Displaying: 51-60 of 136 documents

0.069 sec

51. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
Joshua D. Margolis Responsibility, Inconsistency, and the Paradoxes of Morality in Human Nature De Waal's Window into Business Ethics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Efforts to trace the evolutionary antecedents of human morality introduce challenges and opportunities for business ethics. The biological precedents of responsibility suggest that human tendencies to respond morally are deeply rooted. This does not mean, however, that those tendencies are always consistent with ends human beings seek to pursue. This paper investigates the conflicts that may arise between human beings’ moral predispositions and the purposes human beings pursue.
52. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
Ronald K. Mitchell Evolutionary Biology Research, Entrepreneurship, and the Morality of Security-Seeking Behavior in an Imperfect Economy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This article investigates whether there is an underlying morality in the ways that human beings seek to obtain economic security within our imperfect economy, which can be illuminated through evolutionary biology research. Two research questions are the focus of the analysis: (1) What is the transaction cognitive machinery that is specialized for the entrepreneurial task of exchange-based security-seeking? and, (2) What are the moral implications of the acquisition and use of such transaction cognitions?Evolutionary biology research suggests within concepts that are more Darwin- v. Huxley-based, an underlying morality supportive of algorithm-governed economizing arising from the behaviors that are most worthy of long-term reproduction. Evolutionarily stable algorithm-enhanced security-seeking is argued to be a new view of entrepreneurship, but one that, somewhat ironically, is grounded in a primordially-based entrepreneurial morality that is at the core of economic security.
53. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
Robert C. Solomon Sympathy as a “Natural”
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
In this essay, I want to reconsider sympathy as a “natural” emotion or sentiment. Adam Smith famously defended it as such (as did his friend David Hume) but both used the term ambiguously and in a different sense than we use it today. Nevertheless, it seems to me that Smith got it quite right, that the basis of morality and justice is to be found in the realm of affect rather than in theory and principles alone, and that sympathy is a “natural” or should we say a “basic” emotion. But that means that morality may not be an exclusively human characteristic, as many philosophers (including Smith and Hume) have assumed. But some contemporary thinking in psychology and philosophy makes that extension plausible.
54. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
Tara J. Radin To Propagate and to Prosper: A Naturalistic Foundation for Stakeholder Theory
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This article examines the contribution of nature and the sciences toward a deeper understanding of business. Integrating these disciplines with stakeholder theory opens up new avenues for thinking about business that will potentially offer greater success in addressing the disconnect between moral discretion and the behavior of businesspeople. The specific focus is on integration of modern Darwinism (evolutionary psychology) and business theory. According to modern Darwinism, there are insufficient resources for all genes to reproduce. Natural selection occurs as genes compete to reproduce and those best suited for survival are able to reproduce. During the struggle, human beings are motivated by impulses intended to further reproduction, which lead them into many fruitful endeavors—such as participation in corporations. As genes strive to be passed on to the next generation, a consequence is their contribution to productivity and prosperity. By developing insight into the evolutionary process, we can create mechanisms that help us to manage human behavior in order to promote moral behavior. Connecting people with their natural selves provides for a more robust understanding of business.
55. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
Edwin M. Hartman De Rerum Natura
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Aristotelian naturalism is a good vantage point from which to consider the moral implications of evolution. Sociobiologists err in arguing that evolution is the basis for morality: not all or only moral features and institutions are selected for. Nor does the longevity of an institution argue for its moral status. On the other hand, facts about human capacities can have implications concerning human obligations, as Aristotle suggests. Aristotle’s eudaimonistic approach to ethics suggests that the notion of interests is far subtler than many have realized, and leaves open the possibility that cooperativeness may be adaptive, virtuous, and a good thing for the agent. Lawrence and Nohria argue along remarkably similar lines, and they provide evidence against those who would question the existence of character. But promising as the Aristotelian approach is, it seems to give an inadequate account of our moral responsibility to those who are not members of our community.
56. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
Robert A. Phillips Brief Remarks on the Evolutionary Method
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
There are explicit claims to Darwinian thinking in numerous fields of study. A common temptation associated with this method across disciplines is to call some attributes “natural” and others “cultural” in origin. But this distinction can be dangerous—particularly when applied to ethics. When employing the Darwinian method, ideas should be evaluated in the same way whether the characteristics are described as natural or as cultural. We should ascertain the moral usefulness of a trait irrespective of its genetic basis or lack thereof. The nature/culture distinction is irrelevant to ethics. If Darwinian thinking connotes or implies an important difference, it is a dangerous idea to moral theory. I don’t believe the method denotes such a distinction, and in fact helps ethicists ask and answer many interesting questions that would not have arisen without it. But great care should be taken.
57. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
Sandra A. Waddock A Developmental and Systemic Perspective on Frederick’s “The Evolutionary Firm and Its Moral (Dis)Contents”
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
These comments on Frederick’s “The Evolutionary Firm and Its Moral (Dis)Contents” focus on two dominant themes to provide a more optimistic perspective on Frederick’s conclusions. First is the need to take a systemic orientation at the societal and ecological levels to gain a perspective on ecologizing rather than economizing. Second, is the need to take a developmental perspective, on the assumption that evolution is still occurring, and that what may be needed to get humankind to the systemic/ecologizing orientation is a higher level of awareness, greater cognitive (and moral) development than is currently prevalent.
58. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
Joseph DesJardins Explanation and Justification: The Relevance of the Biological and Social Sciences to Business Ethics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This paper attempts to sort through some of the challenges facing those of us who look to empirical science for help in doing normative business ethics. I suggest that the distinction between explanation and justification, a distinction at the heart of the difference between descriptive social science and normative ethics, is often overlooked when social scientists attempt to draw ethical conclusions from their research.
59. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
Paul R. Lawrence The Biological Base of Morality?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
The study of human morality has historically been carried out primarily by philosophers and theologians. Now this broad topic is also being studied systematically by evolutionary biologists and various behavioral and social sciences. Based upon a review of this work, this paper will propose a unified explanation of human morality as an innate feature of human minds. The theory argues that morality is an innate skill that developed as a means to fulfill the human drive to bond with others in mutual caring. This explanation has also been reported as part of a broader theory on the role of human nature in the shaping of human choices (Driven, Lawrence and Nohria).
60. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 4
William C. Frederick The Evolutionary Firm and Its Moral (Dis)Contents
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
The business firm, called here the Evolutionary Firm, is shown to be a phenomenon of nature. The firm’s motives, organization, productivity, strategy, and moral significance are a direct outgrowth of natural evolution. Its managers, directors, and employees are natural agents enacting and responding to biological, physical, and ecological impulses inherited over evolutionary time from ancient human ancestors. The Evolutionary Firm’s moral posture is a function of its economizing success, competitive drive, quest for market dominance, social contracting skills, and the neural algorithms found in the minds of its executives and directing managers. Behavioral, organizational, and societal contradictions arise from the normal expression of these nature-based executive impulses, so that the business corporation cannot simultaneously satisfy society’s moral expectations and perform its nature-dictated economic functions.