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Social Sciences - Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility | Complexity, Difference and Identity

Complexity, Difference and Identity

An Ethical Perspective

Series: Issues in Business Ethics, Vol. 26

Cilliers, Paul, Preiser, Rika (Eds.)

2010, XIV, 273p. 9 illus..

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  • A systematic engagement of the notions of difference, identity and ethics
  • A unique engagement with social and ethical issues from both theoretical and applied perspectives
  • Underscores the inevitability of normative and ethical issues when dealing with complex things
  • Will assist the development of Business Ethics on two levels: in the first place developing a strong theoretical foundation and in the second place in providing specific examples of this theory in action in the real world

"Complexity" has been part of the academic discourse for a decade or two. Texts on Complexity fall mainly in two categories: fairly technical and mathematical on the one hand, and fairly and general on the other. Paul Cilliers’ book Complexity and Postmodernism (Routledge 1998) constituted an attempt to bridge this divide by reflecting more rigorously on the philosophical implications of complexity, and by making it accessible to the social sciences. This edited volume is a continuation of this project, with specific reference to the ethical implications of acknowledging complexity. These issues are pertinent to our understanding of organizations and institutions and could contribute significantly to the development of a richer understanding of ethics in business. Such an understanding would be a useful tool for teachers, researchers and post-graduate students with ethical concerns in disciplines ranging from Philosophy, Applied Ethics, Sociology, Organisational Studies, Political Science, Anthropology and Cultural Studies.

The central theme which binds all the contributions together is the inevitability of normative and ethical issues when dealing with complex phenomena. The book should thus be useful in the development of Business Ethics on two levels: in the first place on the level of developing a strong theoretical foundation, in the second place in providing specific examples of this theory in action in the real world.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Agonistic Engagement - Anthropology - Applied Ethics - Business Ethics - Comparison - Complex Systems - Complexity - Complexity and Diversity - Complexity and Organisation - Complexity and Postmodernism - Corporate Identity - Cultural Studies - Difference

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Business & Management - Philosophy

Table of contents 

Why Difference? A Preface; Paul Cilliers, Rika Preiser.- Complexity.- 1. Complexity, Difference and Identity; Paul Cilliers.- 2. The Complex “I”. The Formation of Identity in Complex Systems; Tanya De Villiers-Botha, Paul Cilliers.- Difference.- 3. Complexity: the Evolution of Identity and Diversity; Peter Allen, Mark Strathern, Liz Varga.- 4. Comparison, Diversity and Complexity; David Byrne.- Identity.- 5. A Dynamical Approach to Identity and Diversity in Complex Systems; John Collier.- 6. Negativity, difference and critique: the ethical moment in complexity; Eduard Grebe.- Complexity and Ethics.- 7. The Complexity of Difference, Ethics and the Law; Wilmien Wicomb.- 8. Ethical Complexity; Harry Kunneman.- Ethical Consequences.- 9. Corporate Identity, Responsibility and the Ethics of Complexity; Minka Woermann.- 10. Business Ethics from below: rethinking organisational values, strategy and trust; Hans Müller.- 11. Agonistic Engagements: Difference, Meaning and Deliberation in South African Cities; Mark Swilling, Pierre Roux, Amélie Guyot.- 12. Africa: Globalisation and the Ethical; Leonhard Praeg.- Conclusion.- 13. Unpacking the Ethics of Complexity. Concluding Reflections; Rika Preiser, Paul Cilliers.

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