Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

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.

Is the Biosphere Priceless?

Posted Apr 19, 2010 by Darilyn Kotzenberg in Uncategorized, 28 Comments

The German nineteenth century philosopher, Immanuel Kant, wrote that there are two kinds of things: things that have a price and those that have a dignity.  For Kant, only human beings have a dignity because they alone have autonomy.  I would like to suggest that we should add to Kant’s list of those things that have a dignity the biosphere in which we live, or to say it in other words, the biosphere is priceless.

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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