Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

The what and how of civic conversations

Posted Jun 7, 2010 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 15 Comments

Sometimes we need to separate the question,” What should we do?” from the question, “How should we do it?”  “What should we do about our public schools?” for example, is quite different from the question “How should we improve our schools?”  Or is it?  If we cannot imagine a way to improve our schools, then maybe it is a waste of time to think about whether or not we should improve them.

Born to be a citizen

Posted Jun 1, 2010 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 59 Comments

According to Aristotle, even though families and clans preceded the emergence of the city, the city was the end that human communities aimed for.  To be a good member of the city—a good citizen—was the human telos or final end.   In some ways I think he was right.

How different from the world that Adam Smith created for us that treats everyone as traders, engaging in the exchange of properties to become wealthy.  The truth is that we today live more in the legacy of Adam Smith than of Aristotle.  We tend to define the good life in terms of ownership instead of membership.

Marvin T. Brown, Ph.D teaches business and organizational ethics at the University of San Francisco and Saybrook University in San Francisco.

This book is the culmination of 30 years of teaching and writing on business and society from a communicative perspective. Visit for more information.

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