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Document Type

Scholarship

Abstract

The events of Occupy SLU provide an example of how a situation rife with potential conflict can be transformed into a peaceful resolution. In this paper, we draw from the disciplines of economics and moral philosophy to shed light on certain features of the case of the Clock Tower Accords. Viewing the events of Occupy SLU from the perspective of these disciplines brings into focus several themes and important distinctions: the difference between a command-and-control-relationship compared with an exchange relationship; the difference between treating a situation in instrumental terms as a problem suited to a “technological” solution compared with seeing people and contexts from an “entrepreneurial” approach where hidden possibilities await realization; and recognizing the importance of exercising and cultivating good dispositions as crucial for leading well through a period of crisis. Bringing the perspectives of economics and ethics together to consider this case serves as a reminder of important connections between the exchange perspective of economics and the virtue ethics tradition of moral philosophy.

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