Kant

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The moral act of human beings respecting one another has been for many years generalized as persons treating each other the way they would want to be treated which is known as the “Golden Rule”. In this article respect with regards to Kant’s theory takes respect from a casual exchange such as a polite “ excuse me” or “ thank you” to the very intents of the heart of persons in any exchange.
The core argument in this case is the subject matter of whether or not companies treat their employees as a means to their end or if companies treat employees as an end in and of themselves. Most business’s look at their employees as resources used to accomplish task needed to generate revenues for the company‘s stockholders. In order to understand the issue Kantians have with this business viewpoint one must first understand what Kant considers respect. According to Kant human beings have dignity which cannot be bought. He also believes that human beings are not exchangeable. Kant’s second formulation of the categorical imperative says “Act so that you treat humanity whether, in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only. (Norman E. Bowie “Business Ethics” pg. 67-68) His views regarding human dignity poses a threat to the way businesses operate because from a business standpoint, machinery and humans are one in the same and whichever can meet the objectives of the company more efficiently the company will choose.
In this article, Bowie brought forth several points of view in an effort to pin point whether there is a problem with the way companies define respect. Bowie mentioned that most of the arguments against company’s respect for its employees are the very policies that seem to contradict many company’s claim to have respect for its employees. Bowie mentioned that oftentimes the very policies of companies invade the privacy of its…...

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