A Kantian perspective on the characteristics of ethics programs

Scott J. Reynolds, Norman E. Bowie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

The literature contains many recommendations, both explicit and implicit, that suggest how an ethics program ought to be designed. While we recognize the contributions of these works, we also note that these recommendations are typically based on either social scientific theory or data and as a result they tend to discount the moral aspects of ethics programs. To contrast and complement these approaches, we refer to a theory of the right to identify the characteristics of an effective ethics program. We draw from Kant's ethical theory to identify three guiding principles of a moral ethics program and then apply those principles to the specific components of ethics programs as discussed in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Doing so provides insights as to how an ethics program ought to be designed from a moral point of view and sparks discussion of the moral aspects of ethics programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-292+346
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Volume14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004

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