Free Markets, Business Ethics, and Corporate Responsibility


This conference discussed questions central to free markets, business ethics, and ethical decision-making. We read and discussed some of the most astute and influential thinkers on this topic, including Machiavelli, Aristotle, Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and others.


From Liberty Fund

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

by By Adam Smith
Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie

The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith’s first and in his own mind most important work, outlines his view of proper conduct and the institutions and sentiments that make men virtuous. Here he develops his doctrine of the impartial spectator, whose hypothetical disinterested judgment we must use to distinguish right from…

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Additional Readings

Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Indianapolis: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1962.

Den Uyl, Doug, “Corporate Social Responsibility” In Business Ethics and Common Sense, Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 1992. 137-151.

Friedman, Milton. “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.” The New York Times Magazine (September 13, 1970): 1-6.

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Translated by Adams, Robert M.. New York: Norton, 1991.

Murphy, James Bernard, “Prologue and Epilogue” In The Moral Economy of Labor, Yale: University Press, 1993. 1-18, 225-234.

Sternberg, Elaine. Just Business: Business Ethics In Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Wilcke, Richard. “An Appropriate Ethical Model for Business and a Critique of Milton Friedman's Thesis.” The Independent Review (Fall 2004): 187-209.