In “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits,” Milton Friedman argues that the manager of a corporation has an obligation to create as much value as possible for the corporation’s shareholders, within certain constraints. In class, we distinguished between several different arguments Friedman offers for this conclusion. (See the “Friedman argument reformulations” item in the “Paper assignments” folder on Blackboard.) In this short paper, you will select one of Friedman’s arguments to explain and critique. You will do this in the following way, with each item below roughly corresponding to one paragraph of your paper:

Explain the main conclusion of the argument from Friedman that you have chosen to write about.

Explain the main premises of the argument from Friedman that you have chosen to write about, making it clear how they support his conclusion. Please do not just repeat verbatim what is on the argument reformulations document on Blackboard. Do your best to explain Friedman’s argument using your own words.

Present what you think is the strongest objection to Friedman’s argument. Your objection should be a reason to reject as false one of the premises of the argument from Friedman that you have chosen to critique. Make sure that it is clear to your reader which of Friedman’s premises your objection is targeting, and how your objection provides a reason for thinking that premise is false. (Remember that some of the other authors that we have read this semester may be helpful for justifying the claims you make in your objection to Friedman.)

Explain what you believe is Friedman’s best response to the objection you raise, and evaluate whether (a) this response convincingly addresses the objection you raised, or (b) the objection successfully undermines Friedman’s argument despite this response.