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Social Darwinism and Business Ethics - Essay Example

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Social Darwinism and Business Ethics

Apart from the practical issues in business ethics like corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, stakeholder concept etc there area also philosophical issues conflicting with the nature of business. One of the most important issues among them is 'Social Darwinism'.
The encyclopedia Britannica defines Social Darwinism as "the theory that persons, groups, and races are subject to the same laws of natural selection as Charles Darwin had perceived in plants and animals in nature". The essential similarity between Social Darwinism and the nature of business is the term 'competition'. It is competition that drives progress. The alleged propounder of Social Darwinism, the late Victorian English philosopher Herbert Spencer coined the term 'survival of the fittest' to society, inspired by the scientific support from Darwin's work. This led to the belief that the weak exist solely for exploitation by the strong. Critics think Social Darwinism is to be blamed for issues like the eugenic programs of nineteenth century, the Nazi holocaust, imperialism, racism etc.
The eighteenth century philosopher Kant had a viewpoint quite similar to the social Darwinists, but much more superior. He argued that the theory of evolution was actually a step backwards in theoretical analysis of the species and illogical. ...Show more


Business ethics is a relatively new academic term dealing with the application of ethical values in commerce. The concept of ethical dealing in business has existed in all ages and times, hoping to ensure 'proper' conduct of business. But they have not always been very successful…
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