract principles but from attunement to the way in which moral beliefs and practices must be rooted naturally in the very conditions of human existence.
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