Halakhah and ethics in the Jesus tradition -- Matthew's divorce texts in the light of pre-rabbinic Jewish law -- Let the dead bury their dead : Jesus and the law revisited -- James, Israel, and Antioch -- Natural law in Second Temple Judaism -- Natural law in the New Testament? -- The Noachide commandments and New Testament ethics -- The beginning of Christian public ethics : from Luke to Aristides and Diognetus -- Jewish and Christian (...) public ethics in the early Roman Empire. (shrink)
This book offers the first sustained multi-disciplinary investigation of the question and status of ethics in light of the current "return to ethics" underway in a variety of critical fields. While the questions of ethics have become increasingly important in recent years for many fields within the humanities, there has been no single volume that seeks to address the emergence of this concern with ethics across the disciplinary spectrum. Given this lack in currently available critical and (...) secondary texts, and also the urgency of the issues addressed by the critics assembled here, the time is right for a collection of this nature. By assembling the work of nine critics from among these disciplines-including philosophy, women's studies, cultural studies, anthropology, literary studies, and history-this collection will help to frame the conversation on the status of ethics in the coming years. One of the great features of the book is the very high quality of work and the importance within the critical scene of many of its contributors. Contributors: Lowell Gallagher, Richard J. Golsan, David E. Johnson, Howard Marchitello, Kelly Oliver, Marshall Sahlins, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Tzvetan Todorov, Krzysztof Ziarek. (shrink)
Over the past decade much significant new work has appeared in the field of Jewishethics. While much of this work has been devoted to issues in applied ethics, a number of important essays have explored central themes within the tradition and clarified the theoretical foundations of Jewishethics. This important text grew out of the need for a single work which accurately and conveniently reflects these developments within the field. The first text of its (...) kind in almost two decades, Contemporary JewishEthics and Morality presents wide-ranging and carefully organized recent essays on Jewish ethical theory and practice. Serving as an introduction to Jewishethics, it acquaints the student with the distinctive methodological issues involved and offers a sampling of Jewish positions on contemporary moral problems. The book features work from both traditionalist and liberal contributors, making this the only volume which encompasses the full range of contemporary Jewish ethical perspectives. Writers such as Harold Schulweis, Judith Plaskow, David Novak, David Hartman, and Blu Greenberg discuss law and ethics, natural law, humility, justice, sex and the family, euthanasia, and other vital issues relating to modern Judaism. Many of the readings appear here for the first time, making this important text the most timely sourcebook in its field. Uniquely qualified to reflect the high level and depth of contemporary work in this area of study, Contemporary JewishEthics and Morality is an essential contribution to any course dealing with Jewishethics. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- PART 1: Overview * JewishEthics in a New Key * Temptations of Tradition * Sacred Compromise * Renewing JewishEthics * PART II: On the Ground * Learning to Speak about the Elephant in the Room * The Art of Moral Criticism * Deal Breaker and the Money Laundering Rabbis * Loving the Stranger and the Fall of the Agriprocessors * The Problem with Income and Wealth Inequalities * PART III: (...) Frontiers * "The Exaltation of the Possible" -- Ethics and Play * An Optimistic Case for the Future of JewishEthics In a Post-Madoff World. (shrink)
This companion to Elliot Dorff's three books on Jewishethics -- Matters of Life and Death , To Do the Right and the Good , and Love Your Neighbor and Yourself -- is designed for group as well as individual study. Through suggested readings from Dorff's books, probing questions, lively discussion topics, and simple writing exercises, readers will be able to analyze and clarify their own positions on a host of controversial issues: sex, surrogate motherhood, adoption, family abuse, (...) responsibilities for charitable giving, the ethics of war, suicide, and euthanasia, and more. (shrink)
In this book Raymond L. Weiss examines how a seminal Jewish thinker negotiates the philosophical conflict between Athens and Jerusalem in the crucial area of ethics. Maimonides, a master of both the classical and the biblical-rabbinic traditions, reconciled their differing views of morality primarily in the context of Jewish jurisprudence. Taking into consideration the entire corpus of Maimonides' writings, Weiss focuses on the ethical sections of the Commentary on the Mishnah and the Mishneh Torah , but also (...) discusses the Guide of the Perplexed , the letters of Maimonides, and his medical works. The gulf between classical philosophy and the Torah made the task of Maimonides extraordinarily difficult. Weiss shows that Maimonides subtly preserves the tension between those traditions while producing a practical accommodation between them. To explain how Maimonides was able to accomplish this twofold goal, Weiss takes seriously the multilevel character of Maimonides' works. Weiss interrupts Maimonides as a heterodox thinker who, with utter integrity, faces the Law's encounter with philosophy and gives both the Torah and philosophy their due. (shrink)
Leading contemporary Jewish thinker David Novak has here compiled ten of his essays on a variety of issues in Jewishethics. Drawing constantly on classical Jewish tradition, Novak also looks at a wide range of modern critical scholarship on the ancient sources. He aims to point out certain common features of Jewish and Christian ethics and the normative implications of this overlapping of traditions; he assumes the reality of a "Judeo-Christian ethic," while refusing to (...) minimize the doctrinal differences between the two traditions. The essays address such major normative issues in social justice as ecology, war and peace, the treatment of minorities, and the approach to AIDS patients. This combination of theoretical reflection and practical application, along with careful and detailed analysis of classical Jewish texts, makes the book a welcome contribution to contemporary ethical theory and normative ethics as well as a work of original Jewish theology. (shrink)
Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy contests the ancient opposition between Athens and Jerusalem by retrieval of the concept of meontology - the doctrine of nonbeing - in one strand of the Jewish philosophical and theological tradition. This book offers new readings of important figures in contemporary Continental philosophy, critiquing arguments about the role of lived religion in the thought of Jacques Derrida, the role of Greek philosophy in the thought of Emmanuel Levinas, and the ethical (...) import of the thought of Franz Rosenzweig. Kavka argues that the Greek concept of nonbeing (understood as both lack and possibility) clarifies the meaning of Jewish life. This concept allows these thinkers to articulate Jewish life as centered on messianic anticipation, the hungering after a stasis that philosophy has traditionally associated with the concept of being. (shrink)
A physician says, "I have an ethical obligation never to cause the death of a patient," another responds, "My ethical obligation is to relieve pain even if the patient dies." The current argument over the role of physicians in assisting patients to die constantly refers to the ethical duties of the profession. References to the Hippocratic Oath are often heard. Many modern problems, from assisted suicide to accessible health care, raise questions about the traditional ethics of medicine and the (...) medical profession. However, few know what the traditional ethics are and how they came into being. This book provides a brief tour of the complex story of medical ethics evolved over centuries in both Western and Eastern culture. It sets this story in the social and cultural contexts in which the work of healing was practiced and suggests that, behind the many different perceptions about the ethical duties of physicians, certain themes appear constantly, and may be relevant to modern debates. The book begins with the Hippocratic medicine of ancient Greece, moves through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Enlightenment in Europe, and the long history of Indian and Chinese medicine, ending as the problems raised modern medical science and technology challenge the settled ethics of the long tradition. (shrink)
The Cambridge World History of Medical Ethics is the first comprehensive scholarly account of the global history of medical ethics. Offering original interpretations of the field by leading bioethicists and historians of medicine, it will serve as the essential point of departure for future scholarship in the field. The volumes reconceptualize the history of medical ethics through the creation of new categories, including the life cycle; discourses of religion, philosophy, and bioethics; and the relationship (...) between medical ethics and the state, which includes a historical reexamination of the ethics of apartheid, colonialism, communism, health policy, imperialism, militarism, Nazi medicine, Nazi "medical ethics," and research ethics. Also included are the first global chronology of persons and texts; the first concise biographies of major figures in medical ethics; and the first comprehensive bibliography of the history of medical ethics. An extensive index guides readers to topics, texts, and proper names. (shrink)
This is a newly revised and updated edition of A History of Western Ethics, a coherent and accessible overview of the most important figures and influential ideas of the history of ethics in the Western philosophical tradition. Written by eleven distinguished scholars, and including a glossary of key terms, this book is an essential reference for students and general readers alike.
In Early Christian Ethics in Interaction with Jewish and Greco-Roman Contexts experts from various fields analyze the process of transformation of early Christian ethics because of the ongoing interaction with Jewish, Greco-Roman and ...
Consciously writing from a Jewish background, thirty-five esteemed authors, from Britain, Canada, Israel, and the United States cover the whole breadth of Jewish philosophy, concentrating upon the philosophical interest of the ideas themselves. The contributors to this work explore numerous issues raised in the text of the Bible and in the history of the Jewish people, and discuss the major schools of thought and most serious controversies of ancient and modern Jewish philosophy. Topics include postmodern (...) techniques, the thought of Moses Maimonides, and philosophic studies of the Holocaust. Throughout this work, the authors insist on the importance of understanding the social and cultural context in which Jewish philosophy exists. The broad range of ideas in this volume makes it an invaluable sourcebook on the nature of Jewish philosophy. (shrink)
The case for dialogue -- Increasing moral capital through moral imagination -- The art of ethical dialogue -- Intelligent spirituality in business -- Spirituality in (and out) of the classroom -- Listening to the anxious atheists -- Beyond the flat world metaphor -- Dialogue as a restraint on wealth -- The limits of dialogue.
Moral concern with food intake is as old asmorality itself. In the course of history, however,several ways of critically examining practices of foodproduction and food intake have been developed.Whereas ancient Greek food ethics concentrated on theproblem of temperance, and ancient Jewishethics onthe distinction between legitimate and illicit foodproducts, early Christian morality simply refused toattach any moral significance to food intake. Yet,during the middle ages food became one of theprinciple objects of monastic programs for moralexercise (askesis). (...) During the seventeenth andeighteenth century, food ethics was transformed interms of the increasing scientific interest in foodintake, while in the nineteenth century the socialdimension of food ethics was discovered, with theresult that more and more attention was given to theproduction and distribution of food products. Becauseof the increasing distance between the production andconsumption of food products ever since, theoutstanding feature of contemporary food ethics is itreliance and dependence on labeling practices. (shrink)
The essays in this volume offer an approach to the history of moral and political philosophy that takes its inspiration from John Rawls. All the contributors are philosophers who have studied with Rawls and they offer this collection in his honor. The distinctive feature of this approach is to address substantive normative questions in moral and political philosophy through an analysis of the texts and theories of major figures in the history of the subject: Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Rousseau, (...) Kant, and Marx. By reconstructing the core of these theories in a way that is informed by contemporary theoretical concerns, the contributors show how the history of the subject is a resource for understanding present and perennial problems in moral and political philosophy. This outstanding collection will be of particular interest to historians of moral and political philosophy, historians of ideas, and political scientists. (shrink)
Widely acknowledged to be the perfect introduction to the subject, this important text presents in concise form an insightful yet exceptionally complete history of moral philosophy in the West, from the Greeks to contemporary times.
The Jamesian mode of writing, it has been claimed, actively works against an understanding of the way truth, history and power circulate in his texts. In this collection of essays, leading scholars of James analyse the strategies James used to address these crucial issues. Enacting History in Henry James claims that, because the type of knowledge available in James's fiction is never of a cognitive kind, the reader can never know 'truth' in any verifiable sense. James's writing instead (...) promises an experiential type of knowledge, one that is attained by participating in the power games and moral dramas that unfold within the text. This collection argues that reading James ultimately requires not just an emotional responsiveness, but also an ethical assumption of responsibility for the act of reading. By placing James's work in a fresh theoretical context, this book throws new light on this most enigmatic of writers. (shrink)
For Hare, the question “Why should I be moral?” amounted to asking why one should act only on those judgments that one is prepared to universalize. His answer was that it may not be possible to give such a reason to a person who does ...
The most comprehensive collection of its kind, Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, Third Edition, is organized into three parts, providing instructors with flexibility in designing and teaching a variety of courses in moral philosophy. The first part, Historical Sources, moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Epictetus) through medieval views (Augustine and Aquinas) to modern theories (Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, Bentham, and Mill), culminating with leading nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers (Nietzsche, James, Dewey, Camus, and Sartre). The (...) second part, Modern Ethical Theory, includes many of the most important essays of the past century. The discussion of utilitarianism, Kantianism, egoism, and relativism continues in the work of major contemporary philosophers (Foot, Brandt, Williams, Wolf, and Nagel). Landmark selections (Moore, Prichard, Ross, Ayer, Stevenson, Hare, Baier, Anscombe, Gauthier, and Harman) reflect concern with moral language and the justification of morality. The concepts of justice (Rawls) and rights (Feinberg) are explored, as well as recent views on the importance of virtue ethics (Rachels) and an ethic influenced by feminist concerns (Held). In the third part, Contemporary Moral Problems, the readings present the current debates over abortion, euthanasia, famine relief, animal rights, the death penalty, and whether numbers should play a role in making moral decisions. The third edition expands Part II, Modern Ethical Theory, adding essays by Onora O'Neill, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Allan Gibbard, Nicholas L. Sturgeon, and Martha Nussbaum. Part III, Contemporary Moral Problems, features new essays on abortion by Mary Anne Warren, Don Marquis, and Rosalind Hursthouse; an essay on the death penalty by Stephen Nathanson; and a debate between John M. Taurek and Derek Parfit on when and why one should save from harm a greater rather than a lesser number of people. The book concludes with an essay by Judith Jarvis Thomson on the trolley problem. Wherever possible, each reading is printed in its entirety. (shrink)
Introduction: The sanctity of life and its discontents -- Our morality : selfish genes and cultural clout -- The Judeo-Christian idea : transcending our selfish genes -- The Judeo-Christian idea against genocide -- The Judeo-Christian idea against slavery -- Falling backwards : the abandonment of the Judeo-Christian idea and the return of genocide and slavery -- The rising : the Judeo-Christian idea in the post-war world -- The myth of biblical immorality -- The myth ofJudeo-Christian atrocities -- The myth of (...) enlightenment perfection -- Conclusion: Hubris and humility. (shrink)
Jewishethics like Judaism itself has often been charged with being "particularistic," and in modernity it has been unfavorably compared with the universality of secular ethics. This charge has become acute philosophically when the comparison is made with the ethics of Kant. However, at this level, much of the ethical rejection of Jewish particularism, especially its being beholden to a God who is above the universe to whom this God prescribes moral norms and judges according (...) to them, is also a rejection of Christian (or any other monotheistic) ethics, no matter how otherwise universal. Yet this essay argues that Jewishethics that prescribes norms for all humans, and that is knowable by all humans, actually constitutes a wider moral universe than does Kantian ethics, because it can include non-rational human objects and even non-human objects altogether. This essay also argues that a totally egalitarian moral universe, encompassing all human relations, becomes an infinite, totalizing universe, which can easily become the ideological justification (ratio essendi) of a totalitarian regime. (shrink)
Abstract This essay revisits the significance of Kaufmann's Toledot ha-emunah ha-yisre'elit in Jewish intellectual history, as its reception has hitherto been somewhat reductive. His work is generally viewed as an anti-Christian (anti-Wellhausen) polemic with a Zionist agenda that sought to glorify the formative period of his people. A closer look at his intellectual background, as well as his theoretical framework, leads us to a different understanding of his work in general and of its alleged nationalistic features in particular. (...) The essay shows, inter alia, that Kaufmann was already making a Diltheyan hermeneutic turn decades before others in his field. (shrink)
Diese Publikation nimmt Bezug auf das Ende des Spanischen Bürgerkriegs vor 70 Jahren und untersucht Motive und Gründe des freiwilligen Engagements dreier europäischer Intellektueller Carl Einstein, Simone Weil, Etta Federn zwischen 1936 ...
In this introduction to a cluster of three articles on eighteenth-century eth- ics written by Mark Larrimore, John Bowlin, and Mark Cladis, the author maintains that although the broad narrative tracing the emergence of a religiously neutral or naturalistic moral language in the eighteenth cen- tury is a familiar one, many central questions concerning this development remain unanswered and require further historical study. Against those who contend that historical study is antecedent to, but not part of, the proper substance of (...) religious ethics, the author argues that historical and normative studies are interdependent, each helping to define the questions central to the other. The introduction concludes with an overview of the three articles and suggests ways in which religious ethicists can, in the future, make a distinctive contribution to the history of ethics. (shrink)
When the ancient Greeks looked up into the heavens, they saw not just sun and moon, stars and planets, but a complete, coherent universe, a model of the Good that could serve as a guide to a better life. How this view of the world came to be, and how we lost it (or turned away from it) on the way to becoming modern, make for a fascinating story, told in a highly accessible manner by Remi Brague in this wide-ranging (...) cultural history. Before the Greeks, people thought human action was required to maintain the order of the universe and so conducted rituals and sacrifices to renew and restore it. But beginning with the Hellenic Age, the universe came to be seen as existing quite apart from human action and possessing, therefore, a kind of wisdom that humanity did not. Wearing his remarkable erudition lightly, Brague traces the many ways this universal wisdom has been interpreted over the centuries, from the time of ancient Egypt to the modern era. Socratic and Muslim philosophers, Christian theologians and Jewish Kabbalists all believed that questions about the workings of the world and the meaning of life were closely intertwined and that an understanding of cosmology was crucial to making sense of human ethics. Exploring the fate of this concept in the modern day, Brague shows how modernity stripped the universe of its sacred and philosophical wisdom, transforming it into an ethically indifferent entity that no longer serves as a model for human morality. Encyclopedic and yet intimate, The Wisdom of the World offers the best sort of history: broad, learned, and completely compelling. Brague opens a window onto systems of thought radically different from our own. (shrink)
This is a new presentation of the philosophy of the Talmud. The Talmud is not a work of formal philosophy, but much of what it says is relevant to philosophical enquiry, including issues explored in contemporary debates. In particular, the Talmud has original ideas about the relation between universal ethics and the ethics of a particular community. This leads into a discussion on the relation between morality and ritual, and also about the epistemological role of tradition. The book (...) explains the paradoxes of Talmudic Judaism as arising from a philosophy of revolution, stemming from Jewish origins as a band of escaped slaves, determined not to reproduce the slave-society of Egypt. From this arises a daring humanism, and an emphasis on justice in this world rather than on other-worldly spirituality. A strong emphasis on education and the cultivation of rationality also stems from this. Governing the discussion is a theory of logic that differs significantly from Greek logic. Talmudic logic is one of analogy, not classification and is peculiarly suited to discussions of moral and legal human situations. This book will be of interest to those in the fields of philosophy, religion and the history of ideas, whether students, teachers and academics, or the interested general reader. (shrink)
This book breaks new ground in the study of Judaism, in philosophy, and in comparative ethics. It demonstrates that the assumption that Judaism has no natural law theory to speak of, held by the vast majority of scholars, is simply wrong. The book shows how natural law theory, using a variety of different terms for itself throughout the ages, has been a constant element in Jewish thought. The book sorts out the varieties of Jewish natural law theory, (...) illuminating their strengths and weaknesses. It also presents a case for utilising natural law theory in order to deal with current theological and philosophical questions in Judaism's ongoing reflection on its own meaning and its meaning for the wider world. David Novak combines great erudition in the Jewish tradition, the history of philosophy and law, and the imagination to argue for Judaism in the context of current debates, both theoretical and practical. (shrink)
Why History? is a compelling introduction to the issue of history and ethics. Designed to provoke discussion, the book asks whether and why a good knowledge and understanding of the past is desirable. In the context of current postmodern thinking, Keith Jenkins suggests that the goal of "learning lessons from the past" actually means learning lessons from stories written by historians and others. If the past as history has no foundation, can anything ethical be gained from (...)history? Daring and controversial, Why History? presents liberating challenges to history and ethics, proposing that we have reached an emancipatory moment which is well beyond the "end of history.". (shrink)
This discussion develops six of the most important guiding principles of classical Jewish business ethics and illustrates their application to a complex recent case of product liability. These principles are: (1) the legitimacy of business activity and profit; (2) the divine origin and ordination of wealth (and hence the limits and obligations of human ownership); (3) the preeminent position in decision making given to the protection and preservation (sanctity) of human life; (4) the protection of consumers from commercial (...) harm; (5) the avoidance of fraud and misrepresentation in sales transactions; and (6)the moral requirement to go beyond the letter of the law. Although these Talmudic principles are clearly obligatory only for "Torah-obedient" Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, many Jews share a sensibility informed by them. Non-Jews, too, may be instructed by Jewish teachings about business ethics. (shrink)
Ethics and the History of Indian Philosophy (Motilal Banarsidass 2007). Regretfully, it is not an uncommon view in orthodox Indology that Indian philosophers were not interested in ethics. This claim belies the fact that Indian philosophical schools were generally interested in the practical consequences of beliefs and actions. The most popular symptom of this concern is the doctrine of karma, according to which the consequences of actions have an evaluative valence. Ethics and the History of (...) Indian Philosophy argues that the orthodox view in Indology concerning Indian ethics is false. The first half the book deals with theoretical issues in studying ethics: defining moral terms, understanding the subject matter of ethics so as to transcend culturally specific substantive commitments and touches upon issues of cross-cultural hermeneutics and translation. The second half consists of a systematic explication of the moral philosophical aspects of nine major Indian philosophical schools. I argue that “dharma” in its various uses in Indian philosophy is always rationally treated as a moral term—even in so called “ontological” employments of the term as seen in Buddhism and Jainism. In understanding “dharma” in this manner, the Indian philosophical tradition is replete with different versions of moral realism that fit tidily with other philosophical commitments of Indian philosophers. Pains are taken to show the breath of moral philosophical disagreement in this tradition. On a comparative note, some Indian moral philosophy resembles realist approaches of the Western tradition (such as the Non-natural realism of Neo-Platonism, or the Naturalism of Utilitarianism). Out of the major Indian philosophical schools, a slim minority are shown to be committed to moral irrealism while some are shown to regard their entire philosophical orientation as firmly planted within moral philosophy (such as Jainism, Buddhism, Purva Mimamsa and Yoga). In response to those who would argue that what Indian philosophers meant by “dharma” is very different from what moral philosophers in the West have meant by “ethical” or “good,” I argue that this is as vacuous as noting that Utilitarians have a different conception of the good from Deontologists. If philosophy is concerned with theoretical debate, as I argue it is, philosophical terms function to articulate such disagreements. The various seemingly desperate uses of “dharma” in the Indian tradition are no longer confusing or disorderly when we understand the theoretico-philosophical function of this term in Indian philosophical disputes. (shrink)
Philosophers generally agree that meaningful ethical statements are universal in scope. If so, what sense is there to speak about a business ethics particular to Judaism? Just as a Jewish algebra and a Jewish physics are contradictions in terms, so too, is the notion of a particularly Jewish business ethics. The goal of this paper is to deny the above assertion and to explore the potentially unique characteristic of a Jewish business ethics. (...) class='Hi'>Ethics, in the final analysis, is not like algebra or physics. Specifically, it is argued here that – in terms of substance – Jewish business ethics differs from secular approaches in three very specific ways. Jewishethics: (1) recognizes God as the ultimate source of value, (2) acknowledges the centrality of the community, (3) and holds out the promise that men and women (living in community) can transform themselves. We define Jewishethics as the interpretation of the written and oral Torah to determine what God commands us to be and to do. The paper carefully explores this definition and examines its specific implications for modern business ethics. (shrink)
Judaism in the twentieth century began to return to its scriptural, communal roots after a centuries-long detour through Greek-influenced natural philosophy, a detour during which science and ethics were assumed to be partners and Jewishethics drew heavily on natural philosophy and science. Twentieth-century philosophical ethics and science, particularly biological science, have developed in such a way as to make any continuation of that historical partnership problematic. This is not altogether regrettable because the problematizing of this (...) long-standing partnership has driven Jewishethics back to its real roots: covenantal relationship, and moral wisdom and discernment. (shrink)
The history of corporations in the United States (U.S.) is much older than the country, as it must be understood in the context of the history of peoples of Europe who eventually dominated the North American continent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These European settlers came, in part, to achieve economic prosperity for themselves and, in many cases, for early forerunners of the modern corporation. These business organizations had predecessors in Europe millennia earlier as ancient Romans had (...) developed a functional and successful form of corporation for the purpose of conducting commerce in the Roman Empire. In the decades that followed the founding of the U.S. in 1776, corporations evolved from rare, small, closely controlled business organizations with a multitude of restrictions to very large, very powerful modern institutions that enjoy many of the legal rights of humans. With this evolution came ethical issues, as (1) the ethical distance was altered between corporate decision-makers and those affected by those decisions, and (2) many of the legal rights of individual humans were extended, through litigation, to corporations. This article explains the historical development of the U.S. corporation and identifies 20 Critical Events in the Ethics of Corporation History (CEECH). An understanding of these historical events may facilitate comprehension of many of the current ethical issues associated with a legal organizational form that profoundly affects business and society. (shrink)
Typically people make ethical judgments with reference to unchanging principles, standards, rights, and values. This essay argues that such an ahistorical approach to ethics should be supplemented by a due regard for history. Invoking precedents by authors such as Jonsen and Toulmin, McIntyre, Niebuhr, Weber, De Tocqueville, Machiavelli and others, this essay explores several important ways in which a due regard for history can and should shape the practice of business ethics. Thus a due regard for (...)history helps us both to cultivate fitting appreciation of cultural mores and to understand how current problems and issues have developed as they have; it helps us to gauge current responsibilities with respect legacies of problems inherited from the past; it helps us to develop a lively sense of what is possible in the present, given current contingencies and past experiences; and it moves us to rethink the practice of ethical auditing: not just as a backward-looking effort to gauge compliance but as a forward-looking way of learning from actual experiences and developing fitting responses. (shrink)
More often than not, business ethics textbooks have included sections on "the great economic debate," that is, the discussion of capitalism as a total system, of the criticisms against it and of the proposed alternatives. The reason for such sections is fairly obvious: at some point one has to consider whether or not all the particular problems of employment, of product quality, of environment, of regulation and so on prove beyond solution without a radical change in the basic institutions (...) of society. Since the collapse of real socialism as an alternative in the period 1989–1991, it has become increasingly difficult to have this discussion. Yet we cannot do without the critique of capitalism even if the answer may be that no other economic system is viable at this moment in history. My interest in this paper is to explore how we might now engage in this critique. Francis Fukuyama's "The End of History?" (1989) and Jacques Derrida's Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International (1993) provide a framework for this renewed engagement. (shrink)
Judism identifies the virtue of humility as constitutive of the moral life and as furnishing its dispositional foundation. The paper traces the central place given humility in Jewish moral teaching and in the Jewish understanding of God. The author asks whether this stress on humility is supported by rational ethical theory. His claim is that an examination of Rawls' contract view suggests this is so by revealing that a sense of humility not only encourages adoption of (...) the moral point of view but guides moral reasoning to sound conclusions. (shrink)