Spinoza’s Ethics in a Global World

By Lydia B. Amir.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Globalization presents ethical challenges that moral relativism cannot meet. Act- and principle-centered and consequentialist theories are used to justify policies that leave out the personal dimension in ethics. Virtue ethics, which places the emphasis for ethical evaluation on the agent and his or her character, is now recognized as a viable alternative to these theories. While virtue ethics is usually associated with Aristotle, I suggest that Spinoza’s ethics is better suited to business ethics and global business ethics than other virtue ethicists.
Spinoza’s relevance to business ethics in a global world has been ignored, yet the importance of his philosophy for deep ecology has been widely recognized. Spinoza’s capacity for providing the philosophical framework environmentalists require contributes to making Spinoza’s ethics especially attractive for businessmen with ecological concerns.

Keywords: Spinoza, Virtue Ethics, Business Ethics, Global Ethics, Ecology, Non-Western Philosophies

Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.123-138. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 729.792KB).

Dr. Lydia B. Amir

Philosophy Senior Lecturer, Head of Humanities, School of Media Studies, College of Management, Tel-Aviv, Israel

I am a senior lecturer in Philosophy at the College of Management, Academic Studies, Tel-Aviv, and Head of Humanistic Studies at the School of Media Studies there. My academic interests include the relation of theory and practice in philosophy, ethics, and business ethics, ethics as the good life, and the role philosophical humor might have in such a life. In addition to articles and essays on those subjects, I have written a monograph on Spinoza’s and Nietzsche’s philosophies as alternative redemptions, and have just completed a manuscript on Humor and the Good Life. Certified by the American Philosophical Practitioners Association, I also work since 1992 as a philosophical and ethical consultant to organizations, groups, families and individuals. Finally, I work benevolently with Transparency International Israel – an organization which promotes ethics and transparency in organizations.

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