- Series: Hoover Institution Press Publication (Book 454)
- Paperback: 310 pages
- Publisher: Hoover Institution Press; 1st Edition edition (March 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0817996222
- ISBN-13: 978-0817996222
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,667,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Business of Commerce: Examining an Honorable Profession 1st Edition Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
About the Author
Tibor R. Machan is a Hoover research fellow, Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, Auburn University, Alabama, and holds the R. C. Hoiles Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
What Machan is trying to do, in effect, is to give us Objectivism without the structure. This he does by writing (or co-writing) volumes such as this one, which follow no logical pattern but circle round and round, coming back again and again to the same topics and quotes, always "suggesting" (a favorite verb of his) but never ever *establishing* anything.
*The Business of Commerce: Examining an Honorable Profession* is supposed to offer a panorama of business bashing in Western culture, together with an analysis of its roots and a refutation of its premises. There is indeed a kind of panorama, but it is at best impressionistic and widely scattered. There is an analysis, identifying a dualistic view of man as the basic root of hostility to business, but it is so rambling and redundant that it exasperates more than it enlightens. As for the refutation of the premises of business bashing, it is always tentative, hypothetical, referring the reader to other works or further chapters (where a point is said to be "discussed in greater detail"), never concluding anything and ultimately leaving the various remarks floating in some sort of undifferentiated intellectual goo.
Machan and Chester never really *develop* their arguments: they content themselves with accumulating (and reiterating) a series of unintegrated, out-of-context points which never definitively answer the positions they are supposed to be refuting- all this, I suppose, to avoid the ultimate intellectual sin of dogmatism, of which Machan probably considers more disciplined Objectivist philosophers, like Leonard Peikoff, to be guilty. The authors' recommendations for the teaching of business ethics seem to apply just as well to their own work: "Here some measure of thoroughness and even-handedness in the presentation and discussion is about all that can reasonably be achieved. It is improper to avoid this difficulty [i.e. the divergences between different moral systems] by simply becoming an advocate of one's own position..."
I am not saying that Machan and Chester are ever really *wrong* on any specific issue. As they are merely rewording Ayn Rand's conclusions and arguments, on the contrary, they are most often right. But the book is so unstructured that it is almost impossible to remain in focus while reading it- an impression I also got from Machan's *Ayn Rand*, but which I attributed to the fact that I was familiar with most of the material and hence was occasionally bored.
In addition, Machan and Chester seem to be reluctant to admit just how much their own philosophy owes to Rand. When stressing that values presuppose living entities, they quote Karl Popper. When asserting that man's basic freedom is the freedom to think or not, they quote Emerson. And when defending the value of money, they do not even quote Francisco d'Anconia's money speech in *Atlas Shrugged*, even though most of their points are in it.
My recommendation, therefore, is to save your time and money and go directly to the source.