Academic journal article Global Virtue Ethics Review

Introduction

Academic journal article Global Virtue Ethics Review

Introduction

Article excerpt

This mini-symposium on Ethics in the Global Economy consists of three contributions that treat many of the major global issues confronting us today. James Gazell, in "The Provenance and Development of A Global Ethic," provides historical perspective on global ethics, including the international emphasis on human rights following World War II. Embodied in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights as a global concern reflected the growing consensus on binding values, unconditional standards, and personal attitudes. Fifty years later, we saw the enactment of UNESCO's Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities, and in the space of that half century, we also saw the development of the global economy, with its attendant challenges and opportunities. Gazell traces the evolution of the global economy, including transnational corporations, and the important efforts to address specific issues relating to environmental concerns, corporate responsibility, and the formulation of a global ethic. Gazell concludes that despite differing definitions and emphases, a consensus has been found through an intercultural belief in a golden rule, and that eventually, we may achieve a global ethos and a global society, united in its values but still greatly diverse in cultural and national terms.

Lisa Newton's essay, "Protection for the Biosphere: A Proposal for International Business Operations," dovetails with Gazell's contribution, touching on a number of the same concerns but with a clearly environmental focus. For example, after arguing for the need to broaden our approach to environmental policy from strict cost-benefit analysis or a land-centered ethic, Newton moves to the Japanese concept of kyosei, the communitarian ethic, and the Western European notion of human dignity, as part of a possible global ethic. …

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