Can and Should Businesses be Friends with One Another and with Their Stakeholders

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An increasing number of philosophers have suggested that businesses be conceived on the model of friendship. The paper sketches two different models of friendship – Aristotelian and Kantian. This paper examines whether and in what sense these models are appropriate to business. Care must be taken to specify which type of friendship is meant before treating businesses as friendships. Whether businesses can be friends with one another and with their stakeholders depends crucially upon the type of friendship involved.

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