Amorality, or a poor conscience?

Although I graduated back in September 2016, one of the essays I wrote during my Research Master was recently published in the Erasmus Student Journal of Philosophy (ESJP). The essay is about the amorality of the global banking sector, in which I respond to the popular explanation put forward by Dutch anthropologist and author Joris Luyendijk. After three months of peer reviews, I can finally say my life as a student is (officially) over. During my studies, I have always tried to make dense philosophical arguments more accessible and enjoyable for a broader audience. This essay I one such attempt.

I have written about this particular topic before. In one of my first posts, I introduced the principle of caveat emptor and tried to explain why it is exemplary for the problems in the banking sector. To bring this point home, and to present new insights on the misconduct and reprehensible behaviour of bankers, I would like to share the full essay with you. It is quite a long read (about 6.000 words) but if you found Luyendijk’s story interesting then you will hopefully enjoy mine as well.

Why you should read this essay:

  • It presents an alternative explanation for a destructive and recurring problem;
  • it connects moral philosophy and moral psychology to the world of banking;
  • it shows that philosophy can be timely and useful.

Disclaimer: none of the views expressed in this essay, nor any other opinions put forward on this blog, are in any way related to the position of the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) on similar matters.


Author: Felix den Ottolander

Owner of China Hand (

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