Wittgenstein and the Practical Turn in Business Ethics
Deslandes, G. (2011). Wittgenstein and the Practical Turn in Business Ethics. EJBO, Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 48-54.
© Business and Organization Ethics Network (BON)
The significant influence of Ludwig Wittgenstein in social science is partly due to the central role played by the practical dimension, which is inherent in his philosophy. Nowadays, the latter is drawing strong interest in the academic community, in sociology, in management science as well as in business ethics, a field in which experts strive to establish an ethics opposed to any normativity, directly geared to managerial practices. However, the very same scholars who investigated this “practical turn” and who do not fail to refer to Wittgenstein as a major philosophical source are hardly prolific about his work as a philosopher. Can the main Wittgensteinian concepts serve as a reliable theoretical basis on which to ground business ethics as a practice? To answer this question, we first analyse the relation between facts and values, between rule and practice. We then explore the converging elements existing in Wittgenstein’s philosophy as a quest for self-knowledge, before expounding the principles of what might constitute an approach to business ethics as practice. Lastly, we underscore the limitations of such an interpretation as well as to the need to go deeper into these tentative conclusions, both from an empirical and theoretical point of view. ...
PublisherBusiness and Organization Ethics Network (BON)