Rational interaction for moral sensitivity: A postmodern approach to moral decision-making in business [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 13 (1):11 - 20 (1994)
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Abstract

Moral dissensus is a distinct feature of our time. This is not only true of our post-modern culture in general, but also of business culture specifically. In this paper I start by explaining how modernist rationality has produced moral dissensus without offering any hope of bringing an end to it in the foreseeable future. Opting for a form of post-modernist rationality as the only viable way of dealing with moral dissensus, I then make an analysis of a number of ways proposed by both specialists in the field of business ethics, as well as philosophers to deal with moral decision-making in this situation of moral dissensus. The conclusion reached is that none of these attempts succeeds in coming to terms with moral dissensus. I then formulate an alternative approach to moral decision-making which I call: Rational interaction for moral sensitivity. After explaining this approach, I defend it against some of the most obvious objections that might be raised against it in a business environment. When you''re talking birth control, what blocks it and freezes it out is that it''s not a matter of more or fewer babies being argued. That''s just on the surface. What''s underneath is a conflict of faith, of faith in empirical social planning versus faith in the authority of God as revealed by the teachings of the Catholic Church. You can prove the practicality of planned parenthood till you get tired of listening to yourself and it''s going to get nowhere because your antagonist isn''t buying the assumption that anything socially practical is good per se. Goodness for him has other sources which he values as much as or more than social practicality. (Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.).

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References found in this work

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
The Post-Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge.Jean-Francois Lyotard - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63:520.
The politics of postmodern philosophy of science.Joseph Rouse - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (4):607-627.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.Robert M. Pirsig - 1974 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 9 (4):267-270.
Life after postmodernism: essays on value and culture.John Fekete (ed.) - 1987 - Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan Education.

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