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Epistemic virtues vs. ethical values in the financial services sector

Borg, E. ORCID: and Hooker, B. (2019) Epistemic virtues vs. ethical values in the financial services sector. Journal of Business Ethics, 155 (1). pp. 17-27. ISSN 1573-0697

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10551-017-3547-x


In his important recent book, *Ethics and the Global Financial Crisis: Why Incompetence is Worse than Greed* (2015), Boudewijn de Bruin argues that a key element of the global financial crisis of 2007-8 was a failure of epistemic (i.e. knowledge-based) virtue. To improve matters, then, de Bruin argues we need to focus on the acquisition and exercise of epistemic virtues, rather than to focus on a more ethical culture for banking per se. While this is an interesting suggestion and it is indeed very plausible that an increased focus on proper knowledge-related behaviour will be part of a solution, we are sceptical both about de Bruin’s overarching theoretical claims and about his practical suggestions for change. Instead we argue that change in this sector is best promoted by reconceiving of the relationship between financial institutions and the societies they serve, and that this is fundamentally not an epistemic but a moral issue.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:70026
Uncontrolled Keywords:ethical values in financial services, responses to the financial crisis, financial literacy


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