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Value and Values

Value and Values: Economics and Justice in an Age of Global Interdependence

Roger T. Ames
Peter D. Hershock
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 568
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  • Book Info
    Value and Values
    Book Description:

    The most pressing issues of the twenty-first century-climate change and persistent hunger in a world of food surpluses, to name only two-are not problems that can be solved from within individual disciplines, nation-states, or cultural perspectives. They are predicaments that can only be resolved by generating sustained and globally robust coordination across value systems. The scale of the problems and necessity for coordinated global solutions signal a world historical transit as momentous as the Industrial Revolution: a transition from the predominance of technical knowledge to that of ethical deliberation. This volume brings together leading thinkers from around the world to deliberate on how best to correlate worth (value) with what is worthwhile (values), pairing human prosperity with personal, environmental, and spiritual flourishing in a world of differing visions of what constitutes a moral life.

    Especially in the aftermath of what is now being called the Great Recession, awareness has mounted of the imperative to question the modern divorce of economics from ethics. While the domains of economics and ethics were from antiquity through at least the eighteenth century understood in many cultures to be coterminous and mutually entailing, the modern assumption has been that the goal of maximizing human prosperity and the aim of justly enhancing our lives as persons and as communities were functionally and practically distinct. Working from a wide array of perspectives, the contributors to this volume offer a set of challenges to the assumed independence of the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of human and planetary well-being. Reflecting on the complex interrelationship among economics, justice, and equity, the book resists "one size fits all" approaches and struggles to revitalize the marriage of economics and ethics by activating cultural differences as the basis of mutual contribution to shared human flourishing. The publication of this important collection will stimulate or extend critical debates among scholars and students working in a number of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, including philosophy, history, environmental studies, economics, and law.

    Contributors: Roger T. Ames, James Behuniak Jr., Steve Bein, Nalini Bhushan, Purushottama Bilimoria, Steven Burik, Amita Chatterjee, Baoyan Cheng, Gordon Davis, Jay L. Garfield, Steven F. Geisz, Peter D. Hershock, Larry A. Hickman, Kathleen M. Higgins, Heidi M. Hurd, Thomas P. Kasulis, Workineh Kelbessa, Lori Keleher, Oliver Leaman, James McRae, Jin Y. Park, James Peterman, Naoko Saito, May Sim, Robert Smid, Paul Standish, Kenneth W. Stikkers, Karsten J. Struhl, Meera Sushila Viswanathan, Wu Shiu- Ching, Xu Di, T. Yamauchi, Yang Liuxin.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-5452-2
    Subjects: Philosophy, Economics, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-24)
    Roger T. Ames and Peter D. Hershock

    Economics and ethics have not always been considered separate domains of inquiry and action. From antiquity through at least the eighteenth century, the fields of economics and ethics were in many cultures understood to be coterminous and mutually entailing. Rather than being assumed to be naturally distinct, “value” and “values” were seen as intimately related.

    There are assertions in early Buddhist texts, for example, that poverty alleviation is prerequisite for the successful cultivation of wisdom, attentive mastery, and moral clarity, and for the expression of such wisdom in compassionate, responsive virtuosity. In Islamic societies, it traditionally has been assumed (and...

  5. Part I Interdependence and Relationality

    • 1 The Mosaic and the Jigsaw Puzzle: How It All Fits Together
      (pp. 27-48)
      Thomas P. Kasulis

      To understand and suitably engage our world—both natural and human—we need an effective strategy for knowing. That may seem obvious, but to forget it is to risk epistemic disaster. A Chinese proverb says a journey of a thousandlibegins with one step, but that assumes the step must be in the right direction. For example, the tools we use to analyze political justice, economic equity, or ecological stability are all the legacy of the Enlightenment, what I will call theWissenschaftparadigm of problem solving. That paradigm relies on fundamental, no longer consciously examined assumptions about the...

    • 2 Value, Exchange, and Beyond: Betweenness as Starting Point
      (pp. 49-67)
      Meera Sushila Viswanathan

      “Is there a common value judgment for the cultures of different nations?”¹ So questioned the twentieth-century Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitarō. In the wake of global imperialism and expansionism in the latter half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, myriad nascent nation-states sought to create/integrate their indigenous traditions into the new world order, thereby necessarily shaping/reshaping it, as well as to situate themselves in the perceived existing hierarchy of nations. Accordingly, among Japanese intellectuals in the 1930s, such as Nishida Kitarō, Watsuji Tetsurō, Kuki Shuzō, Miki Kiyoshi, and Ienaga Saburo, the issues of value and...

    • 3 Triple Negation: Watsuji Tetsuro on the Sustainability of Ecosystems, Economies, and International Peace
      (pp. 68-81)
      James McRae

      Environmental security is a branch of environmental studies that explores how national security issues are affected by ecosystem sustainability and the demands placed on the natural world by human populations. The pursuit of consumer interests can often place stress on the environment, which can lead to a collapse of both ecosystems and economies, which in turn promotes political instability. For this reason, the fields of environmental ethics, business ethics, and international relations are ultimately intertwined. This essay draws from the philosophical anthropology of Watsuji Tetsurō’sFūdoto explain why human culture, economics, and the politics of warfare are so intimately...

    • 4 Fouling Our Nest: Is (Environmental) Ethics Impotent against (Bad) Economics?
      (pp. 82-108)
      Heidi M. Hurd

      I worry that our best ethics are not up to the task of protecting the global environment from our worst economics. This is not a practical claim; it is a philosophical one. My concern is that moral philosophy lacks the ability to explain or account for the moral significance of the planet upon which we live and the natural resources upon which we depend. It is hard to find a natural resource on the Earth that is not being exploited or that is not an object of commercial greed. Today, more than 60 percent of vital ecosystem goods and services...

    • 5 The Visible and the Invisible: Rethinking Values and Justice from a Buddhist-Postmodern Perspective
      (pp. 109-124)
      Jin Y. Park

      In his bookSmall Is Beautiful(1973), the economist E. F. Schumacher diagnosed the problem of value in the capitalist economic system and warned of its disastrous result if we did not change the way we understood economic growth and the development of human society. Schumacher asked, “What is the meaning of democracy, freedom, human dignity, standard of living, self-realization, fulfillment? Is it a matter of goods, or of people?”¹ As his book’s subtitle, “Economics as if People Mattered,” suggests, Schumacher’s discussion of the meaning of economics and economic development focuses on their impacts on human beings, society, and environments...

    • 6 “You Ought to Be Ashamed of Yourself!”
      (pp. 125-141)
      James Peterman

      Recent financial scandals have raised questions about appropriate forms of punishment for white-collar crimes. Some commentators have argued that punishments for such crimes might need to be reduced from what they would otherwise be because white-collar criminals suffer shame from incarceration in a way that other criminals do not. It is, however, striking that some recent white-collar criminals, for example, Jeffrey Skilling of Enron fame, seem to express neither shame nor remorse at their crimes, but rather seek by all means to have their charges reversed legally. (His legal appeals, which have gone to the Supreme Court, continue as I...

    • 7 Filial Piety and the Traditional Chinese Rural Community: An Alternative Ethical Paradigm for Modern Aging Societies
      (pp. 142-156)
      Yang Liuxin, Baoyan Cheng and Xu Di

      Developments in science, medicine, technology, and national economies have rapidly resulted in aging societies in both developed and developing countries around the world. The increasingly large number of elderly people has caused various problems to the political and economic systems of societies, including family structure, ethical relationships, lifestyles, and values, as well as to the emotional state of their members. Neither the spontaneous capitalistic market nor a state welfare system can easily resolve these issues. In a modern market economy ruled by the logic of capital and profit, elderly people, who, usually unemployed, are considered mere consumers, thus present a...

    • 8 Doing Justice to Justice: Seeking a More Capacious Conception of Justice from Confucian Role Ethics
      (pp. 157-182)
      Roger T. Ames

      A minimum standard of justice would seem to require that all U.S. children have equal access to U.S. educational institutions, and that any school admissions policy that would exclude a candidate on the basis of race or ethnicity is in clear violation of this principle. Such a basic standard has certainly been upheld by the judgment of the Supreme Court in lawsuits where it was contravened. But I want to argue that the Court in coming to such a decision not only might be failing to serve justice, but in fact would be compounding a grave injustice—at least in...

  6. Part II Dynamism and Contextuality

    • 9 Moral Equivalents
      (pp. 185-197)
      Kathleen M. Higgins

      In his essay “The Moral Equivalent of War” (1910), William James observes that despite its obvious destructiveness, war has long had its defenders, who stress the important role that war time military service has traditionally served in developing discipline, toughness, and character in young men. Although himself motivated by the desire for a peaceful world, James concedes that “militarism is the great preserver of our ideals of hardihood, and human life with no use for hardihood would be contemptible.”¹ Given the harms that come from war, he argues that we need a “moral equivalent” of war, a nonviolent alternative to...

    • 10 A Critique of Economic Reason: Between Tradition and Postcoloniality
      (pp. 198-213)
      Purushottama Bilimoria

      It is my intention in this essay to problematize the relationship between economics and ethics. The route I will take is an unconventional one—though not so unconventional if we consider Amartya Sen’s original position on capabilities and his radical revision of the Rawlsian theory of justice. Sen’s thinking is informed by his deep-rooted awareness of alternative possibilities within the heterogeneous—especially given his own argumentative Indian mind—Asian/Indian traditions. My case will be argued through a critique ofmodels—those that have worked and those that have not, or are on the road to extinction; inevitably, the analytical discussion...

    • 11 Economies of Scarcity and Acquisition, Economies of Gift and Thanksgiving: Lessons from Cultural Anthropology
      (pp. 214-228)
      Kenneth W. Stikkers

      So much of the now-stale debate between capitalism and socialism, begun already in the early nineteenth century, hinged on contradictory claims about human nature. Is it competitive, or is it cooperative? Acquisitive or sharing? Egoistic or altruistic? Indeed, it was out of this debate and a desire to settle empirically once and for all what had largely been a battle of opposing, merely speculative assertions that the science of cultural anthropology in large measure was born.

      Contemporary cultural anthropologists largely consider the debate over “human nature” a red herring. Humans have no simple, single “nature” but from infancy exhibit complex,...

    • 12 John Dewey, Institutional Economics, and Confucian Democracies
      (pp. 229-240)
      Larry A. Hickman

      For some economists, institutional theories offer an attractive alternative, or perhaps better put, attractive supplements, to conservative approaches based on the work of free-market theorists such as Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek, as well as liberal theories based on the work of John Maynard Keynes, which taken together form the central doctrines of what has been called the “neoclassical synthesis.”¹ According to one noted conservative economist, neoclassical economic theory is based on several fundamental assumptions, including the following: “1. People have rational preferences among outcomes. 2. Individuals maximize utility and firms maximize profits. 3. People act independently on the basis...

    • 13 The Responsible Society as Social Harmony: Walter G. Muelder’s Communitarian Social Ethics as a Bridge Tradition for Confucian Economics
      (pp. 241-258)
      Robert Smid

      The question of what would constitute a “Confucian” economics for the twenty-first century is a decidedly unsettled one. Drawing back to the places and times in which the Confucian tradition held significant sway over such questions, it is fair to say that it resulted in nothing much like the two economic systems—communism and capitalism—that have dominated the twentieth century (any minor similarities notwithstanding). At the same time, however, the powerful influence of these two systems requires that any consideration of new economic directions, Confucian or otherwise, proceed in conversation with at least one—or, ideally, both—of these...

    • 14 Swaraj and Swadeshi: Gandhi and Tagore on Ethics, Development, and Freedom
      (pp. 259-271)
      Nalini Bhushan and Jay L. Garfield

      Gandhi introduced the termsswarajandswadeshito colonial Indian discourse, and while many academics and activists adopted these terms in their framings of the Indian independence struggle, consensus on their interpretation was hard to come by. The debate between Tagore and Gandhi is often taken as crucial in the contest over the meanings of these terms, but the interpretation of that debate is itself contested. We would like to reexamine that well-known debate as it is refracted through the lens of an epistemological predicament articulated by K. C. Bhattacharyya. This will allow us to see more clearly points of...

    • 15 Economics and Religion or Economics versus Religion: The Concept of an Islamic Economics
      (pp. 272-282)
      Oliver Leaman

      There are two contrasting images of Islamic economics that are often evoked today, and both are wrong. One is that Islamic finance has done well in the banking crises that began in the twenty-first century, the implication being that it is more solidly based and less speculative. Opposed to that is the image of Islam as an obstacle to the flourishing of the economies of the Islamic world because it is so restrictive as to what can be done with money and how property can be passed down to the next generation. Yet the fact is that Islamic banks have...

    • 16 Two Challenges to Market Daoism
      (pp. 283-295)
      James Behuniak Jr.

      Libertarians and free-market theorists routinely claim Laozi as one of their own. David Boaz, for instance, in his reader on libertarianism, features selections “from Lao-tzu to Milton Friedman,” reflecting his belief that Laozi was the “first known libertarian.”¹ Such claims are based on the perception that notions of nonintervention and spontaneity in theDaodejingare identical to those of laissez-faire and spontaneous order in the thought of Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek. Ken McCormick, for instance, treats such notions as equivalent. In his article, “The Tao of Laissez-Faire,” he writes:

      Laissez-faireis simply an extension ofwu-weito government policy....

    • 17 Buddhist, Western, and Hybrid Perspectives on Liberty Rights and Economic Rights
      (pp. 296-311)
      Gordon Davis

      There has been a lively debate among contemporary Buddhist philosophers and commentators on Buddhist ethics as to whether a robust conception of human rights can be justified within any major Buddhist tradition. This debate echoes similar debates over the past twenty years about the prospects for defenses of human rights in various non-Western traditions of ethical reflection. In this essay, I show that recent defenses offered by Buddhist philosophers share an important feature: they are all based on the indirect and contingent benefits of institutionalized rights rather than the direct or intrinsic moral value of rights. I will argue, though,...

    • 18 The Conversation of Justice: Rawls, Sandel, Cavell, and Education for Political Literacy
      (pp. 312-323)
      Naoko Saito

      In the introduction to this collection, Roger Ames and Peter Hershock draw attention to the need, in the context of contemporary global dynamics, for a conversation between economics and ethics. The issues of fairness and justice cannot be separated from our “senses of what is good” and from “how and why we live as we do.” As a characterization of the kind of conversation between economics and ethics that they have in mind, Ames and Hershock suggest the necessity of diversity, inclusiveness, and particularity. This would be a conversation that involved “multiple voices” so that “different disciplines and cultures come...

    • 19 Social Justice and the Occident
      (pp. 324-336)
      Paul Standish

      “Social justice” is a phrase that recurs with some force in contemporary political and academic discussion, and in many respects this is understandable. One can scarcely imagine a form of human life for which justice does not remain a question, and the effects of the adjective point up the particular pressures to which that question is exposed in an overcrowded and, in some ways, environmentally depleted world. How are we to live together in justice, in our own countries and continents, and in the world as a whole?

      But we can move too quickly with the phrase, and it does...

    • 20 Three-Level Eco-Humanism in Japanese Confucianism: Combining Environmental with Humanist Social Ethics
      (pp. 337-350)
      T. Yamauchi

      The scholars quoted here are referring to Edo-period Japan (1603–1867), a time when people valued and enriched the natural environment, and, thereby, a green, sustainable society nourished about 30 million people in small island communities. In today’s Japan a so-called scientific technologic culture has become bloated and the cause of deterioration of the natural environment. The secret of Edo Japan’s success in achieving and maintaining sustainability for more than three hundred years is, I think, in its environmental policies. Those policies were based on aneco-holistic environmental ethics,which had its source in Japanese Confucianism. There have been attempts...

    • 21 Economic Growth, Human Well-Being, and the Environment
      (pp. 351-374)
      Workineh Kelbessa

      The cleavage between developed and developing countries in contemporary discourse is misleading. In today’s world, the older, modern terms of “North and South,” “West and East,” “First World and Third World,” “developed and underdeveloped,” seem intrinsically obsolete. The current context of increasing differentiation between countries encapsulated under these terms, the virtual disappearance of the so-called Second World, and problematic modernist connotations of such terms make their use questionable. The limitations notwithstanding, I will use them interchangeably throughout this chapter for lack of better terms. Their continued use, it has been argued, encourages a rethinking of patterns of inequality and power...

  7. Part III Equity and Diversity

    • 22 The Moral Necessity of Socialism
      (pp. 377-399)
      Karsten J. Struhl

      In the classical Marxist tradition, socialism was often understood as a historical necessity. Both the Frankfurt School and the Althusserian reformulation of classical Marxism made the very idea of historical necessity problematic, as have the failed attempts to construct socialism in the twentieth century. I argue in this essay that socialism, while not a historical necessity, is, perhaps more than ever, amoralnecessity. This is not to say simply that socialism is morally preferable to capitalism but that it has become, at this historical juncture, a moral imperative for humanity.

      To say that something is necessary is always to...

    • 23 Invaluable Justice: Heidegger, Derrida, and Daoism Thinking on Values and Justice
      (pp. 400-417)
      Steven Burik

      What can comparative philosophy contribute to thinking about values, economics, and justice? Can we directly apply philosophy in general, and comparative philosophy in particular, to these problems? Martin Heidegger, one of the protagonists of this essay, has on occasion made it clear that philosophy is literally “useless,”¹ and so let me start with one of my favorite Heidegger quotes, to give an indication of what I will argue in this essay: “Philosophy . . . cannot be directly applied, or judged by its usefulness in the manner of economic or other professional knowledge. But what is useless can still be...

    • 24 What Is It Like to Be a Moral Being?
      (pp. 418-428)
      Amita Chatterjee

      I am sleeping soundly. I wake up, open my eyes, and find myself in a big building with innumerable rooms set up with gaming tables. I cannot leave this building without playing and winning some of the games, but all the games are unknown to me. I approach one of the tables where people are already playing. I watch the players and try to guess the rules. After a time, I join the play, making very tentative moves. Other players at the table are also watchful. They are wary because they do not know me or the level of my...

    • 25 What Is the Value of Poverty? A Comparative Analysis of Aristotle’s Politics and Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki
      (pp. 429-440)
      Steve Bein

      Dōgen and Aristotle appear to stand in diametrical opposition to each other on the value of poverty. Dōgen repeatedly admonishes monks and nuns to be poor and advises laypeople that even they would be better off if they gave up all their worldly possessions. Aristotle, on the other hand, famously describes poverty as “the parent of revolution and crime.”¹ This marked divergence is noteworthy not because we should expect Dōgen and Aristotle to march in lockstep together but because Aristotelian philosophy and Buddhist philosophy both advocate finding a middle path between extremes. Thus, it is surprising to find two thinkers...

    • 26 Economic Goods, Common Goods, and the Good Life
      (pp. 441-459)
      May Sim

      How do economic goods, for example, the necessities for life (food, shelter, etc.), relate to the common goods, such as the virtues (justice, moderation, courage, wisdom, etc.), which are good not only for us but also for our relationships with one another; and how do these goods contribute to the good life? Such questions, though not necessarily formulated in these terms, are asked and answered by philosophers from ancient Greece to classical China. Drawing on the wisdoms of Aristotle and Confucius as representatives of these disparate philosophical traditions, I explore their answers to these questions and examine the lessons they...

    • 27 On the Justice of Caring Labor: An Alternative Theory of Liberal Egalitarianism to Dworkin’s Luck Egalitarianism
      (pp. 460-482)
      Wu Shiu-Ching

      Luck egalitarianism (LE), a term coined by Elizabeth Anderson,¹ has been one of the most dominant distributive theories in contemporary egalitarian justice theory.² Theorists of LE, including R. Dworkin, R. Arneson, T. Nagel, E. Rakowski, and J. Roemer, have been trying to establish a theory of justice that can reconcile the seemingly incommensurable political values of equality and liberty. To that end, they have proposed that, as far as the distribution of public goods is concerned, social justice would tolerate the inequality of individuals as a fair outcome resulting from personal choices; however, social justice should not tolerate inequality among...

    • 28 Aging, Equality, and Confucian Selves
      (pp. 483-502)
      Steven F. Geisz

      A number of authors have recently brought the Confucian tradition into meaningful contact with the theory and practice of democracy. The literature includes accounts of what Confucian democracy is or would be,¹ explorations of the relationship between Confucianism and fundamental features of political liberalism such as rights,² and a variety of attempts to link Confucianism and, more broadly, Chinese political theory and practice in general to theories of deliberative democracy in particular.³ In this essay, I would like to add to this growing discussion by thinking about ways in which a Confucian valuation of and deference to the elderly might...

      (pp. 503-518)
      Lori Keleher

      Academics and practitioners working in international economic development often cite the critical role of empowerment within development; however, relatively little attention has been paid to institutional power.¹ Institutionalized power plays an important role in generating, reinforcing, and reproducing the inequalities that prevent or limit various groups of individuals—most notably women—from acting as agents, engaging in empowerment processes, or being empowered. In other words, we cannot adequately address the role of empowerment with development without properly understanding the role of institutionalized power in empowerment. This essay seeks to briefly explain what institutionalized power is and the significant role it...

      (pp. 519-538)
      Peter D. Hershock

      One of Buddhism’s central insights is that our conflicts, troubles, and suffering can be positively and sustainably addressed only on the basis of things “as they have come to be” (Skt.yathabhutam) and not simply as they are at present. Histories matter, in other words. A second insight, and one with powerful contemporary resonances, is that all things arise interdependently. Strongly interpreted, this means that relationality is more basic than “things-related.” Interdependence is not a contingent, external relation among essentially separate entities; it is internal or constitutive. In short, interdependence entails interpenetration. Seeing this is to see that conflicts, troubles,...

  8. List of Contributors
    (pp. 539-550)
  9. Index
    (pp. 551-556)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 557-557)