From Ethics to Spirituality

In his paper on “From ethics to spirituality: Laszlo Zsolnai on human motivations” (in Luk Bouckaert, Knut J. Ims, and Peter Rona (Eds.): Art, Spirituality and Economics. Liber Amicorum for Laszlo Zsolnai. Springer, 2018. pp. 83-95.) Zsolt Boda argues that an important part of Laszlo Zsolnai’s oeuvre focuses on the individual: the model of economic actor, human motivations in decision making, and the problem of the modern self. The paper will, first, present his intellectual journey through which he broadened his views on the relevant motivations of economic actors from ethical to spiritual ones. Second, it analyses the pivotal role behavioural models play in the construction of social sciences. Following a meta-critical approach it argues that any social inquiry involves some degree of normative content. Behavioural models are not merely descriptive, but prescribe a certain view on reality. Therefore ‘transformative sciences’, like business ethics or ecological economic, should devote special attention to the problem of human agency as both a practical and a theoretical problem. The paper shows that the problem of human agency encapsulates several foundational challenges concerning both economics and ethics that Laszlo Zsolnai faced in his inquiries.

 Boda From ethics to spirituality