Value and Values: Economics and Justice in an Age of Global Interdependence

University of Hawaii Press (2015)
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Abstract

The most pressing issues of the twenty-first century—climate change and persistent hunger in a world of food surpluses, to name only two—are not problems that can be solved from within individual disciplines, nation-states, or cultural perspectives. They are predicaments that can only be resolved by generating sustained and globally robust coordination across value systems. The scale of the problems and necessity for coordinated global solutions signal a world historical transit as momentous as the Industrial Revolution: a transition from the predominance of technical knowledge to that of ethical deliberation. This volume brings together leading thinkers from around the world to deliberate on how best to correlate worth with what is worthwhile, pairing human prosperity with personal, environmental, and spiritual flourishing in a world of differing visions of what constitutes a moral life. Especially in the aftermath of what is now being called the Great Recession, awareness has mounted of the imperative to question the modern divorce of economics from ethics. While the domains of economics and ethics were from antiquity through at least the eighteenth century understood in many cultures to be coterminous and mutually entailing, the modern assumption has been that the goal of maximizing human prosperity and the aim of justly enhancing our lives as persons and as communities were functionally and practically distinct. Working from a wide array of perspectives, the contributors to this volume offer a set of challenges to the assumed independence of the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of human and planetary well-being. Reflecting on the complex interrelationship among economics, justice, and equity, the book resists "one size fits all" approaches and struggles to revitalize the marriage of economics and ethics by activating cultural differences as the basis of mutual contribution to shared human flourishing. The publication of this important collection will stimulate or extend critical debates among scholars and students working in a number of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, including philosophy, history, environmental studies, economics, and law. Contributors: Roger T. Ames, James Behuniak Jr., Steve Bein, Nalini Bhushan, Purushottama Bilimoria, Steven Burik, Amita Chatterjee, Baoyan Cheng, Gordon Davis, Jay L. Garfield, Steven F. Geisz, Peter D. Hershock, Larry A. Hickman, Kathleen M. Higgins, Heidi M. Hurd, Thomas P. Kasulis, Workineh Kelbessa, Lori Keleher, Oliver Leaman, James McRae, Jin Y. Park, James Peterman, Naoko Saito, May Sim, Robert Smid, Paul Standish, Kenneth W. Stikkers, Karsten J. Struhl, Meera Sushila Viswanathan, Wu Shiu- Ching, Xu Di, T. Yamauchi, Yang Liuxin.

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