Posts Tagged ‘John Locke’

Video Interview with Professor Nicholas Capaldi — Transcript

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Interview conducted at Rockford University by Stephen Hicks and sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship.

Hicks: Our guest today is Professor Nicholas Capaldi, who is the Legendre-Soulé Professor of Business Ethics at Loyola University in New Orleans.capaldinick-crop

Professor Capaldi was here lecturing on business ethics. You framed your discussion on business ethics in terms of two broad narratives that have dominated the modern political thought and modern cultural thought: the Lockean and the Rousseauian. So, let me first ask you to summarize the main ingredients, so to speak, of the Lockean narrative. How does that go?

Capaldi: I call it, technically-speaking, the Lockean liberty narrative, and then I would flash that out in comparison to the Rousseauian equality narrative because I think the meaning they give to those terms tells you a lot about where they going. I would make a couple of very broad historical claims, namely, that there has been this ongoing debate or discussion between Lockeans and Rousseauians over a long period of time. And I will even strengthen the historical claim by saying that all the major spokespersons in public policy debates, etc., at one point or another, are defending or attacking either the Lockean or the Rousseauian point of view. To piggyback here on a Keynes remark, just as politicians are invoking some dead economist through a philosopher they haven’t read, I would say that a lot of contemporary theorists are repeating, in contemporary rhetoric, arguments that have been around since Locke first expressed his view and was critiqued by Rousseau.

Hicks: Is it fair then to say, in a historical context, as feudalism was declining, being overthrown, then the question in the modern world is: What are we going to replace it with? And we have two answers, a more Lockean answer and a more Rousseauian answer? Fair enough?

Capaldi: Sure. Locke is looking at this, even philosophically, from a very different point of view. He is thinking of wealth in a post-feudal world as something that is not finite, but can grow.

Hicks: Okay.

Capaldi: And it grows through labor and what we’ve come to call technological projects. So, industry, technology, etc. He is in a universe, in his mind, which is capable of potentially infinite growth. He thinks that this growth would be enhanced through a market economy. And in those places where Locke discusses market issues, he clearly comes out in favor of a market being as free as possible. He is certainly very famous for arguing in favor of limited government, and he thinks government should be limited in the interest of freeing the market economy. When he discusses legal matters he is a proponent of what has subsequently been called the rule of law, which, put in simple terms, means you put as many limitations as possible on government discretion so that it doesn’t overstep its bounds and interfere with the market. And finally, in many ways the most important point he makes is that none of these institutions can be understood nor can they work unless you have a certain kind of person, a person we’ve come subsequently to call the autonomous individual, and this is very important to Locke. Now, Locke’s assumption is that society is started on a contract. He means this in a metaphorical sense, but he understands a contract to mean the following: that all negotiation in the contract begins from the status quo. That you can’t have any negotiation unless you begin from status quo. That certainly privileges some people over other people. (more…)

CEE Interview with Dr. William Kline on the Philosophy of Business

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Dr. Stephen Hicks, CEE’s Executive Director, talks with Fall 2012 CEE Guest Speaker Dr. William Kline of the University of Illinois Springfield about four major thinkers — Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Smith — who in large part established the intellectual framework for our modern business world.:

Also, watch Dr. Kline’s interviews on business ethics and David Hume from his last visit to Rockford University.

New course on the American Revolutionary Era from Professor Gleicher

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

The Center is pleased to announce a new course on the Political Philosophy of the American Revolutionary Era, which will be offered for the first time during the spring 2009 semester. The course will be taught by Professor Jules Gleicher and will cover the era of the American Founding (1776-1800), perhaps the most philosophic period in our history. The course will examine texts by John Locke, Baron Montesquieu, Thomas Paine, the Declaration of Independence, and the writings of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. See the Political Philosophy of the American Revolutionary Era course flyer (PDF) and view Professor Gleicher’s brief video introduction to the course below. For information on course dates and times please visit Rockford College’s IQ.Web.

Spring 2008 Speaker: Eric Mack

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

eric-mack.jpgThis week the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship is proud to welcome its guest speaker for the Spring Semester, Dr. Eric Mack. Dr. Mack (Ph.D., University of Rochester) is professor of philosophy at Tulane University and a faculty member of Tulane’s Murphy Institute of Political Economy. He has written extensively on the philosophical foundations of individual rights, property rights, markets, and toleration. He is currently working on a book on the political philosophy of John Locke.

Professor Mack will be speaking Friday, April 25th, at 3:00 pm in Scarborough 4, in connection with Professor Klein’s Business and Economic Ethics course. He will give a talk on the political philosopher Robert Nozick’s theory of entitlement, and the propensity of liberty to upset social patterns. Professor Mack’s talk is open to anyone and everyone interested.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information.

Professor Hicks on Galileo, Locke, and Rand

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Philosophy professor Stephen Hicks gave two invited talks this month. On November 13th, he spoke at the University of Texas, Austin, on the impact of Galileo Galilei and John Locke; the title of his talk was “Philosophy and the Early Modern Revolution in Religion.” On November 15th, he spoke at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia on the topic of the fiftieth anniversary of Ayn Rand’s philosophical novel, Atlas Shrugged; the theme of the conference was “The Continuing Relevance of Atlas Shrugged.”