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Ethicisms and their risks: 150 new cartoons about ethics at work by Muel Kaptein - HTML preview

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Serious preface

Ethics with a smile

Ethics is a critical reflection on moral values, norms, and behavior. Cartoons can be a powerful tool for this reflection: they can be used to describe and chal enge morality in a visual and humoristic way. In this manner, cartoons function as ethics with a smile.

Ethicisms

This book contains 150 cartoons. Each cartoon refers to a distinctive and fundamental view about ethics in the workplace. I call these ethicisms because they are al nouns that end with the suffix –ism.

Words that end in -ism describe how we think and how we perceive things. Ethicisms relate to the moral theories, doctrines, and ideologies that we follow.

The importance of ethicisms

The ethicisms that we follow are important for what ethics means to us, how we apply ethics, and how we expect others to behave. We cannot understand or change morality without understanding ethicisms.

A catalogue of ethicisms

This book is a catalogue of ethicisms, presented alphabetically. I present a short definition and a typical risk of each ethicism. The risk is reflected in the cartoon. I would like to thank John Körver for, based on my sketches, drawing the cartoons.

Share with others

The purpose of this book is to help one discover, hopefully with a smile, one’s own ethicisms and the risks they bring. You may also share the cartoons with others to address ethical issues in a disarming manner.

Enjoy and happy reflections!

Muel

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1. Moral absolutism

The view that particular actions

are always either right or wrong.

A risk is that ethical norms are

taken to the point of absurdity

such that other norms are

violated.

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2. Moral abstractionism

(also called idealism)

The view that ethics is about

highly ideal prescriptions that

cannot be actually realized or

operationalized. A risk is that

ethics cannot give practical

guidance.

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3. Moral absurdism

The view that we live in an

irrational universe where there is

no absolute morality so that

people are free to construct their

own morality. A risk is that this is

used as a reason to behave

irrationally and unethically.

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4. Moral accidentalism

The view that some events just

simply do not have any cause.

A risk is the denial of moral

responsibility.

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5. Moral aestheticism

The view that to be perceived as

beautiful is the highest moral

value. A risk is that unethical

behavior is permissible as long as

others do not witness or observe

it.

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6. Moral agathism

The view that the good will

ultimately triumph even though

morally evil things happen.

A risk is that every evil is tolerated

and accepted.

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7. Moral altruism

The view that the regard for the

interests of others is the sole

moral value and that concern for

one’s own interests does not

count. A risk is that one’s own

rights are violated.

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8. Amoralism

The view that ethical norms do

not have a separate objective

reality or basis. A risk is that every

ethical norm can be negotiated

and destroyed (or undermined).

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9. Moral anarchism

The view that employees should

determine the ethics of their

organization and not

management, who have no moral

authority. A risk is that employees

will set (or choose or pick out)

norms that are only in their own

interest.

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10. Moral arithmeticism

The view that what is morally

good and bad can be calculated.

A risk is that what cannot be

calculated is ignored.

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11. Moral asceticism

The view that people and

organizations should live as a

hermit or a monk: pursuing a life

characterized by self-discipline

and self-denial through solitude,

toil, fasting, and frugality. A risk is

that pettiness, narrow-

mindedness, and fastidiousness

might arise.

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12. Moral ascriptivism

The view that human beings are

to be held morally responsible for

their behavior even if it is the

result of having been influenced

by someone or something. A risk

is that people are blamed for

things that are beyond their

control.

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13. Moral authoritarianism

The view that those who have

authority possess moral

supremacy and the right to

command subordinates without

the latter’s consent. A risk is that

subordinates are ordered to

behave unethically.

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14. Moral autism

The view that one should seclude

oneself from the moral

expectations of others because

these are distracting and

demotivating. A risk is that

important (new) ethical issues and

norms are missed.

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15. Moral autocracism

The view that one person has the

absolute power (i.e., without any

constraints or control) to define

what is ethical. A risk is that the

opinions of others are not taken

into account.

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16. Moral autocueism

The view that (as reading from an

autocue) one should do and say

exactly what others have

determined, planned, or laid out

in advance. A risk is a lack of

authenticity.

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17. Moral autonomism

The view that one should strive

for autonomy to determine what

is right and wrong. A risk is the

neglect of context and society.

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18. Moral bacteriophobiaism

The view that to keep intact one’s

own integrity one should not take

any risks that may compromise it.

A risk is passivity.

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19. Moral bonism (also optimism) The view that the world and

human beings are generally or

fundamentally good but not

perfect. A risk is that evil is

ignored.

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20. Moral bureaucratism

The view that ethical behavior is

produced by an administrative

system of rules and procedures

devised by some remote person

behind a desk. A risk is the

undermining of self-regulation.

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21. Moral caveat emptorism

The view that buyers (= emptor)

and other stakeholders should be

aware of the information

asymmetry between them and the

organization and that they should

bear their responsibility.

A risk is that the organization

uses this as a justification for its

own unethical behavior.

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22. Moral circumstancism

The view that circumstances

should be perfect for one to be

able to take responsibility for

one’s behavior. A risk is there will

always be an excuse for why one

cannot be responsible.

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23. Moral classicism

The view that ethical norms were

better in the bygone days.

A risk is the ignorance of

changing circumstances that

require new norms.

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24. Moral collectivism

The view that an individual's

moral beliefs and actions should

benefit the collective (such as the

company, profession, or

community). A risk is that the

individual’s interests and integrity

are neglected.

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25. Moral communalism

(also sovereignism)

The view that each unit of an

organization should autonomously

and independently decide what is

moral for them. A risk is that the

morality of the organization

becomes inconsistent.

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26. Moral compartimentalism

The view that a person or

organization may have different

and unrelated sets of morality for

different roles and functions.

A risk is becoming disintegrated

and limited, with no

comprehensive morality.

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27. Moral concretism (also

hypostatizationism,

reificationism, and reism)

The view that morality should be

represented through concrete

things. A risk is that norms that

are not made concrete are

neglected.

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28. Moral conformism

(also tribalism)

The view that one should adopt

the morality of the group to which

one belongs. A risk is one’s

morality is sacrificed.

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29. Moral consequentialism

The view that only the

consequences and results of an

action count in determining its

rightness or wrongness.

A risk is that bad intentions and

bad behavior are not taken into

account.

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30. Moral conservatism (also

ritualism)

The view in maintaining traditions

that seek to preserve established

moral practices or that resist

change in morality.

A risk is that unethical behavior

remains unchanged.

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31. Moral constructivism

The view that morality is

constructed rather than received

and has an objective value. A risk

is that morality is destructed.

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32. Moral contextualism

The view that ethical norms are

not absolute but are dependent

on the specific context. A risk is

that the context fully determines

what is ethical.

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33. Moral contractualism

The view that what is right and

wrong is based on an explicit or

implicit agreement between

people. A risk is that everything

that has not been agreed in

advance is supposed to be

allowed.

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34. Moral controlism

The view that people will only do

the right thing when they are

being controlled through

monitoring, checks, and

inspections. A risk is that people

feel that they are not trusted.

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35. Moral conventionalism (also

normalism)

The view that people should

behave in accordance with

accepted moral norms that have

been either arbitrarily or artificially

determined. A risk is that people

follow norms that are not ethical.

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36. Moral corporatism

The view that the interests of a

corporation are most important

and should always be served.

A risk is that other legitimate

interests are violated.

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37. Moral creativitism

The view that it is acceptable to

interpret the situation and norms

to one’s own advantage while still

complying with the norms.

A risk is that the spirit of the norm

is violated.

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38. Moral cynicism

The view that one has to

approach conventional morality in

a critical way. A risk is that there

is disdain for good moral norms.

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39. Moral darwinism

The view that only the best ethics

will survive. A risk is that ethics is

seen as a competition of who has

the better ethics.

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40. Moral deconstructionism

The view that concentrates on

finding ruptures or inconsistencies

among moral norms in order to

break it down (= deconstruct).

A risk is that dilemmas, as the

conflict of norms, are seen as the

failure of ethics and thus a reason

for not behaving ethically.

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41. Moral democratism

The view that the majority defines

what is ethical and unethical.

A risk is that the moral opinions

and interests of the minority are

neglected.

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42. Deontologism

(also imperativism)

The view that emphasizes

universal imperatives such as

moral laws, duties, obligations,

and prohibitions. A risk is that no

exemptions are possible even if

the situation calls for it.

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43. Moral descriptivism

The view that ethics merely

represents or describes how

people and organizations act in

real life and that ethics cannot

prescribe normative behavior.

A risk is that ethics does not guide

behavior.

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44. Moral determinism (also

necessitarianism)

The view that all human actions

are fixed or pre-ordained by

external forces before they

happen, thereby denying the

existence of free will and human

choice. A risk is that people deny

responsibility for their actions

because they are just a product of

external forces .

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45. Moral discussabilism (also

communicationism and talkism) The view that the basis of ethics

is to discuss things and that as

long as things can be discussed

openly, then they are ethical.

A risk is that the wrong things are

discussed.

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46. Moral distancism

(also bufferism)

The view that ethics should not

become too close but kept at

arm’s length because on the one

hand, ethics is useful, but on the

other hand, it is dangerous, risky,

and a threat. A risk is that ethics

has marginal impact.

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47. Moral dogmatism

The view that emphasizes the

rigid adherence to doctrine over

rational and enlightened inquiry.

A risk is the lack of flexibility and

openness toward other opinions.

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48. Moral dualism

(also dilemmaism)

The view that the universe is

controlled by two opposing forces.

A risk is that everything is seen as

a dilemma.

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49. Moral eclecticism

The view that does not respect

the boundaries of existing moral

beliefs but instead selects ideas

from each. A risk is arbitrariness

in beliefs and ethical norms.

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50. Moral egalitarianism

The view that equality for all

humans is the most important

ethical value. A risk is that effort

and output are not stimulated.

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51. Moral egoism (also

egocentrism and egotism)

The view that right and wrong is

determined by the maximization

of self-interest. A risk is the

violation of the interests of others.

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52. Moral elitism

The view that individuals who

form an elite are above morality

and have the right to privileges.

A risk is that elites misuse their

position (and become too big for

their boots).

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53. Moral emotionalism

The view that determining right

and wrong is based on feeling.

A risk is that reason is ignored.

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54. Moral emotivism

The view that moral statements

are inherently biased and nothing

more than expressions of

emotions. A risk is that moral

judgements are dismissed as

emotional outbursts.

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55. Moral empiricism

The view that the experience of

the senses is the most reliable or

even the only source of

knowledge for moral concerns.

A risk is that people ignore

potential moral issues.

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56. Moral ethnocentrism

The view that judging the morality

of another culture should solely

be done on the basis of the

morality of one's own culture.

A risk is the ignorance of the

specific nature of other cultures.

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57. Moral eudaimonism

The view that puts personal

happiness at the center of ethical

concerns. A risk is the ignorance

about any other concerns.

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58. Moral exceptionalism (also

antinomianism and grandeurism) The view that moral norms do not

apply to those who are special

and extraordinary. A risk is that

such people think they are

permitted every unethical

behavior.

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59. Moral exemplarism

The view that right and wrong is

determined by the values and

behavior of role models.

A risk is the selection of the

wrong role model.

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60. Moral exhibitionism (also

demonstrativism)

The view that people should make

their ethical behavior publicly

known because otherwise it

cannot exist and be

acknowledged.

A risk is that even normal

behavior is exaggerated or blown

out of proportion.

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61. Moral existentialism

The view that each person, as a

result of living, must create his or

her own values. A risk is that one

denies common universal values.

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62. Moral experientialism

The view that moral knowledge

comes from experience.

A risk is that a lack of experience

could be used to rationalize

unethical behavior.

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63. Moral extremism

(also vandalism)

The view that it is desirable to

carry out to the extreme a

particular morality using extreme

means. A risk is that evil means

are employed.

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64. Moral fallibilism

The view that moral norms may

exist objectively but that humans

cannot reliably or conclusively

establish this because empirical

knowledge can always be revised

with further observation. A risk is

that moral norms are not taken

seriously because they may be

reformulated at any time.

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65. Moral fanaticism

The view that an unrestricted

critical zealousness is necessary

for ethics to advance. A risk is

that people become obsessive.

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66. Moral fatalism

The view that the fortunes of

human beings are predetermined,

thereby stressing the negative or

tragic nature of human life and the

inability to modify one’s fate.

A risk is that people become

negative about ethics in practice.

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67. Moral fixism

The view that when ethics is

damaged, it should and could be

repaired as quickly as possible.

A risk is that the complexity of

improving ethics is denied.

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68. Moral formalism (also codism, legalism, and nomism)

The view that emphasizes the

strict adherence to formal rules

and regulations. A risk is the

failure to think through what one

finds ethical.

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69. Moral functionalism (also

instrumentalism)

The view that ethics should

merely be a useful instrument for

other purposes. A risk is that

ethics is not seen as a value in

and of itself.

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70. Moral hedonism (with

epicureanism as the

enlightened version)

The view that pleasure is the

highest good and that the

fundamental standard of ethical

judgment should be pleasure.

A risk is the violation of other

interests and principles.

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71. Moral hybridism

The view that the psyche of a

person consists of multiple parts:

the id (the basic, instinctual

drives, like needs, wants, and

desires), the super-ego (plays the

critical and moralizing role, like

the conscience), and the ego (the

organized, realistic part that

mediates between the id and

super-ego). A risk is that people

use their own id as an excuse for

their unethical behavior.

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72. Moral hypocriticism

The view that it is permissible for

one to act contrary to the moral

principles and values one claims

to hold. A risk is that one

becomes corrupt as the

contradiction increases.

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73. Moral ignorantism

The view that ignorance is good

when it prevents one from taking

on too much moral responsibility.

A risk is that people intentionally

keep themselves ignorant about

issues for which they bear moral

responsibility.

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74. Moral illusionism

The view that ethics is merely an

illusion and deception is

beneficial. A risk is that reality is

ignored.

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75. Immoralism

The view that rejects conventional

morality, any systematic approach

to ethics, and even ethics itself.

A risk is that any moral norm is

ignored.

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76. Moral imperialism

The view that one ought to

promote and impose one’s

morality on others to gain control

over their morality. A risk is that

the morality of others is

suppressed.

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77. Moral incidentalism

The view that one should only pay

attention to ethics after incidents.

A risk is that ethics does not get

preventive attention.

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78. Moral incompatibilism

The view that different moral

views conflict with each other and

that they cannot be reconciled.

A risk is that conflicting norms that

can and should be reconciled are

kept conflicting.

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79. Moral indifferentism

The view that ethical norms,

concepts, and theories are all

equal and on a par with each

other. A risk is that every norm

is tolerated.

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80. Moral individualism (also

personalism and claimism)

The view that individual interests

and rights are paramount and that

the individual person is of

supreme value. A risk is that

people ignore their duties toward

others.

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81. Moral integrativism

The view that given its universal

relevance, ethics should be

everywhere. A risk is that ethics

gets integrated into everything

and thus becomes invisible and

unrecognizable.

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82. Moral intentionalism

The view that motives and

intentions are the objects of moral

evaluation. A risk is that unethical

behavior is neutralized by claims

of having good intentions.

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83. Moral interpretivism

The view that every ethical norm

is a matter of interpretation. A risk

is wrong interpretations.

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84. Moral intuitionism

The view that our intuitive

awareness of what is right or

good forms the foundation of our

ethical knowledge. A risk is that

people misuse their intuition.

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85. Moral isolationism

The view that one can understand

only the morality of one's own

culture and not that of other

cultures. A risk is that criticism

from people of other cultures is

dismissed.

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86. Moral laxism

The view that in cases of doubt

regarding moral matters the more

liberal course should always be

followed. A risk is that freedom is

expanded at the expense of moral

norms.

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87. Moral liberalism (also

libertarianism)

The view that individuals should

be left free to determine their own

ethical choices because they are

individually or collectively capable

of doing so. A risk is that

management shifts the ethical

responsibility to the employees.

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88. Moral licencism

(also vigilantism)

The view that people have the

right to behave badly when they

are treated badly (as redress) or

when they have done good things

(as compensation). A risk is that

unethical behavior is bought with

a good deed.

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89. Moral loyalism (familiarism and nepotism)

The view that we bear the

greatest responsibility toward

those who are closest to us. A risk

is the ignorance of interests that

are further from us in terms of

awareness, distance, and time.

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90. Moral malism

The view that the world is evil.

A risk is that all evil is tolerated or

even committed by oneself.

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91. Moral managerialism

The view that ethics can and

should be managed. A risk is

exaggerated and too rigorous

management.

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92. Moral marginalism

The view that morality is relevant

but not very important. A risk is

that ethics is only applied to minor

but not to major issues.

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93. Moral marketism

The view that the market, through

the principle of supply and

demand, determines what is

ethical and unethical. A risk is that

without a market for ethics there

is no ethics.

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94. Moral materialism

The view that because products

possess intrinsic goodness,

companies have the duty to

produce the products (and the

consumers have the duty to buy

them). A risk is that other moral

assumptions of the economic

system are blindly accepted.

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95. Moral measurism

The view that morality should be

measurable because only then

does it exist. A risk is that the

focus is on measurement and on

what is being measured and not

on what it means.

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96. Moral meliorism

The view that the world tends to

become morally better. A risk is

the denial of threats that make the

world morally worse.

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97. Moral messianism

The view that one has to rescue

the ethics of others by saving

them from evil. A risk is that one

becomes intrusive.

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98. Moral minimalism

The view that ethics should get

some attention but only in a

limited way. A risk is that ethics

gets too little attention.

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99. Moral modestyism

The view that the ethics of others

is superior to one’s own. A risk is

the devaluation of one’s own

ethics.

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100. Moral monarchism

The view that management

should have broad moral

autonomy. A risk is that

supervising functions regarding

management (such as

compliance, risk and audit)

have a very marginal role.

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101. Moral monism

The view that there is unity with

one superseding value, goal, or

principle. A risk is the neglect of

true dilemmas.

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102. Moralism

(also prescriptivism)

The view that the function of

ethics is to prescribe what people

should (not) do. A risk is that

ethics is being prescribed too

much.

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103. Moral naivism

The view that one should

approach issues and other

persons in a simple and innocent

way in order not to become

suspicious and anxious. A risk is

that there is too much faith on the

goodness of others.

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104. Moral narcism

(or narcissism)

The view that the pursuit of

vainglorious and egoistic

gratification is to some extent

morally desirable. A risk is of

becoming smug.

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105. Moral naturalism

The view that only natural laws

and forces (as opposed to

supernatural or spiritual ones)

govern the world so that moral

claims are ultimately about

features and facts of human

beings, human nature, and

human societies. A risk is that

‘ought’ (what should) is derived

from ‘is’ (what is given in nature).

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106. Moral negativism

The view that ethics is a negative

concept, understood in terms of

pain, costs, limitations, and

restrictions. A risk is the focus on

not behaving unethically instead

of also performing ethical actions.

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107. Moral nihilism

The view that completely rejects

ethics because any talk of an

objective morality is incoherent

and baseless. A risk is the

attempt to behave as unethically

as possible.

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108. Moral nominalism

The view that the naming of

things defines reality. A risk is that by using euphemisms wrong

practices are made less wrong,

neutral, or even good.

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109. Moral objectivism (constituted by moral universalism, moral realism, and moral absolutism)

The view that moral norms are

based on the reality of human

nature and are mind-independent.

A risk is that subjective opinions

are dismissed.

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110. Moral obscurantism

The view that it is acceptable to

intentionally keep others in

ignorance. A risk is that others are

prevented from making good

decisions by and for themselves.

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111. Moral obstructionism

The view that it is acceptable or

even a duty to oppose norms that

are proposed by others. A risk is

that even good norms are

opposed.

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112. Moral opportunism

The view that it is acceptable to

take advantage of any

circumstances, with little regard

for principles. A risk is that ethics

is sacrificed when it is

advantageous.

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113. Moral oppressivism

The view that humans only

behave ethically when they are

compelled and coerced to do so.

A risk is harsh enforcement.

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114. Moral outsourcism

The view that it is acceptable to

entrust ethical responsibility to

others, such as experts and

specialists. A risk is that one

avoids one’s own responsibilities.

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115. Moral pacifism

The view that the highest value is

peace. A risk is that people will

ignore ethical issues that might

disturb the peace.

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116. Moral partnerism (also

co-makerism)

The view that one should not take

important ethical decisions and

actions alone. A risk is that one

involves others in unethical

actions.

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117. Moral particularism

The view that there are no

overriding moral principles that

are applicable in every case but

that moral judgements are made

on a case-to-case basis. A risk is

that each particular case has its

own selective morality.

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118. Moral perfectionism (also

punctualism and utopianism) The view that moral perfection is

the highest value. A risk is that

people suggest that they are

flawless and completely

honorable.

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119. Moral perspectivism (also

polylogism)

The view that moral judgements

depend on an individual's context

or point of view and that there are

many equally valid moral opinions

about any given topic. A risk is

that people may have a positive

opinion about unethical behavior.

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120. Moral pessimism (with

pejorism as severe pessimism)

The view that reality and the

universe are essentially

malevolent and evil and that true

ethics is unattainable. A risk is

that this is used as a justification

for doing bad things.

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121. Moral pluralism

The view that there are several

equally correct and yet

incompatible fundamental values

that in many cases cannot be

objectively ordered in terms of

importance. A risk is that

decision-making becomes

impossible when one is pulled

from all sides.

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122. Moral populism

The view that norms should be

made understandable for and in

the interest of the “little man”,

such as the simple employee.

A risk is that morality is made

too popular.

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123. Moral pragmatism

The view that emphasizes the

practical value and application of

ethics. A risk is that the lack of

attention to reflection.

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124. Moral primitivism

The view that a simple and

natural morality is best. A risk is

that morality is not adequate for

current or complex issues.

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125. Moral privatism

The view that ethics is personal

and private. A risk is that people

are not supposed to use their

conscience at work.

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126. Moral proceduralism

(also processism)

The view that one behaves

ethically as long as one sticks to

procedural norms. A risk is the

denial of substantial norms.

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127. Moral profitism

The view that making profit is the

highest moral value because it is

the means for serving the

interests of others. A risk is that

other values are violated.

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128. Moral programism

The view that ethics can be

programmed. A risk is that there

is no room for the unexpected.

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129. Moral radicalism

The view that severe changes in

morality are needed. A risk is very

frequent and big changes.

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130. Moral rationalism

The view that moral truths and

standards are knowable a priori

just through clear reasoning and

independent thinking. A risk is the

moral feeling is deactivated.

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131. Moral realism (also normalism and normism; part of cognitivism)

The view that moral propositions

refer to objective facts,

independent of the human mind

and opinion. A risk is that ethics

becomes impersonal and remote.

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132. Moral regrettism

The view that unethical behavior

is not problematic as long as

people regret it. A risk is that

unethical behavior is easily

perpetrated given the idea one

will regret it afterwards.

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133. Moral relativism

The view that conceptions of

morality are relative to the person

or group holding them. A risk is

that universal moral norms are

denied.

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134. Moral sensationalism (or

sensualism)

The view that morality is

constructed from or consists of

our sensations. A risk is that

objective morality is denied.

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135. Business ethics separatism (of secessionism and segregatism) The view that due to some

specific characteristics of the

business context, business ethics

prescribes different norms than

general ethics. A risk is that

business ethics loses its ethics.

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136. Moral short-termism

The view that focuses excessively

on doing good deeds in the short

term. A risk is that this kind of

attention to ethics cannot be

sustained.

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137. Moral situationalism

The view that the particular

circumstances deserve to be

given more weight in ethical

decision-making than general or

universal moral norms. A risk is

that ethics becomes too flexible.

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138. Moral skepticism (with

pyrrhonism as total or radical

skepticism)

The view that all claims to moral

knowledge should be doubted or

actively rejected. A risk is that one

disagrees offhand with any moral

norm.

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139. Moral subism (also

hypegiaphobiaism)

The view that people should try to

evade responsibilities as much as

possible (by diving like a

submarine). A risk is that no one

takes responsibility for unethical

practices.

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140. Moral subjectivism (part of

cognitivism; and consists of

irrationalism, nihilism, and emotionalism)

The view that right and wrong is

determined by what someone

happens to think or feel is right or

wrong (thereby denouncing

objectivity). A risk is that unethical

behavior is not objectionable as

long as the perpetrators act in

accordance with what they think

or feel is right.

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141. Moral supremacism (with sexism as an element; also known as moral

chauvinism and sectarianism) The view that there are certain

traits (such as age, race or social

class) the possession of which

makes one superior than those

who do not have them, and hence

makes it acceptable for the former

to dominate, control and

subjugate the latter. A risk is

smugness.

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142. Moral symbolism

The view that morality is or should

be presented in symbols that

stand for morality. A risk is

exclusive focus on symbols and

ignoring actual behavior that is

contrary to morality.

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143. Moral syncretism

The view that attempts to unify

seemingly inharmonious moral

principles, standards, and

opinions. A risk is that real

dilemmas are ignored.

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144. Moral taskism

The view that one’s primary moral

responsibility is to execute one’s

task or function. A risk is that

other norms are ignored.

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145. Moral totalitarianism

(close to authoritarianism)

The view that morality should

govern everything a person does.

A risk is that individual

preferences are undermined.

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146. Moral triumphalism

The view that a particular moral

belief is superior to and should

triumph over all other beliefs.

A risk is that other beliefs are

humiliated.

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147. Moral universalism (opposed to moral nihilism and relativism)

The view that some ethical norms

apply to all individuals in the

same situation. A risk is that there

is no room for individual ethics.

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148. Moral utilitarianism (version of consequentialism)

The view that a behavior is ethical

if it produces the most benefits

(utility) for all persons involved

(“the greatest good for the

greatest number”). A risk is

injustice in the distribution of

benefits.

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149. Moral virtueism (also

Aristotelianism and Neo-

Aristotelianism)

The view that character is the

ground for evaluating and

developing ethics. A risk is the

ignorance of ethical norms and

their consequences.

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150. Moral voluntarism

The view that the individual will is

the fundamental power in the

universe for realizing ethical

behavior. A risk is that the context

that facilitates moral behavior is

ignored.

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ETHICISMS AND THEIR RISKS:

150 new cartoons about ethics at work

Muel Kaptein

Cartoons are a powerful tool for reflection on ethics in the workplace. This book contains 150 new cartoons. Each cartoon refers to a view about ethics (an ethicism) and its risk. The cartoons can be used to address ethical issues at work in a visual and humoristic way.

Muel Kaptein is a professor of business ethics and integrity at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. He is also partner at KPMG where he helps organizations in developing and auditing their ethics. See for more information: www.muelkaptein.com