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Before virtue: Biology, brain, behavior and the ‘moral sense’

Sadler-Smith, E (2012) Before virtue: Biology, brain, behavior and the ‘moral sense’ Business Ethics Quarterly, 22 (2). 351 - 376. ISSN 1052-150X

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Biological, brain, and behavioral sciences offer strong and growing support for the virtue ethics account of moral judgment and ethical behavior in business organizations. The acquisition of moral agency in business involves the recognition, refinement, and habituation through the processes of reflexion and reflection of a moral sense encapsulated in innate modules for compassion, hierarchy, reciprocity, purity, and affiliation adaptive for communal life both in ancestral and modern environments. The genetic and neural bases of morality exist independently of institutional frameworks and social structures. The latter not only shape moral behaviors within circumscribed limits, they also imply a plurality and compartmentalization of roles which may enable or impede the habituation of virtue. Becoming a virtuous agent entails the practical refinement of predispositions in situ as a member of a community of practitioners rather than entailing a normative ethical educational project seeking an intellectual resolution of abstract moral questions.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Business, Economics and Law > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : April 2012
Additional Information : This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 24 May 2012 08:20
Last Modified : 23 Sep 2013 19:09

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