The Virtue of Play

"For all the virtues will be present when the one virtue, practical wisdom, is present." In his writings about practical wisdom, Aristotle states that to take the virtuous and ethical action is to achieve the golden mean between two extremes (which he calls “vices”). For instance, acting with courage is virtuous, while having a deficiency…

I Design, Therefore I Am

(With Apologies to René Descartes)   As a university freshman, I studied philosophy. One of the first thinkers we studied was Aristotle, and for one of the first assignments we had was to answer the question, “Was Aristotle right in saying that the only thing that separates humans from animals is our ability to reason?”…

The Business of Becoming

It's far easier to think of an enterprise as a kit of parts than as a dynamic confluence of processes. While most ordinary people wouldn’t know Descartes from a shopping cart, if you asked them to describe the world in a sentence, they would most likely play back his version instead of Whitehead’s. Let’s face…

Mirage: An Exploration Of Consumer Fulfilment

What do advertisements really sell? Their effect may be to drive purchase of a given product or service, but what they are often selling is something more nebulous. Contemporary advertising and marketing are in the business of creating and cultivating desire. Car commercials sell not just a vehicle, but a social status. Beverage advertisements promote not a product, but…

Skillful Desire and the Buddhist Path to Better Business

Ever since Milton Friedman proclaimed that the market is “amoral” and the sole purpose of business is to make a profit, commerce has used the license of free market ideology, not only to excuse itself from any moral obligation towards the society in which it operates, but to threaten the bonds that have held that society together. At this juncture, neoconservatives would…