Are We Sending Mixed Messages? How Philosophical Naturalism Erodes Ethical Instruction

Are We Sending Mixed Messages? How Philosophical Naturalism Erodes Ethical Instruction To develop critical thinking skills, higher order ethical reasoning, a better grasp of the implications of ethical decisions, and a basis for ethical knowledge, it is necessary to explore the philosophical premises foundational to one’s ethical persuasion. No philosophical premises are more important than those pertaining to the nature of human personhood and business’ responsibility to respect the inherent value of human beings. Philosophical naturalism assigns the essence of human personhood strictly to causal interactions of physical matter. Substance dualism, on the other hand, posits both a physical aspect and an immaterial substance to personhood, interacting within the totality of each being. This paper argues for the logical superiority of substance dualism in achieving the overriding objective of discerning ethical knowledge. Substance dualism offers a better explanation – and one that more closely follows the way most people commonly experience themselves and others–than naturalism for free agency and accountability, meaningful moral standards, confidence in knowing what ethical decisions to make, and the moral drive residing in conscience. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Ethics Springer Journals

Are We Sending Mixed Messages? How Philosophical Naturalism Erodes Ethical Instruction

Journal of Business Ethics, Volume 75 (2) – Feb 15, 2007

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Philosophy; Quality of Life Research; Management ; Economic Growth; Ethics
ISSN
0167-4544
eISSN
1573-0697
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10551-006-9243-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

To develop critical thinking skills, higher order ethical reasoning, a better grasp of the implications of ethical decisions, and a basis for ethical knowledge, it is necessary to explore the philosophical premises foundational to one’s ethical persuasion. No philosophical premises are more important than those pertaining to the nature of human personhood and business’ responsibility to respect the inherent value of human beings. Philosophical naturalism assigns the essence of human personhood strictly to causal interactions of physical matter. Substance dualism, on the other hand, posits both a physical aspect and an immaterial substance to personhood, interacting within the totality of each being. This paper argues for the logical superiority of substance dualism in achieving the overriding objective of discerning ethical knowledge. Substance dualism offers a better explanation – and one that more closely follows the way most people commonly experience themselves and others–than naturalism for free agency and accountability, meaningful moral standards, confidence in knowing what ethical decisions to make, and the moral drive residing in conscience.

Journal

Journal of Business EthicsSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 15, 2007

References

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