Posts Tagged ‘William Kline’

Dr. William Kline on David Hume — video interview transcript

Monday, December 5th, 2016

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

Part I

Hicks: I’m Stephen Hicks, executive director of CEE, and our guest today is Dr. William Kline, an expert on David Hume, the 18th-century Scottish Enlightenment philosopher. He spoke today at Rockford University in the Ethical Theory class on Hume’s contribution to the foundations of moral and political thought. Why, in the 21st century, should Hume matter to us?

Kline: There are at least a couple of reasons. One is Hume is very concerned with the origin of property rights and how and when they apply, which I think is is perennially important. I also think, two, there are certain questions that arise about the extent to which free and self-directed human interaction should be allowed to the extent that it’s beneficial for us all — basic questions of liberty — and I think Hume painted a picture that deserves to be examined.

Hicks: If we paint that picture in broad strokes, certainly Hume’s conclusion is a conception of a society that is just. For him, justice is a fairly expansive concept. What are the major constituent elements of the just society that he would like us to work toward?

Kline: Well, his theory of justice is actually going to be constrained to basically property, trade, and contract, which is consonant with writers that have come before him, whether Hobbes or Locke. So, those who want look at a more expansive view of social justice aren’t going to find all of those elements there. But with that said, Hume focuses on this because he thinks that they are central to any society, that they are necessary, and that they have to be stable. And that point you do find even reflected in people saying, like John Rawls in A Theory of Justice, the basic rules of justice have to be stable. And so, in that sense, his project is the same. Another reason to read Hume for today.

Hicks: So part of the just society is going to be a set of stable principles. But in terms of content, respect for property, respect for trade, respect for contract is going to be essential, firm principles that we have to realize. Now if we go back to the beginnings or foundations of Hume’s philosophy and his moral thinking, he has a reputation — how deserved or not is subject to interpretation, though — for being a radical subjectivist in his moral theory. So, there is obviously a big gap that has to be bridged if you are starting from radically, subjectivist foundations to ending up a fair, relatively firm, socially-wide conception of a just society. How deserved is Hume’s reputation for being a subjectivist in his moral theory?

Kline: Well, he is a subjectivist in the fact that moral approbation will be in the eyes of the beholder. The disconnect happens when people don’t realize is that the subjectivity is going to be some sort of intersubjectivity, it is not going to be, it’s not a solipsistic argument, that somehow moral judgments are just generated by me, by my passions, by my sentiments, not in reference to anybody else. That’s not going to be his argument. In fact, the whole reason you want society is you can’t even live like that. So, whatever subjectivity we are going to talk about is going to be in an intersubjectivity of human beings that have a certain nature and have certain needs to be met and have to figure out how exactly to do that.

Hicks: So, if we then start the process where Hume says certain principles will emerge, even we do start off more atomistically or more individualistically each with our own subjective evaluations, how does some sort of coordination, right, emerge or some principles emerge with? Can you sketch that process?

Kline: And I think it’s good the way you said it too: Hume began and definitely it ends with a sort of methodological, subjectivist, individualist in almost like an economist would begin. And you find this approach reflected in modern game theory. You’ll find people like Axelrod, Brian Skyrms, Robert Sugden, asking ‘Here are individuals with their own subjective preferences interacting with other such individuals, what kind of solutions to different problems can they find?’ In Hume’s case, he is going to talk about property. And the upshot of it is that the strategy people find is that if I leave you alone, and you leave me alone, we are both better off. And I will leave you alone if you leave me alone. And there is a lot of traction to be gained from that. Hobbes doesn’t see this as a possibility. Hobbes thinks we are just going to attack each other and we need Leviathan to stop us. Hume doesn’t. Hume says we can actually learn from our mistakes and we can actually learn to conditionally structure our activities, much as Axelrod tells us today, that if I cooperate with you, and you cooperate with me, I will keep cooperating with you.

Part II

Hicks: So this is in keeping them with the rest of Hume’s empirical philosophy, where it’s a matter of learning through trial and error, as opposed to a priori principles being dropped upon us to which were supposed to conform. So the idea then is that individuals can’t start out with their own subjective preferences, but through the process of trial and error learn that through cooperation and respect for each other’s stuff they will be better off?

Kline: Yes.

Hicks: So at least we’ve gotten past the bootstrapping, right, the initial moment, we’ve got some principles here. But, as you mentioned in your talk, at this point, it’s still based on self-interest in a narrow sense and there is no reason why people won’t defect, say, or just see the mutual backscratching and mutual respect as something that is short-term and not necessarily to be extended to all of the members of society, and so on. So, how do we get from these initially emergent agreements among individuals to where Hume wants to end up, which is to say, with social-wide or all-of-society agreed-upon principles that are firm and binding? What do we need to add?

Kline: Yeah, and this is a problem too, historically. It occurs in Plato, and we find it in Hobbes as well, where you start out with this methodological individualism, it’s run by self-interest, self-interest is all I recognize, it is on self-interest to leave you alone, you recognize this in yourself interest leaving me alone, and everything is all alone and good until you say ‘Wait a second, what about these cases where you realize it’s not in your self-interest anymore’? Maybe I am way more powerful than you, maybe you’ve turned your back and I can get something and you don’t know it. If all it is is self-interest, it would seem that, well, then, that’s what you should do, take the ring, go kill the king and make the queen your wife. You would be a fool to do otherwise and there’s certainly no moral rules stopping you.

The point is that Hume’s takes methodological individualism up to convention, but then after that, conventions are really what is running the game. I think that Hume does think, just as Aristotle, that we are social creatures. We are not these solipsistic creatures, right? We are social creatures and these conventions, once they are running — once we are respecting each other’s property, once we are trading, once we’re recognizing that these mutual strategies are beneficial, we are interacting as the social creatures we are meant to be — this has an effect on our psychic makeup, just like cause and effect does, where the repetitive, constant conjunction of continuous objects, whether they are pool balls or whatever, in principle upon our minds, that, well, that’s going to be happen again. We develop the same expectations, but it’s not a rational calculation, we develop the same expectations with regards to other people. And also we begin to put this into language. And once we start having concepts of mine and thine, if you will, and language that says those certain actions — and this is actually his terminology in the Enquiry — ‘certain actions are odious’. These then now apply in a general fashion, it goes beyond me. Odious means to anybody and that’s what we are really then go beyond. It’s now no longer about whether it’s in my self-interest or not, it’s whether the activities is odious.

And if I can add one more thing here, it’s a very interesting article by John Rawls, called ‘Two Concepts of Rules’, and really what Hume, I think, is arguing is how summary rules, which are conventions, they are rules of thumb, that have a general utility become practice rules, and a practice rule is something that actually defines the practice. That one is not free to violate based solely on self-interest. So, the rules of baseball has certain rules that are practice rules, I don’t care how much is it in my self-interest, I am now allowed to go to first base unless I do certain things to earn getting to first base.

Hicks: So, you mentioned, historically, a connection from David Hume in the 18th century to the 20th century figures such John Rawls, Axelrod, both of them you mentioned. Are there other important figures in the transition from Hume’s generation to ours, who are carrying on the Humean legacy, Humean approach?

Kline: Well, Smith, definitely. Adam Smith takes, I think, Hume’s analysis of how conventions are formed and then applies it to economics. Smith says things work once you have property, trade and contract in place. And Smith’s natural liberty as allowing people to pursue their self-interest for their own ends within those constraints, mirrors agents pursuing their own ends and making a property. Of course, that’s not recent, that’s 1776. More recently, Robert Sugden, Brian Skyrms. Hayek draws on Hume, greatly draws on him. And those are the ones that I can think of right now that have a huge influence in Hume.

Hicks: All right, so Hume’s influence is alive and well in the late 20th through the early 21st century.

Kline: It is, and I think it is getting better, but there was a time, and it stems from Rawls, Rawls is very Kantian and admittedly so, and you look at a lot of Rawls’s students that graduate from him, they get key positions at key universities, so, if you really look at the decades from the mid-80s up and through pretty much even now, academia, I mean, there is an emphasis — Kant has it right, Hume opened Kant’s eyes, but Kant is the one that had it right, Hume didn’t. I think that is changing slightly. There certainly have been big names that have championed Hume, but you would be hard-pressed to go to the literature and find a Humean theory of justice. Find Kantian, Rawlsian, utilitarian, Hobbesian, all defended as correct systems of justice, but it’s really hard to find one that defends a Humean theory.

Hicks: Thank you for your lecture today.

Kline: Thank you, I had fun.

[The video interview with Dr. William Kline follows.]

Dr. William Kline on Adam Smith and the Division of Labor

Friday, May 6th, 2016

In this 10-minute video, Dr. William Kline (University of Illinois Springfield) outlines Adam Smith’s discussion of the division of labor from Chapters 1 and 3 of The Wealth of Nations:

Video Interview with Professor William Kline — Transcript

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

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

Hicks: I am Stephen Hicks, executive director of CEE, and with us today is Dr. William Kline, who is Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at the University of Illinois in Springfield. Professor Kline is a Philosophy professor, primarily specializing in business ethics, which is why we invited him here to Rockford College to speak to our Business Ethics class earlier this evening.Kline,W-UIS

Now, Professor Kline, in your approach to business ethics you take issue with the usual statement that business ethics is a contradiction in terms or that it’s an oxymoron. Or what we might refer to as the negative approach to business ethics — which is primarily about focusing the Enron and the Bernie Madoff cases — all of the scandal cases, and presenting an unrelenting litany of problems as representative of what business is all about. What is wrong with that approach to business ethics?

Kline: One of the things that struck me is — I was teaching business ethics at the time that Enron happened in Tyco — and everybody wanted to talk about that, everybody asked, “Wow, what about WorldCom?” And you had, just in terms of corporations and not in terms of business overall, on the New York Stock Exchange something like 3,000 enlisted companies and, on the NASDAQ, I believe something on the order of 5,000. And I might be short on that. It might be easily be higher than that. So we are talking about 8,000 business and five did bad things. That’s actually a pretty good record.

So why not talk about the 7,995 good cases that have gone right and what we can learn from that? Rather than, you know, the same old boring story that, well, somebody pilfered the company funds and ran off to some exotic location, which we all know is wrong. I don’t need business ethics to tell me that’s wrong.

Hicks: Is it your point, though, not that we can’t learn from the negative cases just as a doctor can learn from disease cases, but that we have more to learn from the good cases or successful cases?

Kline: I hear what you say, and it’s not that we can’t learn from the negative cases. Of course, you need rules to protect property and contracts. I think there are real issues with what stock ownership entitles you to, and those rules need to be worked out, but they just get overemphasized. Nobody is looking at all of the good that happens through business, and specifically, the individual good when you decide to enter into business or a business person decides to enter into business, how that might be conceived of as morally good.

Hicks: And here your major theme was putting your business life, including the choice to go into business, this approach to business, or choosing this particular business in the context of your life overall, putting an emphasis on the good life in a very Aristotelian sense? Can you say more about that?

Kline: I think, quite frankly, it’s tragic. I’ve had students graduate now. I’ve been teaching long enough. And I’ve had students that have gone into things that they loved and students that have gone into things that they’ve hated. And this notion that, well, here is my business and professional life, and that’s totally separate from my personal life, and totally separated from the good things I do in the world, and it’s its own entity, I don’t find that works that often. The happiest people I met are the people who have incorporated their business life into their broader goals, their broader aspirations, and see it serving a purpose within their lives. And so, yes, that’s how I want to talk about business ethics. And then in the Aristotelian version of it, what we want to talk about is a flourishing life, and that requires taking a holistic approach to one’s life, including business in that.

Hicks: Right, so if you then ask what are the constituent elements of a flourishing life, and then once we articulate what those are, we can then place one’s business activities in the context of that and many of the same things carry over to that. So, if we are then to ask in an Aristotelian sense, updating Aristotle, what is a flourishing life, or what are the major constituent elements here? You had a list of six features, I believe, no that we have time to talk about all of them, but what are we talking about here?

Kline: Yeah, let me just take a few. What we’re talking about is this: in order for us to flourish as beings, we have to recognize both constrains on what we are and what we can’t do but also certain abilities that we possess and that need exercising. As Mill said famously, to be Socrates dissatisfied is better than being a pig satisfied. And quite frankly, I think part of the reason for that is really to live a life of a pig is either exceedingly boring or, if you look at people who’ve lived purely hedonistic lives, is quite self-destructive. So, the question on the Aristotelian line is: given the kind of being I am, how can I do well iaristotle-bustn the world? Some of the characteristics of a flourishing life that we looked at today were that the flourishing might have to be some sort of standard for flourishing conducts, something that goes beyond my preferences, something that goes beyond my whim, or some sort of guide post to let me know when I am doing better or worse. And one of those objective elements that I pointed out today that we should consider is that there is something fundamental about us in trading. Aristotle said that we are social creatures; Adam Smith said we have a natural propensity to truck and barter. I don’t see why it’s something we should deny. It’s something we should embrace, and it’s a good thing. When we explorers go exploring and they want to make contact with new people, they take stuff to trade.

Hicks: Yes.

Kline: It’s far better than just annihilating who you meet. And trading is social. It’s not antisocial, not at all. Once again, Smith points out that economic transactions are a way of communicating, a way of persuading, which I find highly interesting. If one took a Hayekian model, one can say it’s a way to trade information. That’s exactly what I am doing when I am trading price information. I will take this for that much, and you’ll take that for that much. This is a fundamental type of communication.

Hicks: So, in a broader context, the constituent element of a human flourishing life is social?

Kline: Yes.

Hicks: The rich values that we get as social beings interacting with each other, that then carries over to the business world, which is essentially social through trade. And we’re trading lots of things back and forth, and we’re productive individuals trading with each other to mutual benefit. The point that you are making, then, is that business is tapping something deeply social in us.

Kline: Well, absolutely.

Hicks: And, positively, the social is a constituent of a good life.

Kline: Yes, exactly. I mean, people recognize that when they meet at the local club, that they are being social. People will recognize when they meet on Facebook, they are being social. People aren’t as apt to recognize the fact that when you meet to trade, whether it’s in a bazaar or a Walmart, you actually are being social.

Hicks: However, you might not know much about particular people you’re trading with.

Kline: Right, but that’s a good thing too. I don’t need to know everything about somebody to trade. I can productively engage in a fun, social interaction that mutual benefits both of us and I need not worry about what religion you are or what political beliefs you had. How horrible that would be if I had to litmus test everybody on their political views or religious views before I interacted with them.

Hicks: And another element of the social boldness that you mentioned is that business, in its propensity to trade with each other, leads people then to be willing to overlook a lot of the things that they ordinarily wouldn’t overlook in history, like their ethnicity, their race, religion, or gender. So, people in business, to the extent that they engage in this propensity of truck and barter, are more likely to be tolerant and peaceful?

Kline: Tolerant, peaceful, and there are real incentives in the market and in business to not discriminate. There are real incentives to include anybody within your trading or productive enterprise as long as they can in turn trade or be productive with you. I am not saying that answers all questions or solves all problems in humanity, but there is a critique of market systems out there that they are inherently racist or inherently sexist, and that’s simply not true.

Hicks: All right, to go from flourishing in general, if we look at business in particular, in the former you mentioned Aristotle a lot, and now in your methodology in talking about the nature of business you rely on Hume a lot; you are very empirical. What is it that makes business business? It’s one thing to say here is the ethics that we should be applying here, but we also have to understand enterprise in its own place. So, what makes business a distinctive kind of human enterprise?

Kline: I think that the purpose of business is to produce a good or a service for trade. That that’s what makes distinctive. Someone would argue that perhaps the purpose of businesses is to serve a social good. For various reasons, I don’t think that that’s the purpose of a business. That’s the purpose of charities. That might be the purpose of certain political mechanisms. But if you look at what business is, it fundamentally involves trading. It involves using money as a method of calculation for making your decisions. To overlook that is to overlook the nature of business.

Hicks: If the purpose of business is not primarily to produce a social good, then what is the contrast purpose to that? Is business primarily individuals mutually satisfying their individual purposes?

Kline: Business allows you to do that, but I can solve my individual purpose. I can be an artist, I don’t have to trade. I can make my art works. I could be a philosopher. Socrates didn’t trade his thoughts and he had, you know, a life of his own that satisfied his preferences. I really think that saying that you are going into business means that you are accepting a body of rules and goals and obligations that center around this notion that I am going to productively engage with other people on the basis of trade. If I am not trading, if I am just giving you something as a gift, that’s not business. If I am just taking from somebody, that’s theft: that’s not business. Once we engage in this mutual give and take of what’s called trade with goods that we have produced without violating property rights or contract rights, then that’s business.

Hicks: You are also critical of two of the major models that are currently dominant in business ethics discussion: the stakeholder model and what’s sometimes called the stockholder model. And you use Milton Friedman as the major representative of the stockholder model. You’re critical of the idea that business should be defined in terms of a social responsibility to produce profit. What is wrong with that definition or account in your judgment?

Kline: The majority of my business colleagues know the purpose is to make a profit. Well, stop. If one is on the financial services industry where the good or service one provides is actually an optimization of money accounts, whether it through hedge funds, mutual funds, monetary instruments, or derivatives, then that’s true. But that doesn’t mean that it applies to everything. I mean, people get involved in family businesses because they like the business. People start second careers in different businesses just because they’ve always wanted to operate a tiny theater in a small town. I am thinking of Berkeley, West Virginia. There is a small theater that people opened up because they just  always wanted to do that. Profit is important; without a profit you go out of business. As I said before, money is a method of making your decision procedures. And profit also allows you to get what you want out of life, so it’s very important. I am not saying it’s not, but I don’t think it’s the purpose of business to gauge how well you’re doing business.stockholders

Hicks: Would you put that in the context of a corporation, say, where there’s a division of labor between management and the stockholders? Is there any role for saying that the managers have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profit for the stockholders? Or is that merely a limited case of business closer to the hedge fund people, for example, you mentioned earlier?

Kline: There is a tendency in business ethics to over corporatize everything so that if you want to talk business ethics we have to talk about either Enron or GM. And, if you look at the business sensitive data, at least half of all businesses are smaller than, I think, five-hundred people, with sizable chunks even in the lower registers. So, the reason I don’t like talking about, you know, fiduciary responsibilities of managers to stockholders isn’t because it isn’t important. It’s because everybody is talking about it, and what I want to talk about is this practice called business. And whether you’re a corporation, a privately-held company, a professional, or whether you’re operating out of your garage or some multi-billion-dollar complex, this is something that has importance to you.

Hicks: So, the profit as the primary purpose model which is sometimes called the stockholder model, you criticize that. But you also equally criticize the stakeholder model. And what was your criticism of the idea that the purpose of business is to satisfy the interest of all relevant stakeholders?

Kline: That is my objection. The purpose of business is to produce a good or service for trade. Once you figure the good or service you want to offer, that you want to be an accountant, that you want to make widgets, etc., and you’re now doing that and making trades, there are multiple decisions one has to make in the means of production, where one wants to locate, who one’s going to hire. And money is the method to make these decisions. What am I going to get if I invest in this? And it’s a multi-attribute decision problem made on the basis of money. That’s the key, as I said, methodology of business. Stockholder thesis says no, if that’s all you are taking into consideration, you actually being immoral. I have to equally consider the interest of all my stakeholders. So, if I make a decision, I have to consider the interests of the community, interests of the workers, the interest of consumers, interest of the suppliers, the interest of…I am probably missing one now. Stockholders, actually count as well. Or the interest of the owners, mighty nice that they count sometimes, huh? And so, I have to balance all their interests. Well, if it’s not going to be with money, then how do I balance it? And it turns out that it’s a political decision process to balance it. So, that notion of business ethics I actually think it’s antithetical to business. It’s political ethics.

Hicks: But rather relying on the narrow stockholder approach or the narrow stakeholder approach as you’re arguing here, we need to think more generically about the nature of business, which can come in many forms and serve many different purposes with different individuals. And so, your definition of business as purpose-driven production of goods and services for the purpose of trade, that’s where we should start. All right, so then, on the positive side of business ethics, you say that this then generates a kind of principled commitment that can come out in an ethos, right, that if you want to decide what it is to be a good business professional or what it is to commit to the best kind of business life, you think of what are the needs of the production part of the business and what are the needs of satisfying the trade, so being committed to productivity and being committed to trade. That’s how we should approach things. And then, equally, towards the end of the discussion you mentioned that this serves as a principle for deciding what is unethical in business. And even if we rule out the clear cases of crime and so on as not being part of business, how does your account of what business is help us deal with cases like discrimination, say, in the workforce or the owner who uses the business as his personal piggy-bank and so on? How does it provide us a guide in the negative cases?

Kline: Okay, let me go back to the positives briefly.

Hicks: Fair enough.

Kline: Well, remember we are looking at us as human beings, and the trading actually touches something within us, something that’s very peaceful, something that’s exciting, something that’s social. That’s important. Business can serve that because trading is a fundamental aspect of business. I’m producing goods and services for trade. So, in general, business is a good thing. Now, I have to decide specifically what I want to do within business. This is a good way to live, but I don’t live a way, there is something specific I have to do. I want to be an accountant or whatever. And so that funnels down. Now I’ve decided to be an accountant, or I’ve decided that I want to make hamburgers, or I have decided I want to sell whatever. Now, I have specific obligations that go along with each of those. If I am going to sell chicken, I have a specific obligation not to kill people with salmonella or kill people with E. coli. I have these specific obligations as I provide this on the market, certain things that I have to do. So it’s very action guiding in a good sense to tell me what ought I focus on that just making a profit doesn’t, right, as I am focusing on these productive activities. Now, to help me on the other side with when I’ve gone wrong, right, so what am I going to do right? Well, I want to focus on the productive side and the trading side, but when I’ve gone wrong I have stepped outside of this. And people will do self-justification all the time. It’s my business, so I can discriminate. Or, it’s my business, so I can hire the secretary to sleep with. Well, that’s precisely just self-justification. And why is it just self-justification? Because you’ve agreed and you’ve broadcast that you’re in business. We have said that this is what business is and now you’re doing entirely opposite. You don’t get to have your cake and eat it too. You are really doing business or you’re not. And if you are using it as your personal piggy-bank, if you are using it as your personal sex-playpen, or if you are using it just to lord it over other people, you are not engaging in business and I think you are violating the telos of it. I think you’re doing something fundamentally wrong. And, by the way, in the process of that, people say, well, you’re violating the goals. But remember what you’re violating. You’re violating this trading, right, so we’ve gone from a trading model to an authoritarian model which doesn’t serve flourishing the way the trading does. You’re not being productive in this sense. You’re actually probably being some sort of, wish I could find a better term, but some sort of leech. You are sucking the productive abilities out of people or the company. You are not engaging in this mutually productive trade anymore. So when I say you violate the goals or the ends of business, there are some very real effects, both on your individual flourishing and on the flourishing of those around you as well.

Hicks: All right, so think of business as a principled calling in the context of a flourishing life, given the kinds of beings that we are. When you then enter into business you’re committing to productivity and trade. Take those seriously, internalize them, and then also externalize them in business and remain true to that. That’s business as a noble cause?

Kline: Yes, and if you don’t want to do that then do something else.

Hicks: Fair enough. Thank you, Professor Kline.

Kline: Thank you.

[The video interview with Dr. Kline follows.]

William Kline on entrepreneurship and liberty

Friday, November 20th, 2015

University of Illinois, Springfield Professor William Kline’s 14-minute video lecture on “Entrepreneurship and Liberty.” Professor Kline discusses the relationship between liberty and entrepreneurship. He explains how laws, culture, and economic regulation can infringe upon the freedom of entrepreneurs and inhibit their abilities to be innovative. He stresses the importance of economic liberty in particular in providing the right environment for entrepreneurship to flourish.

Professor Kline’s lecture is part of the ongoing Entrepreneurship and Values series, recorded and produced by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. Other lecturers in the six-part series include Alexei Marcoux, Stephen Hicks, Terry Noel, and Robert Salvino.

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.

April 2010 Issue of Kaizen

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

In our latest issue of Kaizen we feature an interview with John Chisholm, founder of Decisive Technology, a pioneer in online survey software (and now part of Google), and CustomerSat, a leading provider of enterprise feedback management systems (now part of MarketTools).

Also featured in Kaizen are: this semester’s Introduction to Philosophy student essay contest winners – Bronson Garcia, Mona Khalifeh, and Erica Price; Guest Speaker William Kline; and news about our professors.

A PDF version of Kaizen is available here. We will soon post separately the full interview with Mr. Chisholm.

If you would like to receive a complimentary issue of the print version of Kaizen, please email your name and postal address to CEE [at]

William Kline on David Hume and Ethics

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Dr. Kline, Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at the University of Illinois, Springfield, gave two CEE-sponsored talks this month at Rockford University. Here is Stephen Hicks’s interview with him on Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume:

William Kline on market-based business ethics

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Dr. Kline, Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at the University of Illinois, Springfield, gave two talks this month at Rockford University. Here is Stephen Hicks’s interview with him on the main points of his talk on business ethics:

The talk was sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship.

Forthcoming: Our interview with Professor Kline on David Hume, who, according to a recent vote by contemporary philosophers, is the most influential dead philosopher.