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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 2007


Rogene A. Buchholz, Sandra B. Rosenthal
Pages 181-186

Corporate Growth as Inherently Moral
A Deweyian Reconstruction

Dewey's understanding of growth is inseparably intertwined with his distinctively pragmatic understanding of the self-community relation and of knowledge as experimental. Within this framework, growth emerges as a process by which individual communities achieves fuller, richer, more inclusive, and more complex interactions with their environment by incorporating the perspective of "the other". Growth involves reintegration of problematic situations in ways which lead to expansion of self, of community, and of the relation between the two. In this way growth and workability go hand in hand, for growth involves the resolution of conflict through reconstructive expansion of contexts which work in bringing about the desired resolution. And in this way growth and workability properly understood in their concrete fullness are inherently moral, and the ethical dimension of business decisions involves consideration of both. In this sense, pragmatism can hold that the ultimate goal in the nurturing of moral maturity, whether for individuals, communities, or corporations, is the development of the ability for ongoing self-directed growth.

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