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Theories of management require normative justification; that is, they rely on some conception of what is morally good, right, and just. This chapter examines some of the…
Theories of management require normative justification; that is, they rely on some conception of what is morally good, right, and just. This chapter examines some of the normative reasons for adopting a stakeholder theory of management and for rejecting the once, and perhaps still, “dominant” shareholder-centric approach. This chapter then surveys some of the prominent “normative cores” that are used to ground stakeholder theory, that is, Kantian, contractarian, feminist ethics, and ethical pragmatism, and the moral obligations that each normative approach generates. Some pressing questions are raised with respect to each normative approach. To what extent ought we to recognize imperfect obligations to shareholders? Are contractarian hypernorms morally substantive? How exactly should we care about stakeholders, and is care even an appropriate attitudinal response? Without some commitment to objective ethical standards, how can pragmatists resolve stakeholder conflict?
What is the relationship between the descriptive and the normative? The usual answer, in the social sciences, is based on a sharp distinction between facts and values…
What is the relationship between the descriptive and the normative? The usual answer, in the social sciences, is based on a sharp distinction between facts and values. This chapter reprises and radicalizes long-standing critiques of the fact/value distinction, proposes an alternative theory of ontic webs in its stead, and then uses it to delineate six different forms of public sociology. It argues that facts are value-laden and values fact-laden; that facts and values are entangled in webs of belief and practice; and that attributions of causation and moral responsibility are connected via ontological assumptions. Effective public sociology therefore requires a combination of ontological extension and moral translation.
This chapter conducts a systematic comparison of behavioral economics’s challenges to the standard accounts of economic behaviors within three dimensions: under risk, over…
This chapter conducts a systematic comparison of behavioral economics’s challenges to the standard accounts of economic behaviors within three dimensions: under risk, over time, and regarding other people. A new perspective on two underlying methodological issues, i.e., inter-disciplinarity and the positive/normative distinction, is proposed by following the entanglement thesis of Hilary Putnam, Vivian Walsh, and Amartya Sen. This thesis holds that facts, values, and conventions have inter-dependent meanings in science which can be understood by scrutinizing formal and ordinary language uses. The goal is to provide a broad and self-contained picture of how behavioral economics is changing the mainstream of economics.
I am the oldest daughter from a family of five girls. I was born in the 1950s and had my first real encounters with feminism as a social movement during the second wave…
I am the oldest daughter from a family of five girls. I was born in the 1950s and had my first real encounters with feminism as a social movement during the second wave women's liberation movement in the United States in the 1970s. This movement had an important impact on me. Despite the appeal of the women's movement for me, I lived a powerfully gendered life. I had not been allowed to read The Lord of the rings series in school because I was a girl. I detested Barbie dolls and yet was sentenced to hours of play with them if I was to have any social life at all. I had to pretend that I neither liked nor was competent at math and science. My high school boyfriend was paying me a compliment when decades after high school he told me, “At least you never let on that you were smart. I always appreciated that about you.” When I attended the first day of a basic calculus class at a public university in 1981, the professor announced, “No female has ever passed a class with me.” In 1983, I was reprimanded by my elementary school principal for wearing slacks to teach. This was reminiscent of my childhood days when my parents finally, but only, allowed me to wear trousers to school on Fridays. In 1990, my 5-year-old daughter told me, “Well, mom, everyone knows boys are smarter than girls” (of course she has since changed her mind!).
The paper examines the dependence of the positivist and welfarist preference satisfaction paradigm of neoclassical economics upon an implicit functionalist philosophy of…
The paper examines the dependence of the positivist and welfarist preference satisfaction paradigm of neoclassical economics upon an implicit functionalist philosophy of mind. Functionalism is the doctrine that mental states are strictly materialistic and understandable in cause‐effect terms. An important aspect of functionalism is the multiple realizability thesis, namely, that mental states can be realized in any type of hardware, whether human brain or computer.
The approach used involves investigating the fact‐value distinction after Robbins in terms of the positivist meta‐ethical view known as emotivism, and then explaining emotivism as inherently functionalist. Functionalist thinking itself is explained in terms of contemporary philosophy of mind.
An important finding is that the preference satisfaction paradigm can be shown to be as suitable to artificial intelligence systems as to human beings. A consequence of this is that normative concerns are increasingly difficult to address in connection with the neoclassical thinking about economic agents.
The paper does not investigate more recent research programs in economics (such as behavioural economics) that depart from basic neoclassical assumptions.
A practical implication of the paper is that it shifts attention to previously un‐emphasized aspects of neoclassical thinking.
The paper's value to explain the relation of economics to ethics in neoclassical economics in connection with functionalist philosophy of mind.
The relationship between ontology, realism, and normativity is complex and contentious. While naturalist and realist stances have tended to ground questions of normativity…
The relationship between ontology, realism, and normativity is complex and contentious. While naturalist and realist stances have tended to ground questions of normativity in ontology and accounts of human nature, critical theories have been critical of the relationship between ontological and normative projects. Queer theory in particular has been critical of ontological endeavors. Exploring the problem of normativity and ontology, this paper will make the case that the critical realist ontology of open systems and complex, contingent, conjunctural causation deeply resonates with queer theory, generating a queer ontology that both allows for and undermines ontological and normative projects.
Cropsey′s 1955 invitation to reassess the particular metaphysic orpolitical philosophy which underpins modern economics remainsunder‐appreciated. Reviews Cropsey′s 1955…
Cropsey′s 1955 invitation to reassess the particular metaphysic or political philosophy which underpins modern economics remains under‐appreciated. Reviews Cropsey′s 1955 argument in order to apprehend just what charges are being laid at the door of modern welfare economics. Considers the way in which Benjamin Ward misconstrued that argument in his 1956 “rebuttal” and the same misunderstandings and dividing lines which still exist in economics today. Offers illustration from the contemporary economics literature (e.g. regarding the market for baby adoption) to gauge the plausibility of Cropsey′s 1955 prediction that certain social, political and moral consequences will follow for society in the longer run if more traditional metaphysical teachings and conceptions of social welfare are undermined by what Cropsey sees as the potentially destructive metaphysics embodied in orthodox welfare economics.
Mainstream economists now consider their discipline to be a technical one that is free from ethical concerns. I argue that this view only arose in the twentieth century. In this paper I set out a brief history of economics as a moral science. First, I sketch the evolution of economics before Adam Smith, showing that it was generally (with the exception of the mercantilists) conceived of as a part of moral philosophy. Second, I present elements of the new interpretation of Smith, which show him as a developer of economics as a moral science. Third, I show that even after Smith, up to the beginning of the twentieth century, a number of leading economic theorists envisioned economics as a moral science, either in theory or in practice. Fourth, I sketch the decline of economics as a moral science. The key factor was the emergence and influence of positivism. Overall, I show that the current view of the detachment of economics from morals is alien to much of the history of the discipline.