The Center for the Study of Science and Religion
Spring 2010 Seminar Series
Presented by David Krantz, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology and Statistics, Columbia University

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Davis Auditorium, Columbia University

"There is little doubt that many or most human decisions are influenced, to some extent at least, by moral standards. Morality, “rational” self-interest, and emotion are sometimes viewed as distinct “modes” of decision making. In a general framework for Decision Science, however, these modes can appear unified. I sketch such a general framework, discuss different social processes in which moral standards emerge as goals, and outline numerous advantages in viewing moral standards as goals. Among other aspects, this viewpoint can account for inconsistencies in applying and adhering to standards, it offers an account of “sacred” standards, it provides guidance concerning the interaction of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards for adherence to standards, and it provides perspectives on the processes of adoption and abandonment of standards. I apply these ideas to an understanding of business ethics, and suggest what sorts of institutional structures are needed for corporate management."

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