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

Sadler-Smith, Eugene (2012) Before virtue: Biology, brain, behavior and the ‘moral sense’ Business Ethics Quarterly, 22 (2). pp. 351-376.

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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 Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : April 2012
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Additional Information : 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 : 16 Jan 2019 16:31

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