The Philosophy of Business Ethics – September 2, 2008

The Philosophy of Business Ethics

Henry Adams Started this Topic

 Who is Henry Adams? He’s a literary person, who wrote a couple dull books. Back when I attended Aurora University, Professor Fuller taught some literature/writing courses. The good professor was well educated, with a Masters from Yale – A Ph.D. from N.I.U. – but hated giving tests. And I loved him for it! So our projects were to mimic writing like the New Yorker magazine. And we would discuss two works by Henry Brooks Adams. One was “The Education of Henry Adams”, and the other was “Mont Saint Michel and Chartres”. Now if the class had nothing to say, the professor would be silent. However, he might throw out a question, after several minutes of silence.

Who Invented This Boring Stuff?

I don’t know about you, but “Mont Saint Michel and Chartres” was BORING! You see, Henry was describing great cathedrals in Northern France. If you describe how a building is constructed – brick by brick – unless you were an architect or engineer, you be bored out of your tree. Henry described the book as “A Study of Thirteenth-Century Unity”. “The Education of Henry Adams” was much more interesting, talking about politics, science, etc. But then, I remembered philosophy. It would solve the Professor’s question: “How are these books related?” The middle ages were centered in unity, with the Catholic Church and Mother Mary. The century Henry lived in was lost in diversity, with science, politics, and other modern assortments, getting us lost. Hence I answered the professor’s question philosophically!

Looking East

Now Plato and Kant were very interesting, but Aristotle was as “dry as wood”, as a philosopher once mentioned. Then a friend of mine was heavy into Eastern things. So I discovered the Eastern philosophy of Buddhism, Vedanta, and Yoga. These writings were very interesting, and gave philosophy a different direction. And Buddhism had these two meditation traditions called Insight Meditation and Zen. Zen had everyone fascinated, due to a fellow named Suzuki arriving from Japan, a theologian named Alan Watts, and a beat writer called Jack Kerouac. All this was much more stimulating then discussing proofs for the existence of God, from the Middle Ages.

The Business Ethics of Porn

 I knew it! Once I mentioned porn, you eyes perked up. But it’s not what you think. During my multiple year attendance at the College of Dupage – buried in English Literature and Creative Writing classes – I occasionally had time for a course in philosophy or software engineering. Two contemporary offerings were business ethics and medical ethics. I elected to take business ethics, and the professor placed more emphasize on projects, then he did on tests.  I had to team up, and my partner and I chose porn. Don’t get me wrong! We didn’t view porn sites, for our research. This topic was one listed that the professor had the class choose from.  I could apply techniques from my screen-writing course, and I wrote a script. My partner hosted a TV news interview program. I played the part of a porn movie producer. I had to defend my views and lifestyle, from the probing questions shot my way. The professor thought we did an excellent job, and our project was a smashing success

A Three Dollar Quart of Pickles

We traveled from the East – to porn – to Pickles. You see, there was an individual project to collect news stories, on business issues, and comment on them. One was the way Wal-Mart conducted business. In one case, they sold a quart of pickles for three dollars. But Wal-Mart dictated what they wanted. If a business wanted to partner with Wal-Mart, they had to meet the quantity and price. Would I boycott Wal-Mart because of this? No! If they weren’t breaking any US laws, then my conscious didn’t see anything illegal, immortal, or fattening. Besides, the low prices of Wal-Mart overran any useless statement of boycotting.

Philosophy is still the Fountainhead

 Philosophy is still the fountainhead. I don’t mean the novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ann Rand.  In and of themselves, they are noted as works of literary merit. Even the whole discipline of psychology had its roots in philosophy. So whether we study the East – Porn – or pickles, you will find philosophy with its hand, in the reflective cookie jar.

Randy Kemp



1 thought on “The Philosophy of Business Ethics – September 2, 2008

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close