Abstract: For more than two centuries in industrialized societies an inherent problem has persisted regarding the role of education and work. This is due in part to the entrenched cultural dogma of the Cartesian/Newtonian paradigm which views the world as a mechanical device and people as organic machines operating within such a world. More recently, it includes the scientific management approach of Frederick W. Taylor which defines individuals as “human capital” to be used and disposed of at will for the benefit of an organizational enterprise or national economy. In opposition to this view the progressive educational movement was born and John Dewey as one of its champions developed a holistic approach to education and work. Over the course of time Dewey’s approach became the cornerstone of holistic education and more recently the eudaimonistic philosophical school in American culture. In parallel with Dewey’s progressivism, the field of systems thinking was developing and a prevalent belief emerged, which holds that all systems, both biological and social, evolve toward greater complexity and that a linear approach to understanding complex systems is ineffective. Therefore, it is the purpose of this paper to propose 1) a eudaimonistic definition of education and work and 2) a systems thinking approach toward human resources in order to create a more humane world.
Abstract: In the US a dismal truth exists about the citizenry’s lack of understanding of economic fundamentals whether it is amongst our political leaders or our university graduates. This then leads one to ask, “What can be done to help people become literate in economics?” Perhaps the answer lies in the area of systems thinking, which is a way of thinking about the interconnections between the parts of a system and their synthesis into a unified view of the whole system. More specifically, this means incorporating systems thinking and design in primary, secondary, and tertiary curricula. In this paper, the author gives a cursory review of General Systems Theory (GST) as developed by Ludwig von Bertalanffy and extended by others in the systems thinking field to illustrate the confluences of thought among Ludwig von Mises and systems scientists. From this the author argues the need for systems thinking and design in curricula and makes reference to non-prescriptive teaching and learning applications for the fostering of economic literacy.
Abstract: In today’s society, a peculiar understanding of distributive justice has developed which holds that “social justice must be distributed by the coercive force of government.” However, this is a perversion of the ideal of distributive justice. The perspective of distributive justice which should be considered is one with its roots in the school of thought referred to as self-actualization ethics or eudaimonism, which holds that each person is unique and each should discover whom he or she is—to actualize his or her true potential and to live the “good life” within the congeniality and complementarity of personal excellences of his or her fellow members of community. When a eudaimonistic perspective is considered, a definition of distributive of justice could be “the allocation of goods and utilities via the voluntary ubiquitous human interaction of self-actualizing individuals who not only recognize the human dignity of the self and other and the rights which flow from and guarantee it, but also actively will goods and utilities toward the self and other so as to manifest human dignity.” Therefore, with a eudaimonistic understanding of distributive justice, one can argue that the free market is the ubiquitous interactions of self-actualizing individuals who are giving and receiving goods and utilities for one and another’s own “happiness,” i.e. the free market is the socio-economic mechanism by which distributive justice operates. In this paper I first will overview the philosophical foundations of distributive justice. Next, I will propose a eudaimonistic definition of distributive justice. Finally, I will highlight examples of distributive justice operating in a free market economy.