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ETHICS IN BUSINESS AND COMMUNICATION: COMMON GROUND OR INCOMMENSURABLE?

Tomas Kačerauskas

The discourse – conversation – surrounding ethics has its roots in the Socratic and Platonic tradition, which displaced that of the pre-Socratic philosophers such as Thales and Anaximander. Taking a rationalist approach, i.e. the inseparability of ethics from knowledge, Socrates and Plato entirely changed the landscape in terms of the epistemological discourse. Plato (2006) develops the idea of Socratic rationalistic ethics and considers good (alongside beauty) and justice as fundamental to reality. Aristotle (2011) holds that wise decisions are an indication of a virtuous way of life and a social order that is just. Unsurprisingly, in his view ethics is the common, indissoluble link between individual activity and social relations. Similarly, for Thomas Aquinas (1948-1949), ethics encompasses rules that govern our actions and virtues, both of which are milestones for the individual. Immanuel Kant (1997) stresses the rationalistic principle of ethics by appealing to practical reason, i.e. reason as a guide to practical activity.
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