Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

As I read through the philosophical views of many great thinker throughout

history, it has given a variety of perspective to history of economics, but

surprisingly also to the role of man and the nature of him. It was unexpected that I
would find myself reading such philosophical content when it came to the idea of
business. The spectrum from which I found myself feeling about these views with
the supporting arguments, were wide and complex at times. There were others
where I was bewildered and struggled to get the idea. And at other moments, I
found myself giving an internal cheer or agreement to the ideas expressed. Many of
the pieces of literature are foreign to me as I had never read them before. Through
this course I experienced my own type of Renaissance in respects to the topics and
philosophies shared by various Great thinkers over centuries of time. In brief
summary, I would explore some of those pieces that inspired my personal
Renaissance for which enlightened my view.
To begin with, the literary piece on Critical thinking was a great foundation for
the philosophy that I was to learn through the course. Understanding rational
thinking vs. misconception and errors of mans thinking, I could find myself at times,
guilty, of experiencing these ideas and it was eye opening to say the least. This
piece was a great guideline for my personal interpretation when exploring the other
pieces as I found myself more conscious of rational thought, as well as, my bias.
There were times I found myself seeing from an angle that based on my personal
views, I wouldnt have normally chose to be more open with it. The recognition that
it didnt all have to be personal for myself was refreshing. In Critical thinking it was
stated, Rational thinking has no contradiction between perception and reality.
(Critical Thinking, pg. 33) Understanding that many of us think as we perceive, it
begs the thought, how many of us really live in reality and rational thinking?
Somewhat comical.
A Brief History of Trade with a couple of other pieces we read, were great in
building the foundations of history for economics and the greatest civilization to
achieve democracy and prosperity, Rome. History will teach us what we need to
know if well pay attention and listen. It is important to understand Rome and its
method of economics and its fall from its first position in the world stage in its time.
In this piece there was a statement made that created within myself some conflict
and disagreement with the author. The author quoted another author Gibbons when
he claimed that , Establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Empire
had precipitated its eventual disintegration, corruption and decline. (A very brief
history of Trade, pg. 15) As he continued he summarized that Christians saw no
benefit in a worldly good life. The greatest motivator for a believer is to face God
with moral dignity and conscious for the betterment of mankind. The latter was an
accurate statement and gives meaning to the authors voice to Christianity being
responsible for the decline and disintegration of the worldly economic drive for
prosperity. I could accept that. The preceding statement putting blame and
corruption due to Christianity on a fall of civilization was far reaching and offensive
to me. This type of philosophy I found to be somewhat ignorant and in the end
result mans greed and choice is creator of corruption and fall. Unfortunately for
Christians or any organized religion for that matter, it has been abused by some to
be a vehicle to disguise corruption and evil. It is not in and of itself that evil comes,

but from the moral lacking and understanding of men that such evil can rear its ugly
My most conflicting pieces were Natural Selection by Darwin and Karl Marx
in Alienated Labor. I was grateful to see that only a small section of these two
pieces were shared as my attention span was short and with boredom. I struggled
to understand Marx. His apathy toward God or religion in general and his
overanalyzing view of labor and man had me spinning with questions. It seemed
conflicted to me. His own philosophy was conflicting. Marx promoted a free and
spontaneous society degrading labor and how labor degrades man to a commodity.
He shares some thought to how man becomes defined by his work and not as an
individual. Work isnt even for himself and thus his labor alienates him from the true
fulfillment and meaning of life. There is some rationale in his thinking that I found
myself hearing. The conflict comes with his ideas of labor and how man can truly
gain a sense of fulfillment of his life and enjoy it. His apathy toward God and the
negative impact to man is personal not scientific. I would ask then, our fulfillment
and achievement and self-definition does come from work that we do. Work that is
part of existence and survival for man and society, so how is it that one can
separate the two from each other? The best method was for Marx communism
which we see has not worked. There is still separation of wealth and classes. There
is a loss of individualism. There is alienation of all sorts and yet, communism for
Marx was the answer. Where Darwin is concerned, I enjoyed his statement, man
selects for his own good. (Natural Selection, pg. 138) Isnt that the essence of all
living things? Trade, business, emotionally, naturalistically all for the benefit of that
one living thing. His excerpt was short and I enjoyed that as to my surprise it didnt
have big discussion of Evolution to which I dont agree with. What is agreeable is
natural selection and micro evolution. My existence stemming from slime millions
of years ago to evolution of people to monkeys lacks its own rational thought. The
complexity of nature and with all its common structure in cells could have an
explanation of a genius blueprint created by a higher power of which comes life
from the beginning. A little tweek and boom, a giraffe, a little tweek and boom there
is a horse. Regardless of this highly controversial argument, nature presents with
itself the survival of the fittest and an inclination to select. Science itself is not
concrete and has its own process of evolution and to that we leave Darwin. Natural
selection in business and economics is applicable in its own evolution which leads
me to another piece I enjoyed.
The market system is a mechanism for sustaining and maintaining an entire
society. (Economic Revolution, pg. 72) There is a lot of analyzing to which type of
economic system is the better one. Flaws are easily recognized and criticized. But to
focus on the purpose of why something exists is critical just as a mission statement
for a company will make or break them. All living things and success come from a
purpose and a direction. Economic Revolution pointed out that it isnt one person or
events that in particular have brought about the evolution of economics, but it is
the process. Our own internal growth, understanding and desires have brought
change. This piece brought out the concept of individuals vs. society and how selfcenteredness vs. cooperation bring different outcomes. What of these is the driving
force and which has the success in connecting society and man bringing about its

survival? It really is much more than an exchange of goods or money. Capitalism

was a form evolution from the market system of the ages. It continues to grow and
change. I could correlate What kind of an animal is capitalism? to Economic
Revolution for his focus is about who or what really defines the economy and what
is efficient or inefficient use of resources. What is the real definition of capitalism
and its focus? Reading through some of the material of the course, I got the sense
that capitalism was a hallmark of greed. Especially on a corporate level. That is
something I would have to agree with in many respects. There are times one asks
how much is too much? On the most important aspect of capitalism, I have always
felt that private ownership breeds in individuals the desire to make something work
and encourages creativity.
It is easy to be critical of corporations and management and weve witnessed
that most recently in our culture of protest on wallstreet and some of the focus on
the old industrial past during the industrial revolution. It is interesting to know that
American standard of abundance is still greater than at any other time of history or
in any other country. The double edged sword has the benefits of its capitalism just
as much as the curse. The standard of living has transcended beyond our needs and
materialism is insatiable. Is it solely the fault of capitalism and can one consider it
true capitalism? There is a lot of government regulation and interference so to
qualify it in those terms is probably inaccurate. When reading An employers view
of the labor question vs. Mike Lefevre, Steel worker, I had a feeling of empathy
for both sides of industrial America. I understood the mundane, painful life of a steel
worker wishing to be something more and work sucking out any creativity instead
feelings of oppression and exhaustion. Working for the posteritys future and not for
one self. The view of management and owners being snobby and not relatable to
the normal person. Andrew Carnegie in his employers view, recognizes the estate of
the laborer and the strife of industrial business with its fluctuating profits based on
the market and at one point their capital is purchased in that type of market. It also
points out other struggles that management can have in managing and the
sometimes irrational or ignorant view of a laborer. It is one thing to work for a
business and another to own it and manage it. The big picture is missing and the
rifts are created. The battles of workers and trade unions many times are
unnecessary and avoidable and Carnegie suggest systematic methods to avoid
battle. The shared prosperity and adversity creates the best unified outcome. An
employee can feel the company is a part of themselves when they are
communicated with honestly and given a piece of the company pie. I felt such
encouragement and spirit when reading through these literary pieces. It felt as
though the steel worker plight could end and corporations could recognize the value
of the laborer and there would be compromise and unity. The Greening of America
demonstrated more of this notion and displayed the value of bringing an employee
into the cause of environmentally friendly products and production. It showed the
success of companies who do so and how it benefits the worker in their enthusiasm
for the job. Many modern day companies have reaped this benefit and caught on to
this trend. It is hopeful all in society can enjoy the results of such action in all
corporate America. Doing all businesses can to preserve our future and nature.
Inspirational and moving for me who does not fit an environmental fanatic image.

In closing, one of my most favorite philosophical articles was that of Jacob

Needleman, Philosopher. It was done in interview style which made it more honest,
clear and personal. The better portion of it was the view of money. The perceived
value of money that society places on paper and coins. Art was a great example of
how people will pay millions for it, but the value didnt come from pleasure of the
painting. That is more of a commodity. Instead, its the amount of money that brings
awe and exhilaration and value. Money is truly a necessary evil and a force that is
not appreciated by most. Our unwritten agreements and exchanges of value of that
in and of itself. There is a sense of security to having more of it though it is not
necessarily needed. As the interview continues, the human spirit and the depth of
sharing and caring is demonstrated through tragedy and struggle. It is not a lasting
effect for it doesnt sink into the heart. Our sense of being and self is lost until we
spiritually attune ourselves. Messages are given to us daily by all that our values
come from things or the outside of us. The money itself is a non-force invention.
Philosophy of mankind, money, economics has many interesting angles; each with
some valid rational thought to relate to or ponder. In the end, Needlemans best
answer that envelopes all of the material we have read is in this statement, The
great philosopher felt that meaning was in the experience of the question and not in
the discovery of the answer. We dont suffer from our questions, we suffer from
our answers.(Jacob Needleman, Philosopher pg. 322) That is my conclusion of
philosophy and economics. The search for some meaning and sense in all of it. If I
do what I love the meaning is there and the money can follow. Intentions are at the
heart of everything.