Sartre, Sen, & the Living Wage: An Examination of the Modern-day Prospect of Ethical Globalization Open Access

Walker, Richard Frank (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/vq27zp13h?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Sartre, Sen, & the Living Wage:
An Examination of the Modern-day Prospect of Ethical Globalization

To actively acknowledge that globalization could and should be carried out in a truly ethical manner has never been more urgent. Resonating with recent worldwide protests denouncing capitalism is the belief that our global economy requires a different mode of production. Yet, when faced with the question of what should replace the dominant Western economic system, no answer thus far provided by capitalism's opponents seems adequate. In many ways, then, this thesis hopes to generate meaningful conversation about the globalization phenomenon and its connection with ethics by identifying the aspects of capitalism which have warranted its negative ascriptions.

This work consists of three subdivided chapters. Chapter One considers the institution of capitalism from the perspective of Jean-Paul Sartre. By seeking to situate capitalism within the Sartrean framework, we may address the worst aspects of the system. After reconciling Sartre's theory with capitalism, we will consider Apple© Inc. and the company's controversial outsourcing policy, as this will provide context to Sartre's ontological descriptions.

Chapter Two will examine the idea of a living wage in great detail. To justify the right to a living wage we must establish its Natural Rights basis. Next, I will reference several business ethicists who have recognized the right to a living wage as fundamental and necessary for enhancing the ethics of globalization.

Chapter Three argues against the classic liberal economic view which disintegrates the link between economics, ethics, and man's morality. The notion that growth in GNP serves as the best measure for evaluating the worth of economic development misses an important consideration, as our discussion of Amartya Sen's theory of social justice will make clear. Sen's approach serves as a useful method for addressing social justice issues with global implications.

In the end, I propose that globalization is desirable due to its proven success at increasing freedom and raising living standards throughout the world. However, this does not mean that the system is without fault. Indeed, this paper argues that if firms and states were to accept the Living Wage doctrine then the prospect of achieving a more ethical globalization would be greatly enhanced.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….....1

Chapter I: Sartre on Capitalism…………………………………………………………………………………………………...7

Praxis/Practico-Inert/History………………………………………………………………………………………....8

Primacy of Praxis Principle……………………………………………………………………………………………...9

Collective/Collective Object/Seriality.…………………………………………………………………………...11

Scarcity…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...12 Seriality……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….....14 Interest/Machine-Destiny……………………………………………………………………………………………....15

Capitalism as Praxis-Process/ Serial Responsibility……………………………………………………….17

Group/ Positive Reciprocity/ Mediating Third………………………………………………………………...20

Additional Sartrean Concepts Applied: Apple's© Outsourcing Policy…………………………….24

Facticity/ Bad Faith………………………………………………………………………………………………………....25

Non-Alienating Objectification…………………………………………………………………………………….........29

Chapter II: The Right to a Living Wage……………………………………………………………………………………...30

Natural Rights: The Notion of a Living Wage…………………………………………………………………33

The Catholic Church's View on the Living Wage Doctrine……………………………………………..34

Compatibility of Living Wage with Business Ethics………………………………………………………..39

Practical Means/Reasons to Improving the Ethics of Globalization…………….………………..44

Unions………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….....44

Harmonization of Labor Standards………………………………………………………………………………...46

Productivity Benefits……………………………………………………………………………………………………....48

Chapter III: Amartya Sen's Theory of Social Justice for the Global Era……………………………………..50

Rawls's Transcendental Approach: Justice as Fairness…………………………………………………..52

Social Choice vs. Social Contract…………………………………………………………………………………....53

‘Impartial Spectators'……………………………………………………………………………………………………....55

Amartya Sen: Capabilities and Freedom………………………………………………………………………....59

Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………........62 Bibliography……………………………………...................................................................................68

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