It amazes children, as they try to count themselves out of numbers, only to discover one day that the hundreds, thousands, and zillions go on forever—to something like infinity. And anyone who has advanced beyond the bounds of basic mathematics has soon marveled at that drunken number eight lying on its side in the pages of their work. Infinity fascinates; it takes the mind beyond its everyday concerns—indeed, beyond everything—to something always more. Infinity makes even the infinite universe seem (...) small; yet it can also be infinitesimal. Infinity thrives on paradox, and it turns the simplest arithmetic on its head, with 1 seeming feasibly to equal 0, after all. Infinity defies common sense. The contemplation of it has relieved at least two great mathematicians of their sanity. Thoroughly readable and entirely accessible, science writer Brian Clegg's lively history explores infinity in its many intriguing facets, from its ancient origins to its place today at the heart of mathematics and science. He examines infinity's paradoxes and profiles the people who first grappled with and then defined and refined them, offering information, mystery, and poetry to conceive the inconceivable and define the indefinable. (shrink)
Obedience: a simple term. Stanley Milgram, the famous experimental social psychologist, shocked the world with theory about it. Another man, Pol Pot, the infamous leader of the Khmer Rouge, showed how far the desire for obedience could go in human societies. Milgram conducted his experiments in the controlled environment of the US psychology laboratory of the 1960s. Pol Pot experimented with Utopia in the totalitarian Kampuchea of the 1970s. In this article, we discuss the process through which the Khmer Rouge (...) regime created an army of unquestioningly obedient soldiers – including child soldiers. Based on these two cases, we advance a framework on how obedience can be grown or countered. (shrink)
: The purpose of this article is two fold: to correct a frequent misinterpretation of Nietzsche's account of the relationship between the gods Dionysos and Apollo, and to then clarify the position adopted by Thomas Mann in his novella Death in Venice. The argument is that far from simply borrowing a theme from The Birth of Tragedy, Mann takes issue with Nietzsche's call for the abandonment of modernity in favor of a return to the "tragic age" of the Greeks.
Although studies in organizational storytelling have dealt extensively with the relationship between narrative, power and organizational change, little attention has been paid to the implications of this for ethics within organizations. This article addresses this by presenting an analysis of narrative and ethics as it relates to the practice of organizational downsizing. Drawing on Paul Ricoeur's theories of narrative and ethics, we analyze stories of organizational change reported by employees and managers in an organization that had undergone persistent downsizing. Our (...) analysis maintains that the presence of a dominant story that seeks to legitimate organizational change also serves to normalize it, and that this, in turn, diminishes the capacity for organizations to scrutinize the ethics of their actions. We argue that when organizational change narratives become singularized through dominant forms of emplotment, ethical deliberation and responsibility in organizations are diminished. More generally, we contend that the narrative closure achieved by the presence of a dominant narrative amongst employees undergoing organizational change is antithetical to the openness required for ethical questioning. (shrink)
In spite of claims made by Freud himself and others in his behalf that psychoanalysis rests on clinical investigations alone, free of historical influence, there is good reason to believe that Freud's work belongs to the mainstream of Western intellectual history. His theories on the psychology of artistic creation, for instance, indicate that he was deeply influenced by Nietzsche but was moved to quarrel with him in behalf of even older contentions which date back to Plato. The very structure of (...) Freud's theory of the mind can, indeed, be seen as the result of adjustments made in Nietzsche's psychology - adjustments which, in effect, amount to restatements of Platonic esthetic, political and social doctrine. (shrink)
This paper examines ethics in organizations in relation to the subjectivity of managers. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault we seek to theorize ethics in terms of the meaning of being a manager who is an active ethical subject. Such a manager is so in relation to the organizational structures and norms that govern the conduct of ethics. Our approach locates ethics in the relation between individual morality and organizationally prescribed principles assumed to guide personal action. In this way (...) we see ethics as a practice that is powerfully intertwined in an individual’s freedom to make choices about what to do and who to be, and the organizational context in which those choices are situated, framed and governed. (shrink)
The purpose of this edited book is to provide new insight into the understanding of ethics as they relate to organization practice and managerial behavior in todays economy. It provides an overview and critique of ethics as it relates to key contemporary challenges and issues for organizations these include globalization, sustainability, consumerism, neo-liberalism, corporate collapses, leadership and corporate regulation. The book is organized around the core question: What are the ethics of organizing in todays institutional environment and what does this (...) mean for the practice of management and the organization of business? In responding to this question, the contributors examine ethics as it is deeply embedded in the everyday practice of management. Interdisciplinary contributions from sociology, philosophy, management, organization studies, and public administration provide unique perspectives, while case studies and examples drawn from practice illustrate the challenges and dilemmas faced in practice. Each chapter has a brief overview and introduction written by the editors which summarize the main points of each chapter in terms of their contributions to the overall aims of the book as well as drawing connections between the different chapters. (shrink)
We applaud Dienes & Perner's efforts while raising some concerns regarding their assimilation of diverse data into a unifying framework. Some of the findings need not fit the framework they suggest. It is also not always clear what, above logico-semantic consistency, assimilation adds to the data that do fit their framework. These concerns are highlighted with reference to their arguments regarding the developmental data and the neuropsychological data, respectively.
'Critical Management Studies', or 'CMS', has emerged over the last ten years as the term to describe a diverse group of work that has adopted a critical or questioning approach to the traditional concerns of Management Studies. In this time, CMS has come to exert an increasing influence in Management and Management Studies, and while it has prompted fierce debate about its validity and use, there is no doubt that the rapidly growing interest in CMS has produced a vibrant and (...) exciting body of work. -/- Christopher Grey and Hugh Willmott, leading authorities in this area, have collected together seventeen readings which reflect these developments, and show why CMS has become an important field of research. The book is divided into four sections, 'Anticipating CMS', looking at some of the roots of CMS, 'Studying Management Critically', 'Critical Studies of Management', and 'Assessing CMS', examining some of the internal and external critical discussions of CMS. -/- Each reading and its significance is introduced by the editors, and in their introduction to the Reader, they reflect more broadly on the history of CMS. In particular, they consider its institutionalization, both in terms of its becoming an identifiable body of work or approach, and its institutional context within business schools, and indeed what it means to produce a Reader of critical work. -/- As an assessment of CMS, the Reader will be of interest to academics, researchers, and students of Management Studies. As an introduction to CMS, the book will prove invaluable to students taking courses requiring familiarity with the CMS literature. -/- Includes work by: -/- Paul S. Adler, Mats Alvesson, P. D. Anthony, James R. Barker, Loren Baritz, Stewart Clegg, Bill Cooke, Stanley Deetz, David Dunkerley, Christopher Grey, Heather Hopfl, David Knights, Richard Marsden, C Wright Mills, Martin Parker, Rosemary Pringle, Paul Thompson, Barbara Townley, Hugh Willmott, and Edward Wray-Bliss. (shrink)