Philosophy and Business

The fallacy of basic economic rights

One of the main questions dividing the left and the right is about how economic rights rank compared to other rights and public goals. That is, the question is about what can or cannot outweigh economic rights.

Basic vs prima facie rights

The left regularly argues that economic rights can be outweighed by legitimate state interests, like social justice, such that […]

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    Reflections on money, trust and the pursuit of self-interest

Reflections on money, trust and the pursuit of self-interest

‘People are naturally selfish’. The contemporary evidence seems overwhelming. And yet, even today, most people devote some of their lives to others as parents and carers, and many also as volunteers. Prior to the modern world, people frequently led lives governed by custom, duty, compassion, or faith, in societies where there was limited scope for the pursuit of self-interest. […]

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    What do business executives think about distributive justice?

What do business executives think about distributive justice?

This is the story of two cups of coffee, or at least that is where the story begins. The first, between me, Sandy Pepper, a Professor of Practice in the Department of Management at LSE, and Dr Susanne Burri of the Department of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Discovery, took place in March 2016 in the Lundenwic coffee shop on […]

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    Time to acknowledge the role of consumers in responsible innovation

Time to acknowledge the role of consumers in responsible innovation

In light of multiple (social, economic, ecological) problems humanity is facing, it is no surprise that scholarly interest in responsible innovation (or responsible research and innovation) has gained momentum. In other words, more and more of our fellow ivory tower inhabitants are working on aligning research and innovation better with society’s needs, values, and problems (there is also an […]

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    Can philosophy teach us anything about leadership and management?

Can philosophy teach us anything about leadership and management?

Philosophy can teach us much about leadership and management, but you would not guess it from the two recent books by Robert Spillane and Jean-Etienne Joullié, Philosophy of Leadership (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Philosophical Foundations of Management Thought (Lexington). The premise of each is this: the roots of our thinking about leadership and management reach deep into ancient times, and we […]

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    The butcher, the brewer, the ba(n)ker and the nature of money

The butcher, the brewer, the ba(n)ker and the nature of money

There is a growing realisation within public debates as well as academic research that the recent crisis was not merely a financial crisis but a crisis of money itself. In order to understand the crisis and to move forward, we thus need to consider the very nature of money, which forms the basis of our economic interaction.

Accounting for money

The […]

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    The big data revolution: embrace it but proceed with caution

The big data revolution: embrace it but proceed with caution

The combination of a number of amazing advances in technology (resulting in faster computer processor speeds, increased density and capability of computer storage, and higher bandwidth network connections) has opened up a new world for big data – the application of smart algorithms to large quantity and/or high velocity data.

Big data techniques enable us to infer patterns and preferences, […]