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Iowa Western Community College Business and Human Flourishing Essay

Iowa Western Community College Business and Human Flourishing Essay

Can you help me understand this Philosophy question?

This essay involves integrating several of the readings and concepts from this module. The instructions for each paragraph are given below. In some cases, the instructions are preceded by some review that provides the context for what you will write about. What you need to write about is given in the “Respond” part of the instructions.

First paragraph

Paul Camenisch provides a moral principle for evaluating the products and services. This principle is most clearly stated in the bottom half of page 64.

Respond: Restate the principle in your own words. (Note: You needn’t avoid using some of the specific terms he uses. For example, don’t feel the need to avoid using “human flourishing” and use something less specific or perhaps incorrect like “human happiness.”)

Second paragraph

Of course, to use Camenisch’s principle, we’d need a conception of human flourishing. Remember Richard Kraut’s conception? You talked about that in Essay 1. Dust it off and get ready to use it again.

Review Kraut’s definition to refresh your understanding. Be sure to read the definition on page 137 (top). But it’s also important to take time to read carefully Kraut’s more detailed examples of how this definition is realized in concrete ways. So be sure to take another look at the specific examples on pages 138-141 and 143-144. Keep in mind the connection between virtue and human flourishing.

Respond: Pick some product available on the market today, such as the bicycle, that would clearly be considered (by most people) to be a good one when using Camenisch’s principle. This product would be one that would pretty clearly contribute to human flourishing (using Kraut’s conception). Discuss this product or service by identifying at least two human powers that are typically affected through the using (or otherwise interacting with the product) in the intended way. Describe how these powers are affected or used. This could be because the product helps the consumers develop these powers. Or because they help the consumer exercise them. Or both.

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Third paragraph

Respond: Identify and discuss a product, such as cigarettes, that many people (not necessarily you) might or do consider to be a product that is detrimental to human flourishing (using Kraut’s definition again). Try to imagine the case that critics of the product might make against it in terms of Kraut’s conception of human flourishing. How might the consistent use of this product in its intended way prohibit or erode the possession, development, or exercise of a human power? Identify two powers or two ways that the same power could be negatively affected.

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Fourth paragraph

John Waide criticizes a pervasive form of advertising that he calls “associative advertising.” Waide’s objection overlaps with Camenisch’s principle about evaluating products and services? Of course, Waide is concerned with how products and services are marketed and while Camenisch is concerned with the productsthemselves. But nonetheless there is a commonality in their criticisms. What is common is their concern with the conception of how humans can live good, valuable, meaningful, flourishing lives that is both expressed as well as shaped by businesses in their products and services and in the marketing of them.

Even products that are largely good (by Camenisch’s principle) can be marketed in problematic ways (by Waide’s criticism). Consider computers. Go back to the Apple advertisement you viewed earlier. This is an example of an associative advertisement. Apple is marketing their product in a way that attempts to tap into some human desires and values. What are those desires and values? We know it’s not for a computer that does this or that. Nothing about the actual device is mentioned in the advertisement. Rather, it’s appealing to other desires and values. Those are the non-market goods it’s attempting to associate with the computer.

Respond: How does Waide define associative advertising? What is Waide’s primary objection to it? In the Apple advertisement, what non-marketable good (something that could not possibly be bought or sold) is being associated with Apple computers? And what actual human skills and capacities and abilities would a person need to develop in order to achieve or experience that good? (Discuss at least two–what are they and why are they needed.)

Fifth paragraph

Michael Sandel is concerned with the effect of market-style thinking as applied to traditionally non-market realms of human culture and society. Sandel’s concern about corruption of certain social goods connects with Camenisch’s concern on page 66 that “contemporary America and similar societies” have moved to “a commercialized or an economized culture in which the common denominators which unify and dominate all areas of activity are business related or business grounded considerations such as dollar-value, profitability, marketability, efficiency, contribution to the gross national product, etc.”

Sandel gives a number of examples in which certain goods are corrupted by the intrusion of markets into those goods. But these examples are not always discussed with much detail. Consequently, the reader is left to fill in the details. For example, Sandel mentions (on page 5) the example of the good of citizenship being corrupted by the extensive use of private military contractors. He doesn’t say there too much about why. You’ll try to do this for him.

Respond: What is Sandel’s corruption argument against the intrusion of markets into certain non-market social goods? Now consider his example of the extensive use of military contractors: imagine you’re revising Sandel’s article and want to go into more detail for him. First, what are the goods of citizenship? That is, what makes citizenship in a nation a good thing for both an individual and a society? Second, how might the extensive use of military contractors in place of a national armed forces corrupt that good? (There’s a number of different things you could say here. We’re not looking for a single right answer. We’re mainly interested in seeing you attempt to think about this good and how the use of military contractors might degrade or corrupt that good. However, you can find clues for how to think about this in Sandel’s brief discussion in the essay of jury duty and voting.)

Sixth paragraph

Finally, Kenneth Goodpaster’s essay concerns the type of moral obligations that managers of businesses have toward the various stakeholders. His primary thesis is that managers have fiduciary obligations to shareholders only but also equallyweighty non-fiduciary obligations to the other stakeholders. We also noted in the podcast that Goodpaster later writes that even this step from focusing on shareholders to taking into account desires and interests of all stakeholders is not enough: there need to be a more comprehensive approach. There are more considerations that ought to be taken into account by business managers than just stakeholder desires. We surveyed three examples offered by Goodpaster, including the harm caused by violent video games.

Respond: Recap Goodpaster’s claim about violent video games. What goods or values could be threatened by violent video games? What could taking a more comprehensive approach involve doing? Give two ideas. Remember taking such an approach means going beyond the expressed desires of the stakeholders involved–shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers, etc.

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  • Please do not add either an introductory or concluding paragraph. Part of the reason for asking you to write the assignment with the specified paragraphs is to make grading more efficient.
  • Once you’ve written your responses to the individual questions within each paragraph, revise each paragraph so that they flow well and form cohesive and comprehensible paragraphs rather than disjointed sentences. The paragraph should be able to “stand by itself” if it were read by someone who didn’t have access to any of the other paragraphs you wrote or assignment description itself. Then goal is that someone who did not know what you were being asked to write about could read and understand your essay easily.
  • Then make sure to include transitions between your paragraphs. For example, you could introduce paragraph three by saying something like “Matthew Crawford, in his discussion of motorcycle repair, expresses thoughts about the value of work that touches on some of the points made by Pence and Veltman …”
  • For any quotations or references, cite the page number (of the original pagination if there is one–not the pdf page) in parenthesis at the end of the sentence. For example, “Crawford says that blah blah (5).” Since the author is obvious and there’s only one essay by Crawford, you don’t need to include the name of the essay.
  • You may not use or consult any other source outside the essay referred to in the instructions for the assignment.
  • Write complete sentences and paragraphs. Do not write lists or bullet point outlines.
  • Make the effort to make sure that what you say makes sense rather than trying to say as little as possible.
  • See the explanation of the rubric criteria for additional suggestions on writing excellent essays.

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