Human Action as Text and the Quest for Justice: Contributions from Emmanuel Levinas and Paul Ricoeur Towards a Hermeneutic of Corporate Action

Dissertation, (2017)
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to develop a system of corporate ethics based on an understanding and interpretation of the ethical demand of human beings who are in relation with each other according to Emmanuel Levinas' teachings and the responsibility the human being has to and for herself and others whom she encounters based on Paul Ricoeur's teachings on human action, text and hermeneutics. While the philosophies to which we will be referring may not overtly present a normative ethic, we shall convey them in such a way that is reasonably germane to the development of our system of corporate ethics that would, indeed, demonstrate why (and, perhaps, how in some instances) the human being must act in response to the demand of the other whom she encounters. We must not abandon the discussion as it relates to the economy but rather include it in a broader and more comprehensive dialogue about working to promote, support and protect the human dignity of all people using the advancements of technology to improve the human condition. The broader discussion must include but not be limited to developing a working definition of corporate ethics. To engage in discussions about the economy as an indicator for human success, we must speak openly and honestly about all stakeholders that participate and are affected by the economy. Without forsaking other stakeholders, we find the corporation - the entity whose actions have the farthest reaching and, in some cases, longer lasting impact on the human condition - to be an appropriate point of departure for this endeavor.

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Avery Smith
Loyola University, Chicago

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