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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

James E. Alvey

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…

Abstract

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.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 27 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1982

“Communism has never concealed the fact that it rejects all absolute concepts of morality. It scoffs at any consideration of “good” and “evil” as indisputable categories…

Abstract

“Communism has never concealed the fact that it rejects all absolute concepts of morality. It scoffs at any consideration of “good” and “evil” as indisputable categories. Communism considers morality to be relative, to be a class matter… It has infected the whole world with the belief in the relativity of good and evil.” Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Warning to the West, 1975.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1997

Jon‐Arild Johannessen

Questions the relationship between information science, the theory of science, and ethics. Defines the differences between the views of the theory of science used in…

Abstract

Questions the relationship between information science, the theory of science, and ethics. Defines the differences between the views of the theory of science used in information science and introduces the concept “The context of solution”, in addition to the entities “The context of discovery” and “The context of justification”. These three contexts constitute what is thought should be normative for the research community. Finally couples this unit to moral/ethical consequence considerations, where the basis is local knowledge. Concludes with a model for the integration of science and ethics.

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Kybernetes, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1995

The critical dimension and the one that can unify knowledge through systemic interrelationships, is unification of the purely a priori with the purely a posteriori parts…

Abstract

The critical dimension and the one that can unify knowledge through systemic interrelationships, is unification of the purely a priori with the purely a posteriori parts of total reality into a congruous whole. This is a circular cause and effect interrelationship between premises. The emerging kind of world view may also be substantively called the epistemic‐ontic circular causation and continuity model of unified reality. The essence of this order is to ground philosophy of science in both the natural and social sciences, in a perpetually interactive and integrative mould of deriving, evolving and enhancing or revising change. Knowledge is then defined as the output of every such interaction. Interaction arises first from purely epistemological roots to form ontological reality. This is the passage from the a priori to the a posteriori realms in the traditions of Kant and Heidegger. Conversely, the passage from the a posteriori to a priori reality is the approach to knowledge in the natural sciences proferred by Cartesian meditations, David Hume, A.N. Whitehead and Bertrand Russell, as examples. Yet the continuity and renewal of knowledge by interaction and integration of these two premises are not rooted in the philosophy of western science. Husserl tried for it through his critique of western civilization and philosophical methods in the Crisis of Western Civilization. The unified field theory of Relativity‐Quantum physics is being tried for. A theory of everything has been imagined. Yet after all is done, scientific research program remains in a limbo. Unification of knowledge appears to be methodologically impossible in occidental philosophy of science.

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Humanomics, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2018

FR. Oswald A. J. Mascarenhas, S.J.

This chapter covers basic concepts, ethical theories, and moral paradigms of corporate ethics for identifying, understanding, and responding to the turbulent market…

Abstract

Executive Summary

This chapter covers basic concepts, ethical theories, and moral paradigms of corporate ethics for identifying, understanding, and responding to the turbulent market challenges of today. The concept, nature, and domain of ethics, business ethics, managerial ethics, and corporate executive ethics are defined and differentiated for their significance. The domain, scope, and nature of related concepts such as legality, ethicality, morality, and executive spirituality are distinguished and developed. Among normative and descriptive ethical theories that we briefly review and critique here are teleology or utilitarianism, deontology or existentialism, distributive justice, corrective justice, and ethics of malfeasance and beneficence. Other moral theories of ethics such as ethics of human dignity, ethics of cardinal virtues, ethics of trusting relations, ethics of stakeholder rights and duties, ethics of moral reasoning and judgment calls, ethics of executive and moral leadership, and ethics of social and moral responsibility will be treated in a later book. The thrust of this book is positive: despite our not very commendable track record in managing this planet and its resources, our basic questions are: Where are we now? What are we now? Where should we as corporations go, and why? What are the specific positive mandates and metrics to corporate executives to reach that desired destiny? This chapter explores responses to these strategic corporate questions.

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Corporate Ethics for Turbulent Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-187-8

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Subadrah Madhawa Nair, Abdul Rashid Mohamed and Nagamah Marimuthu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the practice of teacher trainees on science and the relevance of science education. The study focuses on teacher trainees'…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the practice of teacher trainees on science and the relevance of science education. The study focuses on teacher trainees' practice on science teaching and its relevance to understanding science education.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a survey method using questionnaires. The samples consist of 80 teacher trainees, majoring in Science Education, from a teachers training institute in Malaysia. The teacher trainees were asked to complete a set of questionnaires on the relevance of their content knowledge of science to Science Education, application of student's home culture in classroom science and in infusing moral education in classroom lessons. The data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistical and inferential statistical (independent samples t‐test).

Findings

The results showed that the female trainees' practice of science and the relevance of science education is significantly higher than that of their male counterparts. Besides that, the findings indicate that there is no significant difference between the male and female trainees on their practices of students' home culture applied in classroom science and applying moral education in teaching science. The findings also indicated there is a need to bring in students' home culture into the teaching and learning of science.

Practical implications

Findings of this paper suggest one approach that could be adopted to make science education more relevant to the students understanding is by incorporating teaching strategies that are designed to promote content learning through a cultural relevant curriculum. This will make schools a better place to inculcate environmental concerns for a sustainable future.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the need to educate trainee teachers (male and female) and bring them closer to gain cooperation and commitment to achieve sustainability. The paper also proposes the need to bring in students' home culture, priorities and concern into the teaching and learning of science.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1987

Thomas O. Nitsch

In her popular Development of Economic Analysis, Ingrid Rima writes early on of the “compatibility” of “emphasis on the state as an instrument to achieve socially optimal…

Abstract

In her popular Development of Economic Analysis, Ingrid Rima writes early on of the “compatibility” of “emphasis on the state as an instrument to achieve socially optimal results…with what has come to be called social economics”. Subsequently (1978, p. 322; 1986, p. 396), she treats of J.M. Clark's “crucial” contribution to the development (1920s/1930s) of a new type of economics he describes as “social”. Similarly, George F. Rohrlich, in his 1970 introductory essay, “The Challenge of Social Economics”, wrote of “The emerging field of social economics”, and noted that “in the United States the term was used in the 1930s and occasionally thereafter”. More recently (1982), Samuel Cameron singles out Mark A. Lutz's 1980 USE contribution, e.g., for neglecting Charles Devas(op. cit., 1876–1907) “as a contributor to the founding of social economics”, while comparing Devas to “the modern social economist”.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 14 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Kenneth W. Stikkers

– This paper aims to explain how economics severed itself from the moral constraint of community and from ethics.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explain how economics severed itself from the moral constraint of community and from ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilizes respected economic histories (e.g. Tawney, Polanyi, Heilbroner) and analyzes central theoretical texts of modern capitalism (e.g. Adam Smith).

Findings

This paper concludes that the divorce of economics from community and ethics had historical causes, beginning with enclosure, and was then theoretically justified by the classical economics.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that, if social economics wish to reconnect economics with ethics, they need first to understand and to contend with, better than they have, the enormity of the historical and theoretical forces that drove the two apart in the first place.

Originality/value

While many social economists argue for the need to connect economics with ethics, few if any have offered an extended analysis of their divorce.

Details

Humanomics, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1990

Masudul Alam Choudhury

A comparative and critical examination of the methodology, goalsand history of development of the field of Western social sciences inIslamic perspectives is presented…

Abstract

A comparative and critical examination of the methodology, goals and history of development of the field of Western social sciences in Islamic perspectives is presented. Economics is treated as a parallel case study in this respect. It is shown that the field of Western social sciences was the outcome of the revolt against the Church in the eighteenth century by the scholastic school to sever science from religion. Ever since, it has gained momentum also under the Cartesian philosophy of empiricism. Thus, the age‐long advance of the social sciences has shown increasing independence within each of its sub‐disciplines. An inward looking hegemony developed among the various sub‐disciplines. Such developments have made it increasingly difficult for the treatment of ethics and values as integrable elements in social investigation. The essence of a human analysis of social problems is thereby, misunderstood in modern social science analysis. The philosophy, nature and methodology of social investigation in Islamic framework are examined. It is argued that the Western concern with dichotomy between science and religion is not applicable to Islam. Consequently, there is a good possibility for studying social problems by an integrated approach among all the sub‐disciplines of the social sciences. This gives rise to an interdisciplinary study of social issues and problems and the development of a generalised social equilibrium system in the Islamic framework. We have developed one such comprehensive model endowed by its intrinsic Islamic ethics and values emanating fundamentally from the dynamic Quranic essence of the Unity of God in the working of the universe, “Al‐Tawhid”. The key principles and instruments are developed. The central role of the “shura” in functionally endowing the integrated study of social issues, is studied. In this context, the study of Islamic economics as one of Islamic political economy is examined. A specific economic problem in this area is explored. It is concluded that the approach of the Islamic social investigation and of Islamic political economy is what the future generation of social and economic thinkers will be working towards.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1991

Thomas O. Nitsch

Misbegotten, misnamed, antisocial homo oeconomicus is nowcontrasted with the more human personae of homo oeconomicushonorabilis, the “open”/ “Semi‐economic Man”of…

Abstract

Misbegotten, misnamed, antisocial homo oeconomicus is now contrasted with the more human personae of homo oeconomicus honorabilis, the “open”/ “Semi‐economic Man” of Pantaleoni and Marshall, the still arcane homo oeconomicus humanus of Nitsch and Malina, and (most recently) the positivistic (neo‐) homo socio‐economicus of Etzioni et al., which ‐‐in turn – harks back to Smith′s Theory of 1759‐90. Showing the essential identity of modern economics and Aristotle′s oikonomikē, and recognising the ozone layer as pre‐eminent among once‐free but now very scarce resources (chrēmata ) that have to be utilised efficiently and administered prudently, the author joins forces with Herman Daly et al. in proposing an Aristotelian/Biblical homo oeconomus as a “Good Steward” in the spirit of Frigerio′s L′Economo Prudente (1629) and qualitative improvement over the being who has masqueraded as homo oeconomicus. Uniting this prudent conservator and caretaker of our natural endowment with “Homo Faber, the Subject‐creator of Social Economy” of an earlier work yields the antithesis of the veritable homo oeconomicus impudens of Classical‐Neoclassical infamy.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 18 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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