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Linking the Global Economy to the Global Ethic

Queensland University of Technology
Publication Date
  • 220305 Ethical Theory
  • 140213 Public Economics- Public Choice
  • 220199 Applied Ethics Not Elsewhere Classified
  • 160699 Political Science Not Elsewhere Classified
  • 160607 International Relations
  • Global Economy (Weltwirtschaft)
  • Global Ethic (Weltethos)
  • Weltanschauung (Worldview
  • Metaphysical Mutation
  • Separatism
  • Economics
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science


This essay briefly describes George Monbiot's vision of how the global economy should operate, and briefly describes Hans Küng's understanding of what the global ethic is. It is noted that Monbiot and Küng are radicals because they view economic practicalities in morally directed terms. Their work forges a direct link between discourses of ethical meaning and discourses of practical rationality. Such a link is radical because it goes against the grain of the Modernist separation of facts from meanings, and this separatism is deeply embedded in the contemporary Western Weltanschauung. Our Weltanschauung tacitly defines normalcy and legitimacy for the prevailing economic and political status quo. This essay maintains that overcoming the difficulties of linking the global economy to the global ethic can only be accomplished by a transformation of the Western Weltanschauung. Until our worldview requires economic facts and moral meanings to synthesise, we cannot radically change our world order in the direction in which both Monbiot and Küng advocate. Hence, this essay explores the relationship between facts and meanings in Western cultural history in order to clarify what sort of a "metaphysical mutation" we need to undergo to create an ethical global

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