Please wait a minute...

Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2016, Vol. 11 Issue (4) : 556-586
Orginal Article
Three Different Approaches to Virtue in Business- Aristotle, Confucius, and Lao Zi
Alicia Hennig()
School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen Graduate School, HIT Campus, Shenzhen 518055, China
Download: PDF(467 KB)  
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks

The proposed paper presents an overview on the matter of virtue from different philosophical angles. It concentrates on three different schools of thought coming from the West and the East and their respective concepts of virtue. These schools of thought and the therewith-associated personalities and works discussed in this paper are Aristotelian virtue ethics, Confucianism and Daoism. The paper focuses specifically on the Nicomachean Ethics (NE) by Aristotle, the Analects belonging to Confucianism, and the Dao De Jing coming from Daoism. The paper is divided into three major parts. First, the concept of virtue of each school is outlined. In the second part, the concrete virtues as such according to each school are explained. In the third part, these virtues are then applied in specific business contexts like business practice, corporate culture and leadership, illuminating each school’s characteristic approach. The paper closes with a summary and conclusion. In the conclusion the paper outlines differences as well as similarities between Aristotelian and Confucian virtue ethics. Yet, the author generally takes a critical stance towards comparisons merely for the sake of finding similarities. Particularly between Aristotelian and Confucian virtue ethics there is a significant difference when it comes to the cultural and historical background of these schools, which should not be ignored. Besides, even within Chinese philosophy there are already significant differences when it comes to concepts and practice.

Keywords Aristotle      Confucianism, Daoism      virtue ethics      corporate culture      management     
Issue Date: 17 January 2017
 Cite this article:   
Alicia Hennig. Three Different Approaches to Virtue in Business- Aristotle, Confucius, and Lao Zi[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2016, 11(4): 556-586.
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
Alicia Hennig
Related articles from Frontiers Journals
[1] HU Xinkai. Complete Virtue and the Definition of Happiness in Aristotle[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2020, 15(2): 293-314.
[2] Thierry Meynard. What the “Failure” of Aristotelian Logic in Seventeenth Century China Teaches Us Today: A Case Study of the Mingli Tan [J]. Front. Philos. China, 2019, 14(2): 248-263.
[3] Rina Marie Camus. “Athl-Ethics”: Virtue Training in Mencius and Aristotle[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2019, 14(1): 152-170.
[4] Lisa Raphals 瑞麗. When Virtues, Roles and Duties Fail: Early Greek and Chinese Accounts of Akrasia[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2019, 14(1): 29-46.
[5] Malcolm Warner. Whither “Confucian Management”?[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2016, 11(4): 608-632.
[6] Teun Tieleman. The Early Stoics and Aristotelian Ethics[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2016, 11(1): 104-121.
[7] André Laks. Aristotle’s Immovable Movers: A Sketch[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(2): 273-286.
[8] Thomas M. Robinson. Aristotle, the Intellect, and Cognition[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2014, 9(2): 229-240.
[9] Rajesh C. Shukla. Justice and Civic Friendship: An Aristotelian Critique of Modern Citizenry[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2014, 9(1): 1-20.
[10] LU Qiaoying. Aquinas’s Transformation of the Virtue of Courage[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(3): 471-484.
[11] WANG Kai. Xunzi: A Paradigm of Rationalistic Virtue Ethics in Early Confucianism[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(3): 388-396.
[12] CHEN Lai. The Basic Character of the Virtue Theory of Mencius’ Philosophy and Its Significance in Classical Confucianism[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(1): 4-21.
[13] Michael Slote. On Virtue Ethics[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(1): 22-30.
[14] Rina Marie Camus. The Wiseman and the Sage: Metaphysics as Wisdom in Aristotle and the Neo-Confucian School of Principle[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(1): 120-139.
[15] CAO Qingyun. Aristotle’s Concept of Potentiality in Metaphysics Book Θ[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2012, 7(4): 550-571.
Full text