Laszlo Zsolnai presented his paper „Human Reason in the Age of Economic Unreason” at the International Workshop on “Teleology and Reason in Economic and Social Affairs” at the Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, June 30 – July 1, 2014.
The paper analyses the rationality assumptions of mainstream economics and shows that they are empirically misleading and normatively inadequate. It argues that the world ruled by self-interest based rationality of economic actors leads to ’unreason’ from a wider ecological and human perspective. The paper illuminates that human reason requires a different way of economic functioning which implies a redefinition of the final goal economizing.
Laszlo Zsolnai Beyond Self: Ethical and Social Diemensions of Economics. Peter Lang Academic Publishers, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2014. (This book may be available at: Peter Lang)
This book addresses ethical and spiritual issues in economics. The central idea advanced in the book is that the extreme focus on the self by economic actors leads to the destruction of both material and non-material values. The assumptions of self-interest in behavior represent the core of mainstream economics today. From this perspective, the welfare of economic agents depends on their own consumption; their goal is to maximize their own welfare; and their choice is guided by the pursuit of their own goals.
On December 3, 2013 the Business Ethics Center of Corvinus University of Budapest celebrated its 20th Anniversary. The Center is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in Europe. It was established in 1993 by the late József Kindler and Laszlo Zsolnai. The functioning of the Center is based on the conviction that ethics is a relevant aspect of all levels of economic activity, from individual and organizational to societal and global. Business ethics is practiced by the Center as a postmodern kind of scientific inquiry where normative and descriptive elements are not separated but intermingled. We are trying to create a practice-oriented synthesis of interdisciplinary ethics which focuses on the new reality of business and society in the 21st century.
Laszlo Zsolnai (ed.) Handbook of Business Ethics - Ethics in the New Economy. Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2013. (This book may be available at: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers)
The Handbook of Business Ethics is a substantially revised new edition of Ethics in the Economy, written by the members of the Business Ethics Faculty Group of CEMS - Global Alliance in Management Education. With new content and revised material, the contributors rally against the concept that ethics is only an instrument for improving business efficacy. They see ethics as fundamental to all levels of economic activity, from individual and organizational to societal and global. Globally, the ethicality of economic actions is often highly questionable and in many respects unacceptable. The ethical nature of the economy should be considerably improved, but there is an inherent paradox: if we want to develop the ethicality of our economic affairs only as a means of achieving higher efficiency, in the final analysis we will fail.
Luk Bouckaert & Laszlo Zsolnai (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Spirituality and Business. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. (This book may be available at: Amazon)
The handbook summarizes the most important issues, approaches and models in the field of spirituality in business, economics and society. It presents a comprehensive pluralistic view covering all the major religious and spiritual traditions. It is a response to three developments that challenge the business-as-usual mindset.
Firstly, in response to a growing interest in spirituality applied to models of transformational leadership, in theories of social capital and in practices of values-driven management, it explores the emerging field of business spirituality—its main concepts, models and practices.
Laszlo Zsolnai (ed.) Ethical Principles and Economic Transformation - A Buddhist Approach. Springer, 2011. (This book may be available at: Springer)
The book presents new contributions of Buddhist economics to pressing socio-economic problems. Buddhism points out that emphasizing individuality and promoting the greatest fulfillment of the desires of the individual conjointly lead to destruction. The book promotes the basic value-choices of Buddhism, namely happiness, peace and permanence.