In The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) Adam Smith draws on the Stoic idea of a Providence that uses everything for the good of the whole. The process is often painful, so the Stoic ethic insisted on conscious cooperation. Stoic ideas contributed to the rise of science and enjoyed wide popularity in Smith's England. Smith was more influenced by the Stoicism of his professors than by the Epicureanism of Hume. In TMS, Marcus Aurelius's "helmsman" becomes the "impartial spectator," who judges (...) actions in terms of the way they are seen by others. This is the key to justice, without which society collapses. Business school students should be taught that Smith's "invisible hand" is best understood as a universal rationality that uses just actions for the benefit of the whole. (shrink)
The way in which ethical standards are neglected or applied is a function of individual character. The best guarantee of ethical leadership, therefore, lies in the identification of those already predisposed to live according to high moral standards. The ascetic construct is offered as a type of personality with such a predisposition. The ascetic is self-controlled, purposeful, and mindful with regard to consequences. The character traits of the ascetic leader are predicted to increase ethical awareness and ethical accountability within his (...) organization or hers. This will increase the probability of the organization''s economic success because it will reduce uncertainty on the part of customers and investors. A better understanding of the ascetic personality may be helpful in identifying those with the potential for becoming highly ethical leaders. (shrink)
The essays in this volume apply philosophical analysis to address three kinds of questions: What are the implications of genetic science for our understanding of nature? What might it influence in our conception of human nature? What challenges does genetic science pose for specific issues of private conduct or public policy?
Much of the research on attitudes toward non-human species has been conducted with non-representative samples. Largely ignored in the literature on human/animal interactions are surveys conducted by commercial polling organizations using large probability samples of Americans. Many of these surveys contain information relevant to attitudes about animals and animal welfare issues. This information is available to researchers electronically at little or no cost through organizations such as the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and the National Opinion Research Center.
Many authors suggest the need to define ‘sustainable development’in operational terms. This paper looks at the problems ofattempting to ask whether peasant farming systems are sustainable.Any attempt at sustainability assessment needs to consider issuesrelated to the selected indicators or performance criteria, spatialscale or boundaries, and temporal scale. While there is certainlya need for more rigorous analysis of sustainability issues, thereis limited outlook for an approach based on indicators. Even if themany purely technical problems associated with specific indicatorscan be surmounted, will (...) accurate bio-physical data advance ourknowledge about sustainability? Peasant systems arepolitically-guided management systems, whose boundaries are the state,not the field or the farm. Given the dynamic nature of peasant farmingsystems, where do we draw the line in assessing sustainability?Attempts at sustainability assessment 100 years ago or even 20–30years ago would have been completely superseded by events. We drawattention to the system as a whole, to a web of interconnections,causes and effects – of varying significance over both time andspace. (shrink)