Kant or Utilitarianism

Topics: Morality, Fiduciary, Stock market Pages: 2 (782 words) Published: March 3, 2014
Kant or Utilitarianism
In this essay we will discuss what Kant’s and a utilitarian’s view on insider trading would be. As we have discussed in previous essays, Kant believed that moral rules could be known through reason and not just by observation (Shaw and Barry 69). For me this is the basis of all decisions that we make and why I would support Kant’s point of view on insider trading. Utilitarianism concentrates on producing the greatest amount of happiness and using it as a standard to determine if an action is right or wrong (Shaw and Barry 62). Utilitarianism requires too much concentration on individual aspects of what the greatest happiness is and basing moral standards around them. Kant believed that good will was the only thing truly good that could be used to determine a person’s morality. This good will would make people act out of a sense of duty and not for example, out of self-interest or emotion. Kant used a categorical imperative to determine an actions moral worth. This imperative states that we should always act to will the maxim, or subjective principle, of that action into a universal law (Shaw and Barry 70). I believe Kant would say that insider trading was immoral because inside traders typically act out of self-interest. To prove it a maxim for inside traders could read as follows: “I know insider trading is illegal but I will still do it in order to minimize or maximize my personal interests.” This proves that an inside trader knows that this act is immoral, but will still indulge in it in order to preserve self-interest. From an organizational standpoint, Kant believed we should follow the rules laid out for us regardless of the outcome and that we should act on principles when making moral decisions. Insider trading is damaging to the majority of stock holders who do not have ties to the “inside circle” of the organization. While the insiders save themselves from disaster the rest of the investors lose heavily. This is...

Cited: Shaw, William H., and Vincent E. Barry. Moral Issues in Business. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
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