Bruce Weinstein is an American ethicist who contributes to Bloomberg Businessweek's Management Blog. He has offered ethical analyses on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (on such issues as the Harvard cheating scandal of 2012), Anderson Cooper 360 (debating with David Gergen about the ethics of publishing kiss-and-tell books in politics), and Issue #1 (an ethics quiz he developed); NBC's Today (the ethics of going to work sick); ABC's Good Morning America (the ethics of tipping and regifting); ABC News Now (ethical dilemmas in the workplace); WNBC's Today in New York (five principles for making ethical decisions);CNBC's "Surviving the Market" (scandals in business);, WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show (the ethics of apologies);, FOX News Channel's O'Reilly Factor (the ethics of producing and watching reality television shows); and other television and radio programs. Weinstein promotes himself as "The Ethics Guy".
Much of Weinstein's work involves helping business leaders, members of professional trade associations, and students appreciate the role that ethics plays in everyday life. This work often takes the form of interactive keynote addresses, which he has given to such diverse groups as Northrop Grumman, the Eastern Michigan University College of Business, the National Business Aviation Association, the Association of Test Publishers, Baldwin-Wallace College, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, the National Association of Corporate Directors (New Jersey chapter), compliance officers from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
He received a B.A. in philosophy from Swarthmore College, a Ph.D. in philosophy with a concentration in bioethics from Georgetown University, and a National Fellowship from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Weinstein published his first book in 1985 at the age of 25 while a graduate student at Georgetown University. "Ethics in the Hospital Setting" contains the papers presented at the first state conference devoted to the issue of what was then called hospital ethics committees, which are now known as institutional ethics committees. Weinstein is credited as the editor of the volume. Portions of Weinstein’s doctoral dissertation, "The Possibility of Ethical Expertise" (Georgetown University, 1989) were edited and published as the articles “What is an Expert?”[Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (Vol. 14, No. 1), pp. 57–73] and “The Possibility of Ethical Expertise”[Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (Vol. 15, No. 1), pp. 61–75.
Weinstein’s second book as editor, "Dental Ethics", is a collection of articles co-authored by ethicists and dentists. His third book as editor, "Ethical Issues in Pharmacy", contains essays co-authored by ethicists and pharmacists.
After editing three books for health care professionals, Weinstein decided to write his own books and broaden the scope of his work to include businesspeople, general readers of adult non-fiction, and students. His first book in this project was, "What Should I Do: 4 Simple Steps to Making Better Decisions in Everyday Life." He applied the four-step protocol used by institutional ethics committees to ethical issues that people outside of health care face. This protocol is:
- Get the facts.
- Identify the values at stake.
- Find the options available to you.
- Test the options and choose the best one, based steps 1 and 2.
The book was a Finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award.
Weinstein's next book was published in 2005 by Emmis Books, a division of Emmis Communications. "Life Principles: Feeling Good by Doing Good," was an application of Tom Beauchamp and James Childress's "Principles of Biomedical Ethics." The basis of the Beauchamp/Childress work is principlism, an ethical framework that uses principles as the foundation for ethical decision making. The four principles that form the core of the Beauchamp/Childress work are:
Weinstein's work simplifies the principles, so that, for example, the principle of nonmaleficence becomes "do no harm", and the principle of beneficence becomes "make things better." Weinstein also applies the principles to areas beyond health care and biomedical research.
The follow-up to "Life Principles" was a book for 10-14-year-olds entitled, "Is It Still Cheating If I Don't Get Caught?" Published in 2009 by Roaring Brook Press (a division of Macmillan), The book is an application of "Life Principles" to the issues that young adults face with teachers, fellow students, parents, and friends. It received the strongest reviews in Weinstein's career up to that point.
In 2011, New World Library published Weinstein's "Ethical Intelligence: Five Principles for Untangling Your Toughest Problems at Work and Beyond." The book expanded much of the work Weinstein had done in his columns for Bloomberg Businessweek on such topics as the outsourcing of customer service, the ethics of taking vacations, and how to give and receive criticism. In 2012, ForeWord magazine selected "Ethical Intelligence" as a Silver Winner in its annual Book of the Year Awards in the self-help category.
Weinstein's letter to the New York Times calling for honesty in politics was chosen as the basis for its weekly Invitation to a Dialogue feature. The letter was originally published on July 7, 2012, after which readers were invited to submit responses. The letter was then republished on August 11, along with several reader responses and a rejoinder from Weinstein. The basis for the letter was Warren Beatty's 1998 film, Bulworth, a satire predicated on the idea that a politician telling the truth would be the stuff of comedy.
- As Editor
- "Ethics in the Hospital Setting" (West Virginia University Press, 1985) ISBN 978-0-937058-23-7
- Dental Ethics (Lea & Febiger, 1993) ISBN 978-0-8121-1444-7
- Ethical Issues in Pharmacy (Applied Therapeutics, 1998), ISBN 978-0-915486-25-0
- As Author
- "What Should I Do? 4 Simple Steps to Making Better Decisions in Everyday Life" (Perigee/Penguin, 2000) ISBN 978-0-399-52628-2
- "Life Principles: Feeling Good by Doing Good" (Emmis Books, 2005) ISBN 978-1-57860-216-2
- "Is It Still Cheating If I Don't Get Caught?" (Roaring Brook, 2009) ISBN 978-1-59643-306-9
- "Ethical Intelligence: Five Principles for Solving Your Toughest Problems at Work and Beyond" (New World Library, Oct 2011), ISBN 978-1-60868-054-2
- See, for example, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-04/ibm-and-the-misogyny-of-the-masters#r=blg-s
- "Anderson Cooper: Are Kiss-and-Tell Books Ethical?".
- "How Ethical Are You? Take The Ethics Guy's Quiz on CNN".
- "'Ethics Guy' Bruce Weinstein '82 Says Calling in Sick Is Right Thing to Do". swarthmore.edu. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
- "Ethical Dilemmas in The Workplace: The Ethics Guy on ABC News".
- "ETHICS ADVICE".
- "2011 Keynote Speakers".
- "Prominent Ethics Speaker Brings Real-World Wit, Wisdom to B-W".
- "Featured Speakers, Opening General Session".
- "Bruce Weinstein on Ethics 1".
- ""Past Winners Log", item #191".
- Bruce Weinstein's official site: The Ethics Guy
- Weinstein author page at Bloomberg Businessweek online
- Youtube channel