Know ye the true, and the truth will set you free Facts Human beings are destroying the ecosystem Human beings are destroying the social systems Therefore Since we are all rational beings, given these facts, people will all arrive at the right conclusion. So Why are we still discussing the ifs of sustainability instead of only the hows?
THE FACTS ARE NOT ENOUGH, WE MUST LEARN HOW TO FRAME OUR TRUTH SO THAT IT CAN BE HEARD BY THOSE WHO MAY HOLD DIFFERENT TRUTHS.
Engaging in the Dialogue Dialogue requires communication Communication requires shared understanding Shared understanding requires an appreciation of systems of moral values
To be accepted, the truth must fit people’s frames. If the facts do not fit a frame, the frame stays and the facts are ignored. (new cognitive science) From a political perspective, the most important frames are value based structures of morality (cognitive linguistics)
Legitimating Moral Claim of SEA Morality of Accountability IF ONE ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY AND EXERCISES THE RELATED RIGHTS, THEN THOSE WHO GRANT THESE PRIVILEGES HAVE A RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY TO HOLD THE PERSON ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIVITIES/ ACTIONS/ RESULTS.
A Modest Description of Our Normative Intentions Also useful for our descriptive and prescriptive endeavors
ACTIVITIES /ACTIONS REPRESENTATIONS OF ACTIVITIES EVALUATION OF ACTIVITIES/ ACTIONS EVALUATION CRITERIA Social & Environmental Accounting
Representation of Activities (What has been done?) This is the part that is accounting (What there is to be looked at – has to do with actions/activities) How should we represent activities? Criteria for Evaluation (For what should one be held accountable?) What are the appropriate rules whereby we should be playing – Based on societal norms and values, laws, and constraints.
ACTIVITIES /ACTIONS REPRESENTATIONS OF ACTIVITIES EVALUATION OF ACTIVITIES/ ACTIONS EVALUATION CRITERIA Social & Environmental Accounting and Reporting Technical (How activities are to be represented - GRI)
Social and Environmental Accounting & Reporting – How to represent activities EnvironmentalSocial
ACTIVITIES /ACTIONS REPRESENTATIONS OF ACTIVITIES EVALUATION OF ACTIVITIES/ ACTIONS EVALUATION CRITERIA Social & Environmental Accountability / Corporate Social Responsibility Social /Value Based What activities matter? How much? To Whom?
Evaluation Criteria are Politically Motivated Positions based on Personal Values grounded in Systems of Morality
Based on experiential well being Constructed using metaphors arising out of our experiential sense of well being and prototypical organizing structures Provide the value frames by which truth is created and comprehended and fairness, justice, and equality are discerned Combine with communication structures and power to construct and reconstruct social reality
Experiential Well Being Moral Actions- Promoting the well being of others Avoiding and preventing harm Health Rich Strength Happiness Cleanliness Beauty Light Upright Solidarity Freedom
Immoral Actions - Actions that cause harm Deprive someone of well being Sickness Poverty Weakness Abandoned Sadness Unfulfilled Filth Ugly Dark Fallen down Isolated Slavery
Moral Metaphors Systems of moral metaphors emerge out of these experiential attributes and Provide the basis for action and evaluation
Moral Accounting (A Meta-Moral Metaphor) A means by which fairness, equity, and justice are contemplated, whether the actors played by the accepted rules (social norms, values, laws), whether agreements were met and/or due process followed, and the outcomes commensurable
Moral Accounting Metaphor Keeping the moral books Criteria for fairness, equity, and justice concern the characteristics and consequences of rewards and punishments Well being is metaphorically conceptualized as wealth is described and understood in terms of gain, loss, profit, revenues, cost, debts, assets, liabilities, entity, worth, and return on investment a moral engagement is conceptualized as a financial transaction the need for a moral accounting logically follows
Cont. The core of moral understanding derives from the basic reciprocating tenets of financial accounting systems A moral action is conceptualized as giving something of positive value. An immoral action is conceptualized as giving something of negative value. It is a moral imperative to pay one’s debts. It is immoral not to do so.
Tentative Proposition The moral accounting metaphor underlies the current moral conceptualization of SEA/CSR, represents the underlying systems of morality whereby we legitimize, understand, implement, and evaluation SEA.
Personal Values Combining –meta moral metaphors (a moral accounting) which frame the consequences of interactions (processes) with –prototypical organizing metaphors that provide the structural context within which moral metaphors are applied Result in hierarchically structured systems of personal values wherein the situational content is processed and moral assessments are made
Evaluation Criteria for SEA Are Politically Motivated Positions Political positions are grounded in moral value systems Moral value systems are based on metaphorically based frames The metaphor of the family is the core metaphor underlying political orientation
Core Political Metaphor (prototypical organizing metaphor) Nation as family Government as parent Citizens as children
Implications presumptions concerning a spatial domain where in the family was domiciled expectations with respect to the relationships, rights, and responsibilities of the members parent has certain responsibilities in facilitating the safety of the family, rearing children, and providing for sustenance parent claims certain rights related to fulfilling the responsibilities children also claim certain rights and accept certain responsibilities.
Prototypical Family Metaphors Strict Father Morality Nurturant Parent Morality
Strict Father Morality traditional nuclear family and roles highest moral priority is moral strength evidenced by self control and self discipline pursuit of self interest is perceived as employing self discipline to achieve self reliance the means for attaining self control and self discipline is obedience to and respect for authority parents are responsible for teaching appropriate behavioral norms, setting strict guidelines, and ensuring that their children adhere to them parental strength and authority are seen as an expression of love and nurturance. children are responsible for honoring and obeying their parents and respecting authority
Cont. obedience and respect for authority are the means for developing character primary character traits are gaining self discipline and self reliance which are necessary to survive as adults within a hostile and turbulent world in that they allow the mature child to control his or her destiny as a result of their training, the adult will succeed if they have acquired a level of self discipline and self control to stand up against the evils with which they are confronted if the mature child fails because of a lack of self discipline and self control, the parent is not to intervene. The mature child must live the consequences of his or her moral weaknesses.
Nurturant Parent traditional family not assumed highest priorities – feeling empathy for others, helping others help themselves and nurturing social ties happiness and self fulfillment through the pursuit of self interest only makes sense as they facilitate empathy and nurturance empathy and nurturance are the criteria for moral guidelines moral strength is enabled and sustained by nurturance moral authority follows as a consequence of nurturance.
Cont. rights, responsibilities, and parental roles are negotiated and shared parents must be strong and courageous in supporting and protecting their children legitimate parental authority is grounded in, and follows from, mutual love and respect, not from fear of punishment through nurturance, empathy, and love on the part of the parent and the community, children develop responsibility, self discipline, and self reliance communication between child and parent is crucial
Cont. the goal is that children grow into adults who live fulfilled lives, committed to the well being of their family and community to do so, the children must learn to feel empathy for others show compassion following from this empathy develop a capacity for nurturance act out of love maintain social ties. requires strength, self respect, self discipline, and self reliance. comes out of being treated with respect, nurtured, and communicated with and results in life long relationships based on mutual respect, caring, and communication.
Moral Value Systems Meta moral metaphor Frames the consequences of interactions (processes) (moral accounting metaphor) Prototypical organizing metaphors Provides the structural context within which moral metaphors are applied (context) (nation as family) Hierarchically structured systems of personal values wherein context is processed and moral assessments made (evaluation criteria)
Sustainability Evaluation Criteria Strict Father MoralityNurturing Parent Morality Moral Accounting Conservative Personal Values Progressive Personal Values Conservative Sustainability Evaluation Criteria Progressive Sustainability Evaluation Criteria
Strict Father Sustainability model citizen is conservative businessman government regulation interferes with his pursuit of self sufficiency and success regulation is an interference with the moral and legitimate acts of the citizenry placing such restrictions on moral people and their moral actions is immoral if the conservative businessman is the model citizen, then CSR/SEA are at best perceived of as unnecessary and at worst contradictory and detrimental to the natural order of things.
Cont. human beings’ relationship with nature is framed within the natural hierarchical order of things – God over man, man over nature man is given domination over the earth and all that resides therein to use as he sees fit the morality of self interest – the interests of all are maximized if each person seeks their own self interest the morality of reward and punishment – it is immoral to stop individuals from working hard for the sake of profit, since success is an indication of self discipline and reinforces self reliance.
Nurturant Parent Sustainability model citizen – social worker, environmentalist, education – holds the increased well being of humanity as the primary objective of action implies a harmony among humans, their communities, and their natural environments government’s responsibility – to nurture and sustain these relationships in the most effective manner moral acts prevent degradation of the environment and those that enhance and sustain it immoral acts are those that destroy and exploit nature, especially for self interested and selfish reasons CSR/SEA is a central part of the morally mandated technical infrastructure necessary to protect and sustain natural systems. It is immoral to act to the contrary.
Cont. nature is conceptualized as life giving and sustaining the relationship between humanity and nature is reciprocal nurturance and respect respect arises out of an appreciation of the inherent value of nature, beyond human valuation, and gratitude for its physical and aesthetic contributions the interdependence between humans and nature is recognized motivating a sense of responsibility and continued commitment to sustain the natural environment
THE FACTS ARE NOT ENOUGH, WE MUST FRAME OUR TRUTH SO THAT IT CAN BE HEARD BY THOSE WHO MAY HOLD DIFFERENT TRUTHS.
Incompatible Evaluation Criteria How do we move the conversation from a strict father grounded system of morality (conservative) to a nurturant parent systems of morality (progressive)?
So what then must we do? The truth alone will not set you free, they must be framed appropriately Understand and be able to articulate our moral value systems and the metaphorical frames Speak from our moral perspective Understand alternative (conservative) moral frames and the conceptual metaphors upon which they are grounded Think strategically across issues Consider the consequences of proposals
Cont. Voters vote their identity and their values, neither of which might coincide with their self interest Unite and cooperate Reframe the issues using your moral values, don’t use theirs Continue to develop and refine the progressive metaphorical frames so as to better communicate your position Be ever mindful of the political nature of the struggle for a sustainable social and natural world