Cultivating Moral Imagination through Meditation

Journal of Business Ethics 51 (1):15 - 29 (2004)
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to show how moral imagination can be cultivated through meditation. Moral imagination was conceived as a three-stage process of ethical development. The first stage is reproductive imagination, that involves attaining awareness of the contextual factors that affect perception of a moral problem. The second stage, productive imagination, consists of reframing the problem from different perspectives. The third stage, creative imagination, entails developing morally acceptable alternatives to solve the ethical problem. This article contends that moral imagination can be cultivated through three kinds of meditation: nondiscursive, semidiscursive, and discursive meditation. Part one shows how the seed of reproductive moral imagination is planted during sessions of nondiscursive meditation. Productive moral imagination, as will be shown in part two, is nurtured through semidiscursive meditation. Part three will demonstrate the flowering of creative moral imagination through discursive meditation. Reflection and small group discussion on each form of meditation will help to show business people how to cultivate moral imagination.
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