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Professional Ethics and Complicity in Wrongdoing

Gregory Mellema


The moral status of those whose role in wrongdoing is complicit rather than primary seems not to be well understood by participants in the professional community. Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Treatise on Justice (S.T., Pt. II-II, Q. 62,7) provides a taxonomy of ways in which a persons involvement may constitute complicity in wrongdoing. I believe that his taxonomy can be helpful in better understanding the moral status of those who are not the primary actors in corporate or organizational wrongdoing, and in this article I attempt to show how the work of Aquinas, though written in the thirteenth century, provides considerable illumination upon this area of applied ethics.

Gregory Mellema, "Professional Ethics and Complicity in Wrongdoing," Journal of Markets & Morality 11, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 93-100

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