The Moral of Functional Differentiation: A New Horizon for Descriptive Innovation Ethics

Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 27-34, 2012

8 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2012

See all articles by Steffen Roth

Steffen Roth

La Rochelle Business School; University of Turku

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Although ethics is commonly defined as the science of the moral, the present paper shows that the larger part of contributions to the emerging innovation ethics discourse rather does than studies moral communication. Instead of descriptively analyzing how moral dilemmas are solved and decision-making refers to moral communication, contemporary innovation ethicists try to solve moral dilemmas by moral communication. In doing so, the larger part of innovation ethics is subject to a self-confusion with its own research field. As a result, ethics subordinates its own code of truth to the codes of power, health, law, money, and further function systems of society. Challenging this trend, the paper argues for a shift from an ethics as a moral science to an ethics as the science of the moral, which also allows for observing rather than following trends in moral preferences for specific function systems and (their) innovations.

Keywords: Innovation Ethics, Functional Differentiation, Social Systems, Moral Communication, Decision-Making

JEL Classification: M19

Suggested Citation

Roth, Steffen, The Moral of Functional Differentiation: A New Horizon for Descriptive Innovation Ethics (2012). Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 27-34, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2170317

Steffen Roth (Contact Author)

La Rochelle Business School ( email )

102 rue de Coureilles
Les Minimes
La Rochelle, 17024
France

University of Turku ( email )

Assistentinkatu 7
Turku, 20014
Finland

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