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P H I L O S O P H Y F O R B U S I N E S S ISSN 2043-0736
Issue number 68
23rd September 2011
I. 'A Study of Paul Virilio Panic City' by Maximiliano E.
II. Samuel S. Franklin The Psychology of Happiness, A Good Human
Life, reviewed by Rachel Browne
III. 'Speak Up Procedures Seminar: Challenges and Opportunities of
Internal Whistle-Blowing Procedures', University of Greenwich Business
What is the philosophical significance of the phenomenon of
tourism? According to Prof M.E. Korstanje of the Dept of Economics,
University of Palermo, 'tourism, as a form of leisure, is of
paramount importance in understanding the scaffolding of our own
society'. In support of his thesis he offers a critique of the work
of the post-modern scholar Paul Virilio, who has some provocative
things to say about the nature of tourism, the city, the motor car,
mass media and much besides.
Also in this issue is a review of Samuel S. Franklin's The
Psychology of Happiness by our own Reviews Editor, Rachel Browne.
The review recently appeared in Vol. 6 No. 2 of Philosophical
Practice, Journal of American Philosophical Practitioners
Association and is reproduced in full here, with kind permission of
If you have a book which you would like to see reviewed in
Philosophy for Business please email RachelEBrowne@aol.com.
One of the topics mentioned by Rachel Browne in her review is
whistle-blowing. Recent UK legislation has made this a hot topic in
business ethics. On October 4, the University of Greenwich Business
School, London is hosting a half-day seminar which will be of great
practical value to anyone involved in setting up or monitoring
internal speak-up procedures, as well as philosophers of business
interested in this important area.
I. 'A STUDY OF PAUL VIRILIO PANIC CITY' BY MAXIMILIANO E.
El Zorzal, 2007
Although the current state of knowledge in tourism and hospitality
includes many theories from other disciplines such as anthropology,
sociology, psychology, geography and management, less or no
connection is usually seen between tourism and philosophy. In part,
the degree of abstraction that characterizes philosophy prevents a
much broader dialogue with the study of tourism. Nevertheless,
critical philosophy is likely to play a crucial role in revitalizing
the present complex of issues related to hospitality, mass media,
hedonism, leisure, terrorism, and tourism in coming decades.
Like psychoanalysis and other so-called 'pseudo-scientific'
disciplines, philosophy has been broadly trivialized by scholars in
social sciences. The hegemony of quantitative methodologies in
tourism-related research has accumulated considerable attention,
relegating qualitative techniques to a secondary role.
The complexity and profundity of the Paul Virilio's thought as well
as his legacy are unquestionable. His concern to understand how
progress and displacement influences daily life makes Virilio a
scholar whose contributions can be very well applied to the fields of
tourism and hospitality. But once again, the studies that take
Virilio's theories as primary option are in infancy or even
unexplored in tourism-related research. Based on the idea that
tourism and of course management are sources of alienation, some
scholars see in Virilio an enemy who should not be academically
rivaled but silenced.
On the contrary, we strongly believe not only that the contributions
of Virilio can be usefully placed under the lens of scrutiny but also
he has much to say in questions related to terrorism and tourism. For
that reason, the present study explores one of his most polemic works
translated from French to English by Julie Rose: Panic City.
Paul Virilio is certainly concerned in examining the function of the
image in late-modernity and how this colours day-to-day life. The
book analyzes the effects of the attack on the World Trade Center
connecting this with the upsurge of fear which has characterized the
social imagination of industrialized societies.
In another work by Virilio, The Art of the Motor, it is
hypothesized that the mass media exert considerable influence in
shaping how events are perceived, often beyond any control. Not only
are the efforts in controlling mass media fruitless but they also
facilitate their hegemony over public opinion. As the mass media
strive to gain further legitimacy, news reports increasingly take
fear as the primary source of exploitation, by creating an image of
world events based on a heightened state of emergency. To some
extent, the problem is not so much related to the veracity of the
news but is rather a function of the speed at which news is
disseminated worldwide. Following this, Virilio recognizes that human
beings show a natural ability to communicate with others adapting
their own practices into a specific environment. This argument is
present in all the works of Virilio including Panic City.
The conceptual bridge between what is real and the world of fiction
arises from our capacity to understand the being of others in this
world, their interests, hopes and of course frustrations. An
experience of this nature places people together even though they
stand geographically dispersed. However, the mediated reality works
as a fictional depiction that generates a counter effect in which the
heterogeneity of meaning is substantially minimized. The information
is processed and framed under a mega-complex where the subjectivity
of the people involved in the news event is reduced to a new form of
mass consumption. In consequence, information overload creates a
progressive sentiment of loneliness that leads people towards
sadness, reclusion and despair.
Physical rapprochement and revelation of what was secret encourages
the needs of conflict paving the way for the upsurge of the hegemony
of information. The acceleration of mass transport creates a state of
confusion in which the present and future are blurred. Starting from
the premise that physical distance embodies the legacy of the past,
our laws and traditions, increasing speed of travel facilitates a
converse state of indifference characterized by the condensation of
As a result of the acceleration of displacement Virilio is convinced
that there is a gradual decline of trust. Just as journalism strives
to become a hegemonic power that controls all knowledge, the tourist
industry is becoming a comparable superstructure whose absolutism is
based on three assumptions: a) unlimited information, b) advances in
technology and c) acceleration and speed of machines.
Many of the innovations in the technique of transport and information
are a result of war. It is important to note here that journalists and
the military do not vouch by their acts in the sphere of morality.
Basically, one of Virilio's contributions to the philosophy of
tourism is that any displacement entails a temporary blindness.
Innovation and systematization of transport empties the meaning of
the present landscape. Everything what we see in our environment
first needs to be authenticated by means of the fabrication of a
hyper-virtuality. Mass-media and tourism not only create meaning but
also shape consciousness of how we should interpret the things in our
environment. The ancient discomfort of journeys contrasts with the
pace of modern travel but this, Virilio warns, erodes the sensation
of movement to the extent of annihilating the discovery of that which
As in the previous argument, Virilio ethically examines the role
played by the machine in the threshold of time. Speed has
historically been placed at the disposal of those who have the
ability to pay. While international visitors travelling first class
can connect between cities in few hours, others such as migrants are
immobilized to become the prey of their societies. Consumer society
emphasizes the need to travel, yet thousands of migrants are traced
and jailed because of their illegal condition of residency. These
contrasting policies are happening simply because late modernity
brought an excess of work and leisure for some while relegating
others to live under the line of poverty and pauperism. The culture
of work set the pace to the culture of value. We are not appraised
any longer for our behaviour but rather for our 'worth'.
The professionalization of war runs in parallel with modern tourism.
From horses to tanks, the advances in techniques of war are
historically channeled for the purposes of entertainment during
periods of peace. This backs the Foucaultian thesis that politics are
war by other means. For instance, Virilio is convinced that warfare
The advent of the motor car altered the boundaries between here and
there in a way that was affordable, but only for some. In this vein,
the movies represent a fictionalization of human experience
renovating the asymmetries that ushered humankind to a state of
impending threat. The virtualization of terrorism not only permitted
attacks on vulnerable targets, but also heightened the causes that
made such a catastrophe possible. Fear closes the door to otherness
facilitating the conditions for the state of threat ('accident' in
Virilio's term) to return. Therefore, urban cities are subject to an
unabated sentiment of desolation.
In this conjuncture, it is important not to lose sight of the fact
that international tourism revitalizes the ancient colonial violence
that characterized the 19th century. Isolated resorts and Club Meds
appear like fortresses in a desert. Symbolically, Virilio refers to
the desert as a state of emotional desolation. As in the previous
argument, tourism becomes a hegemonic instrument to create financial
dependence and submission from the periphery to the center. The
ancient value of civilization rooted in the citizen's ability to
write is being replaced by the ability to travel. Travel therefore
draws the boundaries between civilization and barbarity. Modern mass
tourism is feasible precisely because travelers are not eager to
discover new cultures and traditions but on the contrary merely seek
to tour the known boundaries of Empire. Today, travel begins with a
movie, a picture or a visual-driven image.
The excess of velocity is often accompanied by a syndrome of
inferiority where ordinary people realize the impossibility of
controlling their own destiny. Anguish in the face of uncertainty is
exploited by those in power through the technique of ideology. Of all
aspects of life that make a person most afraid, death is the more
frightful because it is uncontrollable. Our civilization has been
constructed under the idea that environment and life should be
controlled and expanded. One of tenets of society seems to be the
surveillance of all life. The death of our own children is not only
unimaginable but unsaid; there is no status in our language for
referring to an episode of this nature. Whether social status
bestowed on a man who has lost his wife and or a woman who has become
a widow, or even one who has lost parents and become an orphan, there
is no word to describe the status appropriate for the death of a son
or daughter. A massive marketing effort is aimed at enhancing the
security of our children. The current state of impending catastrophe
not only reminds humankind of its finitude but also forces one to
reconsider the possibility of what is intellectualized as impossible.
Departure can be compared in analogy with a birth and the avoidance
of death. The aversion to death is symbolically seen in extreme
sports and the quest for adrenaline that thousands of downtrodden
tourists seek. Extreme sports are a result of our modern secularized
cosmology: god is death so that humans live forever. After all, what
need has immortality of heaven? Time emptied as a result of the
process of accelerated travel is occupied by the mass-media and the
democracy of excess. The time spent in leisure activities is subject
to an ongoing sentiment of anxiety that drives directly towards
desolation and anomie. For that reason, Virilio does not hesitate to
call tourists the 'travelers of desolation'. From the super-man in
the Nietzschean sense, we are undoubtedly witnessing the emergence of
'over-excited man'. In addition, Virilio considers that the speed of
information will set the pace to authentic travel in the near future
to the extent that the world of all the senses is being replaced by
the empire of the visual.
During the 20th century cities developed in a form hitherto unknown.
The systematization of knowledge sheds light on certain topics, but
at the same time creates a form of blindness which enables us to
avoid the recognition of others. Paradoxically, the present quest for
meeting to others in specific places prevents re-encounter.
Underpinned in the belief that fixed habits alienate the practices of
citizens, modern architecture tends to encourage the communication
under an atmosphere of indifference. Sky-scrapers not only resulted
from human pride but also emulated a profound need for creating a
secularized sprit of salvation. To a greater or lesser degree, heaven
which inspired the life of a thousand knifes in the Middle Ages, has
set the pace for the advent of shopping malls and virtualized war. It
is not surprising to see how the higher floors represent the power and
status of inhabitants in the societal hierarchy.
In the foregoing, Virilio's argument describes how the hegemony of
the image (picture) generates a collective psychosis wherein the
status-quo is daily replicated. Psychological fear seems to be a
grounding element of fantasy but its theatricalization is politically
manipulated. The inevitable catastrophe of modernity lies in its own
existence. Panic-cities as mega-agglomerations paved the way for the
appearance of a real state of emergency because society gradually
lost its ability to adapt. The simulacra of fear diminished the
necessary warning-related mechanisms. It follows that the voyeurism
of tragedy is a function of the concentration of wealth. The state of
impending threat contrasts with the traditional aim of rights and law.
The state of law which protects all persons simply on the basis of
their human status has been replaced by the market which only
provides protection for those who can pay for it.
Like other French post-modernist scholars as M. Auge, D. MacCannell
or even R. Castel, Virilio's thesis shows an important weakness. The
excess of the present transforms a place in a non-place (Auge), in an
alienated or emptied place in terms of MacCannell. This would be the
case for sites of mass transit such as bus stations, highways,
shopping malls, and airports. Unless otherwise resolved, the thesis
of Virilio leads us to speculate that in a space wherein there lacks
tradition, history and law, the three elements that form the
citizenry, persons have no rights.
Similarly, one might see in these types of space thousands of
vagrants, the homeless and people who are chronically out of work
being pushed towards being considered as non-persons. Based on the
hypothesis that a person is symbolically constituted by means of
place, the non-places engender non-persons. If this is true,
paradoxically, Virilio has paved the way to legitimate what he
devotes considerable efforts and time in denouncing. This exactly
seems to be the main problem in this types of heuristic absolutist
theory. A site should not be necessarily determined by the action of
time alone but to the existent relationship that takes up room in the
involved space. A place can be defined by ethnicity,
territorialization, language and other aspects. The belief that late
modernity creates non-places not only seems to be dangerous but also,
to some extent, replicates the interests of the status quo.
Secondly, Virilio trivializes the role of tourism in the process of
territorialization as well as its value as a source of social benefit
for involved stakeholders. Although in recent years, these types of
theory gained considerable acceptance in the academic world, there is
no clear basis for the claim that tourism may be viewed as an industry
of desolation or even why technology triggers terrorism or suspension
of hospitality. In this vein, Virilio's stance can be compared and
contrasted with the contributions of Derrida in understanding
hospitality and its relationship with hostility. In any case, the
apocalyptic perspective of Virilio leads to a difficult bipolar
position without intermediaries.
This begs interesting points of discussion: Is tourism only a form of
commercialized leisure? Or should tourism be contemplated as a much
broader ancient oneiric form of recreation? In sharp contrast to
Virilio, we strongly believe tourism encompasses three relevant
aspects: a) hospitality, b) recreation, and c) discovery. Society is
based on four subsystems: economy, politics, religion and oneiric
recreation. The aims of the latter are to facilitate the symbolic
reproduction of cultural values and the cosmology of being. Within
the oneiric subsystem we find leisure, and as a primary form of
leisure, tourism operates beyond the logic of trade and market even
though as many other institutions it is circumscribed to the exchange
of merchandise that Virilio originally postulated.
A worker who goes on holiday is making doing else than simply
resting. He or she is being introduced in a narrative rituality where
the need to make distance from the values which certainly shape him or
her as as citizen is facilitated. Anthropologically speaking, tourism,
as a form of leisure, is of paramount importance in understanding the
scaffolding of our own society. After further examination, we
nevertheless consider that the insightful work of Virilio shows
considerable potential to be applied in tourism research stimulating
a lively debate in the coming years.
Virilio, P. (1996) El Arte del Motor: aceleracion y realidad.
Buenos Aires, ediciones el Manantial
Virilio, P. (2007). Ciudad Panico: el afuera comienza aqui.
Buenos Aires, Libros el Zorzal
Prof. Maximiliano E. Korstanje
Department of Economics.
University of Palermo
(c) Maximiliano E. Korstanje 2011
II. SAMUEL S. FRANKLIN THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HAPPINESS, A GOOD HUMAN
LIFE REVIEWED BY RACHEL BROWNE
Samuel S Franklin
The Psychology of Happiness, A Good Human Life
Cambridge University Press, 2010
ISBN: 0521138671, 192 pages.
Samuel Franklin is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at California
State University, Fresno. The book engages with Aristotle's virtue
ethics as a means to achieve happiness, by reference to the
With Aristotle, Franklin believes that happiness is about the
fulfilment of potential, where this is guided by rationality, which
can moderate emotion and desire. We possess potentials, which are
needs, and only if met, can we flourish and achieve happiness.
Happiness is essentially related to personal development. Aristotle
held there are two aspects to happiness; the hedonic (pleasure) and
eudaimonia (the well-lived achieving life), but Franklin doesn't give
much credence to pleasure as worthy, despite the fact that current
neuroscience holds that the pleasure and happiness/ thriving areas of
the brain are very closely related. Franklin stands in direct contrast
to the utilitarian theory of happiness. Jeremy Bentham gave an
hedonistic account, arguing that it is morally correct to minimise
pain and maximise pleasure, where happiness was equated with
pleasure. The Benthamite view is that watching television is on a par
with reading educational literature when it comes to what will lead to
happiness, but he has virtually no takers on the thesis. Aristotle has
Aristotle is difficult to fault, which is why he is still such a
central figure in philosophy. He held that 'real goods,' such as
money and clothing, are needed as an aid for us to fulfil our
potential. There are also 'apparent goods' which are not things we
need, but that we simply want, and they do nothing to aid the
fulfilment of our potential. As Franklin puts it, we might need a car
to get to work, but we don't need a Rolls Royce.
Aristotle argued for temperance. Too much food (or too little) will
not lead us to thrive and achieve fulfilment. This is not to say that
extremes are not acceptable in certain circumstances. Circumstances
are essential to judging what is reasonable and through personal
development we learn to recognise what is appropriate in a particular
Philosophers will be familiar with these ideas, but the book is a
useful reminder and clear exposition of Aristotelian ethics and
places it alongside claims made by Darwin and Freud. The
philosophical practitioner is likely to be interested in how
Aristotelian ideas still abound today in the thoughts of
non-philosophers, the best known being those of Abraham Maslow and
Carl Rogers, two more recent humanistic psychologist/ 'actualisation'
Unfortunately, as a humanistic psychologist, Franklin does not
provide much data. Yet data is available. Bruce Heady's team at the
University of Melbourne, for instance, found happiness to be largely
genetically determined (Heady, B., 2010).
Franklin does provide a brief account of the physiology of happiness,
but doesn't touch upon genetics or engage with recent neuroscientific
research. The section on the physiology of happiness is small and the
most up to date research he mentions is from 1997. In the last five
years developments in brain research involving neurotransmitters that
read the brain for conditions of happiness have developed quickly. It
seems empirically likely that happiness is more closely linked to
pleasure than to actualising potential. A body of research can be
found in the Journal of Social Research (Summer 2010).
Apart from Freud, there is very little space given to psychoanalytic
theory. Freud held that 'to be civilised or to be tamed by the
community causes unhappiness in the individual' (1985) whereas
Aristotle thought that the temperate person striving for a good life
is at one with the state and creates the good city. Contra Aristotle/
Franklin, R.D. Laing has pushed Freud's view further, claiming that
adjustment to social norms result in repression, denial, splitting,
projection, introjections and other forms of destructive action
(1967). Franklin doesn't mention Laing.
So since Aristotle we have advanced greatly in our understanding of
human psychology. Rationality is de-emphasised. Human weaknesses
rather than strengths have become an important area of study. This is
also seen culturally with the rise of self-help books, which assume
that human beings aren't able to develop personally.
Franklin doesn't seem to want to investigate this opposition to
Aristotelian thought. Fortunately, the Aristotelian view of happiness
lends support to mainstream business ethics, as well as the branch of
business ethics called EQ (emotional intelligence).
As far as ordinary business ethics goes, the support comes from the
idea of virtue. To fulfil potentials we need to develop skills of
virtue. 'The virtue of justice is about the welfare of others; it is
about fairness to other' (p. 80). Also the virtue of equality means
looking beyond oneself. 'We have to be concerned not only with
ourselves but also with the welfare of others, not just family and
friends' (p. 82).
It is part of being virtuous that we take ourselves to be part of a
community where we can undertake public discourse. A business is a
community in which we can learn and discuss moral issues, such as
whistle-blowing. Codes of conduct are empty unless employees are able
to develop personal integrity. The modern idea of the business arena
as a 'community of enquiry' where a 'facilitator' prompts discussion
is directly in line with developing potentialities rather than
following rules (Geschwindt, S., 2008).
Franklin doesn't mention mainstream business ethics but only EQ,
which was developed in the 1990s and which Franklin claims follows
from Aristotelian thinking. Work in this area is still developing but
from looking at an EQ web site I find there is a stress on emotion
over rationality (http://www.6seconds.org). This suggests we need to
look again at Aristotle and keep him in mind, remembering the very
important role of reason in our personal development. It is
encouraging that Aristotle can be of help within the commercial world.
Freud, S (1985). 'Civilization and its discontents.' Civilization,
Society and Religion. Penguin Books
Geschwindt, S. (2008) Am I right? Or am I right: an introduction
of ethical decision making. DW Publications
Heady, B. (2010). 'Long-running German panel survey shows that
personal and economic choices, not just genes, matter for happiness'.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10-08612, Oct 4,
2010. On-line early edition
Laing, R D. (1967). The Politics of Experience. Harmondsworth:
(c) Philosophical Practice 2011
Journal of the American Philosophical
III. 'SPEAK UP PROCEDURES SEMINAR: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF
INTERNAL WHISTLE-BLOWING PROCEDURES', UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH BUSINESS
Internal speak up procedures are now officially 'good practice' in
risk management, as well as in ethics and compliance policies. They
are increasingly prescribed as good practice in corporate governance
models, and are mentioned in regulatory initiatives such as public
interest Disclosure Act and the new Bribery Act.
However, designing and implementing internal whistle-blowing or
speak-up procedures is not without risk. Legal, ethical, and human
resources related challenges need to be managed well.
What to do and what not to do when setting up and running a speak-up
procedure in your organization? Get expert accounts and advice on
compliance management, employment law, whistle-blowing advice, ethics
and academic research.
This seminar offers participants insights into:
* practice and theory of designing
* managing speak-up procedures
This will be useful to anyone involved in designing, implementing, or
monitoring internal speak-up or whistle-blowing procedures. At any
level of management (line management, audit departments, HR, members
of boards of directors) and in any kind of organization (business,
Prof.Dr. Dave Lewis
Professor Employment Law, Middlesex University
'Recent developments in law and practice with some predictions for
Chief Executive, Public Concern at Work
'What to do and what not to do with internal whistle-blowing
Member of Siemens UK Executive Management Board and Compliance
coordinator, North West Europe cluster
'Challenges and Opportunities in setting up a Speak-Up procedure'
Dr Wim Vandekerckhove
Senior Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour, University of
'What research tells us about managing whistle-blowing'
Tuesday 4 October 2011 (half day)
Hamilton House, hosted near Greenwich Campus, an historic World
Heritage Site on the banks of the River Thames.
Visit the conference website http://www.gre.ac.uk/whistleblowing for
further information about the programme, venue, and how to register.
We look forward to welcoming you at the conference.
On behalf of Dr Wim Vandekerckhove, Senior Lecturer in Organisational
Behaviour, University of Greenwich Business School.
University of Greenwich, a charity and company limited by guarantee,
registered in England (reg. no. 986729). Registered office: Old Royal
Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9LS.
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