Endogenous Ethics in Evolutionary Learning Model Contra Utilitarianism: Endogenous Ethics

Endogenous Ethics in Evolutionary Learning Model Contra Utilitarianism: Endogenous Ethics

Masudul Alam Choudhury (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3773-1.ch004

Abstract

The matter that surfaces in the relationship between trust, society and wellbeing impinges on its stability and sustainability resulting in a two-way recursive causality: Society benefits from the moral trust of its citizens. Citizens earn the trust of society in its provision of desired goods, services, and trustworthy relations. An example of such trust as cohesive relationship between society, businesses small and large, and customers, is of a phenomenological nature invoking moral consciousness. The individual, business, and the social collective now come together through an evolutionary learning process of social interaction, integration and endogenously regenerated evolutionary equilibriums. An endogenous theory of ethics is thereby formulated out of the phenomenology of moral consciousness. This paper formalizes a methodological theory of endogenous ethics based on the premise of unity of knowledge as the phenomenological episteme. It shows how such an ethical methodology can be applied in society at large with customer and business relations as an example.
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Background: A Substantive Critical Thought In This Chapter

The Individualistic Meaning of Ethics and Society

The meaning of ethics has most often been tied to individual behavior and to the collective additive behavior of individuals forming a social entity. The same kind of ethical relations also impinges on tribes, clubs, groups, community, nations, businesses and society. In such a meaning of ethics the implication of rational behavior derived from rationalistic meaning of reasoning and freedom abounds. Consequently, almost in all applied fields of thought, such as economics, finance, science, and thereby society, the notion of individualistic ethics in the form of methodological individualism remains the dominant defining praxis.

On the other hand, philosophical and sociological perspectives of ethics invoke a wider field of comprehension of ethics and society. But the treatment is much more a grand prescription rather than a mode of distilling how such a grand model can be actually applied. An example is that of endogenous ethics in social relations of the powerful and the weak, be these customers or businesses.

Thus, there are two extremes of the meaning of ethics that make it dysfunctional as a practical ontological category of human consciousness, reasoning, and application. These are the approach and practice of methodological individualism in which ethical behavior remains exogenously introduced in business relationship as an example of social relations. An example of this is the hidden insurance cost of customer satisfaction that the customer pays for large firms to get the benefit of this service. On the other hand, there is the endogenous consciousness of ethics in buyer and business relations, particularly found with small firms, where the deontological consciousness determines the social trust. There is no price tag to this kind of internalized value of social trust in customer-business relations, and between large and small firms and businesses with clients in general. Such social trust is found to prevail in microenterprises and small and medium size firms by way of an endogenous ethics of trust. This is costless; no extra price is added in a hidden way, and increased customer trust on such businesses.

It is thereby important to address the following questions in this scenario of ethics, behavior and their enforcement in the emergent kinds of business relations in social trust: What and how are the preferences of customers and businesses formation in the endogenous ethical relations between them? How is the reinforcing behavior of endogenous ethics based on social trust established between customers and businesses? What is the legitimacy for continuance of such a self-reinforcing relationship contrary to the methodological individualism of utilitarianism and individualistic ethics?

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