Finding the Balance: Non-fiction Stories of People Committed to Environmental Sustainability

 

Sheila Mason, PhD

Concordia University

Montreal, Québec, Canada

sheila@vax2.concordia.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just acts are pleasant to the lover of justice and in general virtuous acts to the lover of virtue. Virtuous actions are by nature pleasant. (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, 1099a)

 

            In the film The Corporation* (Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan, 2004, http://www.thecorporation.com/) there are several scenes taken from an interview with Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface, Inc., the largest commercial carpet manufacturing firm in the world. Anderson had founded the company twenty one years earlier with a bank loan of $5000, and had built it up to its present size.  In this interview the camera focuses in a close up on Anderson’s face so that he is speaking directly to the viewer. This is filmed in such a way as to capture the candor with which he describes a vivid

experience which led him to a sudden appreciation for the enormous value of the natural world and  to the realization that he had been totally oblivious to the destructive nature of his manufacturing processes.  The story began in the summer of 1994 when some of the company’s customers were asking about the environmental impact of the company’s methods of production. Anderson dismissed these concerns until some of his employees began raising the question.  He set up a task force to study the issue.  The members of the task force invited him to give a speech outlining  his environmental vision. He agreed to do this. He then realized that he didn’t have an environmental vision. He began to sweat (Bakan 72).  Coincidentally at that time someone lent him a book by Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce, in which he came upon the phrase ‘the death of birth’.

 

It was a point of a spear into my chest and I read on, and the spear went deeper, and it became an epiphanal experience, a total change of mind-set for myself and a change of paradigm (Bakan, 72).

As a result of this experience Anderson realized that, like most corporate leaders at the time, he had held the belief that nature is a ‘limitless source of raw material, a limitless sink into which we can send our poisons and waste’ (Bakan 72).  At this point he decided to turn his company around and to reduce its environmental impact to zero over the next few decades.  Since then Interface has begun recycling carpets and other petro-chemical products, it is harnessing solar energy and it has altered the dying process to eliminate the use of water.  As a result many environmental groups have presented Anderson with awards for the company’s achievements in sustainability and its innovative solutions to the problems of sustainable manufacturing.  Anderson has become an active leader of environmental groups (http://www.interfaceinc.com/us/company/about/ray_anderson.asp.>

I was very impressed when I saw this film and began reading the book on which the film is based, Joel Bakan’s The Corporation as well as Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce. I had several opportunities to discuss the film with corporate leaders at social gatherings and found to my surprise that there are some very intelligent, well educated, sensitive people who become very angry at the idea of corporations having to become responsible for their effects on the environment. One such person exclaimed angrily “don’t tell me you read David Suzuki!! these radical environmentalists don’t know what they are talking about and they are ruining business!”.  I decided to investigate the experience of epiphany and change of mind-set that Anderson describes and posed the question “by what process do people come to realize the value of the natural world?” I was intrigued by Aristotle’s theory of virtue, that the virtuous person loves to practice virtue and feels joy and satisfaction in discerning occasions in which he or she can contribute something of worth. This attitude seems contrary to the sense of reluctance and guilt and the feeling of having to do things out of duty against your real desires  that is often associated with ethics. Anderson seemed to have found a sense of joy and satisfaction in his new paradigm.  At the time that I was reflecting on these issues I was invited to come to an environmental institute in Australia as a visiting scholar.  I realized that this would be an opportunity to interview members of that institute, professors, students and activists who were all, in varying degrees, committed to working toward preserving the natural environment, and to find out, first hand, what sorts of experiences led these people to be committed to these values.

I interviewed twentyone people in all, taking extensive notes and tape recording the interviews.  I began each interview with a brief description of Aristotle’s theory of virtue and with the request that the interviewee tell me how he or she became interested in environmental issues. I assured each person interviewed that I would disclose nothing revealing of their identity unless given their explicit permission, nor would I reveal anything about them to their friends and colleagues unless they sanctioned that disclosure. Furthermore I explained that this was not a scientific study, nor could it be considered social science. I am a philosopher and am solely interested in engaging in conversations with people who are willing to share their reflections on their experiences. I encouraged people to speak freely and to follow whatever train of thought they wished.  I explained that I would ask questions when I was perplexed or wanted to hear more on a particular theme.   I would often share my own reflections about my own moral experiences in these conversations.  I remarked that I was there to learn.

Several things surprised me about these conversations: the tone of voice, the candor, the richness and variety of the stories and the gratitude. When the interviewees came to the important parts of their stories their tone changed. One person, PN, spoke more slowly and quietly with a certain expression of awe in telling me of an epiphany. Others spoke with a tone of confidential sharing and even bemused discovery while speaking of forms of awareness that seemed to come from a different level of consciousness than ordinary knowing. It was clear that these were not things they discussed casually with others, there was a preciousness to their knowledge.  Reassured that these stories would not circulate outside of the interview situation and would be described in my writing in such a way as to preserve anonymity, people were surprisingly candid. One person, IB, remarked with a little embarrassment, that this was like ‘true confessions’. I made it clear that I value the process of reflecting on experience and its possible significance and shared some of my own moments of vulnerability and self doubt which I view to be a normal part of the process of maintaining oneself as a person in the world of sentient beings. 

Every story was different, although several themes emerged in common across stories. Some had come to a love of the environment as children living in beautiful natural environments, some had parents who cultivated care for the environment, while others came upon their love of the environment through experiences in the bush or the outback in their adult years. Two people described childhoods filled with violence and abuse and had learned to find solace in the great natural beauty of the environment.  Many shared feelings of despair and hopelessness at the prospects of increasing environmental destruction and the power of corporations. Finally, many surprised me with expressions of gratitude at having had the occasion to reflect on their experiences. Some, meeting me in the halls later on, said that they found the process stimulating and were still thinking about their experiences and values. All in all I was mesmerized by the stories and regained that sense of enchantment when I carefully typed out each interview, sentence by sentence, from the audiotapes. This sense occurs again, now, as I write about these encounters, sitting outside in my own cherished environment, surrounded by green trees, the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze punctuated with the buzz of cicadas, the calls of birds and the occasional raucous cry of the crows.

There was a stillness surrounding these conversations.  As one person, SJ, whom I will describe later on, said, it takes him at least four days on a wilderness trip to reach a deep level of stillness, but there are people with whom one can share it so that being with them is like being alone with oneself.  I had the feeling of a shared stillness during many of these conversations.

In many of the stories I heard about intensely dramatic experiences. PN’s story stands out in my memory as the most vivid. I began the interview with this soft-spoken, gentle man with a brief description of Aristotle’s theory of virtue. Aristotle identified three specific types of moral character among many. The three types most relevant for our purposes are, first, the person who knows what is good but does not act on that knowledge. This might be a person who knows that it would be good for him to eat less fat, or to drive more carefully, but continues on against his better judgment. The second type is the person who knows what is right or good and does it, but out of a sense of duty, against his or her real desires. Thus a person might visit a sick friend in the hospital for the sake of the principle that one has a duty to visit sick friends.  Such a person manages to overcome reluctance and acts on the basis of reason.  Another person might decide to get fit by engaging in exercise, but mainly without any joy in the process of exercising, always focusing on the external goal of weight loss or cardiovascular health. The third type of person is called the virtuous person. This person sees the good and enjoys its enactment. Such a person does not experience the choice as a weighing of the pros and cons, with a sense of loss at the path not chosen.  John McDowell gives an example of this.  You are looking forward to a particular party that will take place on Friday evening. Just before the party a friend who is in need of support comes by. You see clearly that you can help this friend and you stay home, missing the party. This way of responding to the situation has to do with your understanding of how to live well. Being able to help a friend is part of living well (McDowell 67). “If someone needs to overcome an inclination to act otherwise, in getting himself to act as, say, temperance or courage demand [or in this case kindness and generosity of spirit], then he shows not virtue but (mere) continence [self-control]” (McDowell 55).  In the interviews, I followed this description of the virtuous person’s attitude and knowledge with the following questions:  what sorts of concerns do you have about the environment? What led you to have these concerns? And, what sorts of practices do you engage in that express these concerns?

PN responded with enthusiasm to this view of the virtuous person and to these questions.  He said  “these issues are hard to separate for me because the issue that I have become deeply embedded in, or engaged in, has also grown out of my story of why I am what I am.” He then told me of his success in a number of environmental projects at various political levels from the municipal, to the state, to the federal. But while this part of the story was fairly straightforward, he wished to go to a deeper level and describe how he came to be the sort of person he is today. 

I am happy to talk at a deeper level as to what caused this awareness, if you like.  I related very strongly to what you said about Aristotle … what you said about virtuous knowledge.  I get up everyday and am very thankful for my work, I’ve always felt that, I’ve always felt very privileged to be given a job and get paid to do what I love to do, and if I wasn’t being paid I’d do this anyway and it’s an extraordinary thing to have the freedom to work in the areas that you’re deeply concerned about and have an opportunity everyday to participate in that process…Now that only comes when you have an awareness that you are where you are because that’s the right place to be, and it is my calling. 

PN had studied to be a chemist, earning a PhD in the field. But as he approached the end of his studies he began to realize that this was not what interested him and that he would not spend his life in this field. Having completed his degree he went on a trip across Australia to visit relatives with the hope that he could sort out what to do with his life.  At one point on the trip he was traveling by bus over steep snowy mountains. The conditions were poor and getting worse. Snow covered the winding road which bordered on a steep cliff.  The bus driver was determined to get through even though the bus was skidding dangerously close to the edge and had even hit a truck in passing.  PN was horrified and began to think that this might well be his last moment on earth.  He had been reading an article during the bus trip by a famous scientist who was dying of cancer and was describing his reflections on death and dying.  The author of the article was very at ease with the idea of death.  This led NP to wonder whether he would be able to say the same kind of thing at the end of his own life. Then, as the trip became really dangerous he thought

Well maybe that’s going to happen, I don’t know if I’ve got a future, I don’t know what I’m going to do, it certainly won’t be as a chemist, maybe this bus will just fall off a cliff, who knows?  I actually spent a long time coming to terms with that. You have no reason to fear death as long as you see life as a gift.  I thought to myself ‘this is going to be it, I’m at peace.’ But we didn’t go over the cliff. The bus came down the other side and we made it.

When he arrived at the house of his aunt, she ushered him in a told him that there was an interesting interview going on on the television. It was an interview with Paul Erlich, a well known environmentalist who was discussing the importance of engaging in environmental issues.  Suddenly the program was interrupted by a news flash: a bus had just gone over the cliff on the very route he had just traveled. At this point in the story I expressed my amazement. “Good heavens! What a story! It is very moving.” PN laughed and said that he realized at that moment: “Well, I’ve got a future. I could have gone over but I didn’t. My future was staring me in the face…. It was a very dramatic way to let me know what my job was.” The next day the newspaper headlines read: “God must have saved us.” The bus had gone over but everyone survived. PN went off to study with Paul Erlich.

An epiphany is, as Ray Anderson remarked, ‘a total change of mind-set, a change of paradigm’.  In an epiphany this change of perspective is experienced as coming from a place beyond everyday consciousness. The word epiphany comes from the Greek stem ‘phainein’: to show, which in the New Testament is associated with a manifestation or appearance of some divine or superhuman being (The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary). In contemporary usage it has come to mean the establishment of contact with the sources of value,  “the search for moral sources outside the subject through languages which resonate within him or her, the grasping of an order which is inseparably indexed to a personal vision” (Taylor 510).  Such an experience takes us beyond the idea that happiness consists in the fulfillment of all desires.  Contact with sources of value beyond the self raises the possibility of choosing among desires, selecting those that resonate with an outside reality.   “We need new languages of personal resonance to make crucial human goods alive for us again” (Taylor 513). Such contact with a larger reality provides us with the moral resources needed for ‘our far-reaching moral commitments’ (Taylor 515). In Taylor’s view, when we lose this contact with moral sources we run out of steam, cannot follow through on our ideals and end up with strong, debilitating feelings of disempowerment and guilt. “High standards need strong sources. This is because there is something morally corrupting, even dangerous, in sustaining the demand simply on the feeling …of guilt, or its obverse self-satisfaction” (Taylor 516). The sense of contact with the good is very different than the sense of acting out of a feeling of guilt or even of duty derived from reason alone. That is what Aristotle was alluding to when he spoke of the pleasure of virtuous action. The virtuous person experiences the value of the action as he or she engages with the world.  Both Ray Anderson and PN were jarred into seeing something really valuable.  Life in itself is precious. For Anderson it was the idea of the death of birth that grabbed his attention, while for PN is was the realization that life really is a gift, precious, and to be used well. Both found ways to make good use of their precious lives.

This is a different picture of moral life than we get from Kantian philosophers who stress the ability to discern rational principles through pure reason, and the role of duty in suppressing desire.  It is also a different picture than the prevailing hedonism of our culture which puts strong emphasis on maximizing pleasure and fulfilling all desires imaginable.  On the Aristotelian picture, moral life is certainly satisfying, but the paradox is that it is satisfying because we focus on something of value apart  from the satisfaction it will bring: we focus on what is good, or worthy or noble or just, or precious in its own right,  and when we see that we are participating in these forms of good we experience satisfaction. The virtuous person does things for the right reasons, not out of guilt, or conformity but from experience of the goodness of the project.  Virtue is knowledge, but, as we have seen, it is knowledge based on experience, on ‘getting it’.  So, while Aristotle’s three types of person all know what is good, or right, the first two, the one who knows but acts against the knowledge, and the one who knows and acts against his desires, lack the resonating sense of good that moves the virtuous person. What they are missing is ‘love’s knowledge’ (Nussbaum) which enables us to find satisfaction in the moment and to read situations well, to ‘get it right’. Aristotle remarks that the first two types of person have the kind of superficial knowledge that a student might have when reciting lines from Empedocles:  they know the words, they get the idea, but they are not speaking from their own experience. People acting out of virtue are fully involved in their awareness and speak from experience.

The [person] who discerns intellectually that a friend is in need or that a loved  one has died, but who fails to respond to these facts with appropriate sympathy or grief, clearly lacks a part of Aristotelian virtue.  It seems right to say, in addition, that a part of the discernment or perception is lacking. This person doesn’t really, or doesn’t fully, see what has happened, doesn’t recognize it in a full-blooded way or take it in, because the emotional part of cognition is lacking (Nussbaum 79).

What is evident in NP’s story is that he is highly motivated and deeply satisfied with his work in the political arena. He loves the challenge of finding a path through the political process. Yet we all know how frustrating politics can be and how much time and effort it takes to convince people to enact sustainable legislation. When I asked him about the frustration of dealing with naysayers like the corporate leaders I have met who angrily reject the views of highly committed environmentalists, he said, smiling, 

well mostly I meet moral people more than people like the jerk who has a go at Suzuki.  It’s always been that I gravitate to those people anyway and don’t worry about the others, because it’s always been that 85% are jerks and that 15% will change the world, so why bother about the jerks, the 15% is enough. So if they want to reveal how little they know about the world, I smile and move on. And at every one of those cocktail parties I will find someone who will surprise me by how deep they are, how much they’ve thought about.

            I found this capacity for seeing in a ‘full-blooded’ way and discerning a path through the tangle of perception in many other stories.  It is, perhaps, the theme that threads them together and explains the subtle, mesmerizing, shifts in tone that accompanied the expression of these rich perceptions, a tone expressing soft, surprising, precious discovery.  None of the interviewees spoke with any sense of self-righteousness at these moments of insight.

Take SJ for example. SJ is a tall, slim, very fit, blond 27 yearold man who leads expeditions in sea kayaking off the coast of Nova Scotia.  Over a lengthy farm breakfast we discussed the path his life had taken and how he was managing to make a living while spending as much time as possible in the outdoors.  He had left Germany and gone to study mechanical engineering in New Zealand, having worked long enough to save the money for his education.  On weekends he went on magnificent outdoor trips hiking and kayaking in New Zealand’s exquisite natural environment. On Mondays he found himself in a classroom working on engineering problems.  “I began to think about the fact that Sundays were so much better than Mondays, and that I was working hard to get a life of Mondays”.  So he decided to make a life of Sundays and accept the challenges of trying to make a modest living doing what he loved best. When I asked him whether a life of leading people on expeditions wouldn’t ruin the joy of the activity, he said that while he leads kayak trips for a living, in his spare time he goes canoeing, and that when he does kayak with friends he fully enjoys the details that he can’t attend to when he is busy managing a trip.  When I asked him if he doesn’t develop a sense of disdain for the tourists he deals with he replied, shifting his tone to an almost reverential note, that the challenge of leadership is to maintain real respect for people who lack the knowledge and skills to go out on their own. To find a way to curb arrogance.  You could recognize the genuineness of this perception of value when he described his experiences on various trips.

Many people I interviewed had ‘escaped’ like SJ, from the enclosure of the corporate world.  BS, a vibrant, thoughtful young woman, described one experience that made it utterly clear to her that she needed to live closer to the natural world and the ensuing passionate concern she developed for its preservation and well being.

I worked for a company that made a lot of money. This was like a corporate monster as far as I was concerned all they cared about was making money for themselves [off internet gambling] and if it meant that other people’s lives [were harmed] then that really didn’t matter. And I was in an office on the 13th floor of an office building. 

There she was trapped in work that seemed inhumane behind windows that did not open. She looked out every day on the scenes of summer below her and realized that she needed to be outdoors.  This sense of being out of touch with the outdoors formed part of her motivation to go into environmental studies, where she struggles to understand how to balance social and environmental needs.

You can’t have a healthy environment without having a healthy economy, and a healthy society.  You have to realize that they all interact with each other and you have to have a balance of these concerns.  Everyone thinks that the minute you start talking about the environment, people think it is going to harm the economy [but] the environment and the economy are not at odds with each other.

Rich perceptions, real enthusiasm and a shift in tone when expressing their

views: these were clues to the presence of  ‘virtuous  awareness’ in the stories I heard

Aristotle’s idea was that the challenge for the person who wishes to live well is to

discern the salient features of the situation, including one’s own relation to it.  Discernment of salience requires the cultivation of moral sensitivity. In fact, the kind of knowledge that virtue entails is a cultivated sensitivity. “The deliverances of a reliable sensitivity are cases of knowledge” (McDowell 51). Knowing what to do has to do with being a certain kind of person, a person who sees things in “a certain distinctive way” (McDowell 73). Truly recognizing what is important consists in having the right emotional responses.  Being able to feel pain at the awareness of environmental destruction, for example, as Ray Anderson did, is appropriate to the situation.  Aristotle did not discuss the sense of loss that contemporary people feel about the environment because the threat we see did not exist in his time. 

To respond “at the right times with reference to the right objects, toward the right people, with the right aim, and in the right way, is what is appropriate and best, and this is characteristic of excellence” (Nichomachean Ethics, 1106b, 21-23, cited in Nussbaum 78).

             In every interview I could see the work that went into finding that personal point of balance in one’s life.  SB, a tall, lanky, somewhat laid back graduate student describes his high tech lifestyle and his love of technology in contrast with the elemental experience of hiking in Tasmania. 

I think that in the process [of our technologically saturated lifestyles] we’ve lost touch with another side of ourselves.  “Which side is that?” Well here is an example, on one of our walks in Tasmania we did a walk at a place called Frenchman’s Tap and it’s a famous peak that you can hike to the top of, and we did, we hiked to the top, but before you do that there’s a place called Lodden Plains, and they call it Sodden Lodden, and the reason for that is because it’s a bog and you have to walk through this and for the longest time I was dreading it, because I knew it was coming up and I knew about the Lodden Plains and I knew that there was mud up to your waist, sometimes, that you had to walk through and me being used to the spoiled lifestyle that I lead, was dreading this, was absolutely dreading this walk. But I have to say that I had more fun [and here his tone changes] on that walk than on any of the other walks precisely because I had to walk through the mud. Like I forgot that it was actually fun, like as a kid you jump into mud puddles and you do these things and you laugh and you giggle or whatever, and somehow I’d lost that.

This is a theme that recurs in these interviews: the quality of the

experience of being immersed in nature and away from the stimuli and demands of our technologically advanced societies. Finding the balance point. Several people talked about ‘downshifting’, accepting a simpler life, less focused on owning things, in exchange for more time and more access to nature.  SB expresses something of Aristotle’s idea that there is a balance that can be achieved, a ‘right’ way to respond to situations when he reflects on his experience hiking in Tasmania.

But there are people who can’t enjoy just being in a slowed down state in a natural environment, they need constant stimulus. We have become a society of people who have to have stuff going on, we have to have music, we have to have activity, and even some of the guys I went to Tasmania with, they’re what we call ‘peak baggers’ they’re interested in getting to the top of the peak and it’s not about the journey, it’s not about seeing anything, it’s just about ‘we did it’. And me, I could sit in a park for hours, you know, but they’re like ‘I’m bored’, how could you be bored?, look around you!, they had to be doing something. I was like ‘why don’t you go outside and go and sit by the lake and just listen and see what you see?;  They won’t be bored then. I think the thing that going out into nature does for me is that it allows me to stop, think and listen.

Earlier I alluded to Aristotle’s view that virtue consists in finding the balanced response to situations, responding in the right way, for the right reasons. Later philosophers have added the emphasis, implicit in his theory, that this kind of knowledge is a form of emotional understanding which reaches to the depths of our sense of how to live well. But emotions are not always happy ones, and much of the business of finding a balance is making space for the painful emotions.  Swords pierce our hearts and we grieve over losses of precious things. This was best expressed by MJ.

MJ is a lovely, soft-spoken, highly articulate reflective young woman.  She began the interview by saying that her strongest concern about the environment was a sense of loss of life and of diversity.   “We lose the beauty, and awe and hope and wonder when we lose the diversity of our creatures and the sanctity of our spaces.”  In this regard she quoted the famous Scandinavian environmentalist, Arne Naess, who wrote that environmental philosophy comes from a space of love and of pain.  And yes “that perfectly sums up my sentiments towards it”.  MJ grew up in a small beautiful town next to a mountain and a lake in the South Island of New Zealand.  When her family moved to a suburb of a city in Australia she lost touch with that sense of natural beauty. But after studying philosophy and literature at university she moved to the Gold Fields of West Australia, where, paradoxically, working for a mining company that was engaged in a significant amount of environmental destruction she was exposed, once again to vast and great natural beauty. She felt that her studies had given her a     

mind that thinks and a heart the cares about things and knows what’s going on and feels a great deal of sadness and a great deal of love towards the natural world and also a bit of anxiety about our social and cultural structures and practices and the loss of meaning and community and sanctity and membership that is quite prevalent

When I asked MJ whether she feels a sense of hopelessness about the 

environment, as many people do, she replied, thoughtfully, expressing the struggle for balance that forms part of the challenge for the person who seeks to live well.

I fluctuate, sometimes I feel a huge degree of hopelessness and despair, and struggling against too great odds with the powers that be, and greed and money and corporations and other times I sort of feel quite hopeful, or for lack of it, it is just necessary to be hopeful, its part of a willful community and the people that you surround yourself with who tend to be inspired and caring and so therefore you cultivate a community of hope. But at the same time that community sometimes seems like an overwhelming minority and that can make you quite despairing as well. I guess I straddle those two spaces.

As we have seen each of the persons described in this paper, at the time of the interviews, had found a place somewhere on that continuum of hope and despair, love and pain. Since none were oblivious to these tensions and each had carved out a position in relation to them, each can be said to have shown the three main virtues of honesty, courage and integrity. Ray Anderson demonstrated this in the sheer drama of turning his company around completely, and PN works every day in a politically challenging world, keeping his focus on the people who have something to offer and who care deeply about the issues.  SJ got rid of the pain of boredom and lack of contact with nature that he would have lived out had he chosen a life of Mondays, and finds a way to avoid losing respect for his tourists.  And he carefully cultivates occasions to experience the stillness he finds so satisfying in the wilderness.  BS, who left the enclosed office and social injustice of her work with the internet gambling company is working toward the ideal of developing an organic farm of her own and finding ways to balance economic, social and environmental health. SB also expressed the sense that we are losing our capacity for simple enjoyment like wading through the mud and sitting quietly by a lake, tempted as we are by all our high tech escapes.  And finally we ended with MJ, straddling the two spaces of hope and despair, trying to maintain a mind that thinks and a heart that cares. 

So we could say, in conclusion, that Aristotle was only half right to say that virtuous acts are by nature pleasant. They are because we are participating in something really good when we enact them. But at the same time, for people today, there is a great sense of sadness and loss at the harm we do to ourselves when we undermine the environment that sustains us.  Yet anyone can be angry, and complacency is easy and so is skepticism.  The balancing that is required to keep from falling into ineffective ranting anger, or unrealistic hope and complacency, or skepticism with its underside of despair does call for the virtues of courage, honesty and integrity. My hope is that I have captured glimpses of these qualities as they emerged in the non-fiction stories that I heard during these enchanting conversations.       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Aristotle. The Nichomachean Ethics. Richard McKeon, ed. New York: Random House, 1941.

 Anderson, Ray. Company Information: About Interface. Interface, Inc. 10.08.05. <http://www.interfaceinc.com/us/company/about/ray_anderson.asp>

Bakan, Joel.  The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power. Toronto: Viking, 2004.

The Corporation: A film by Mark Achbar,  Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan.  10.08.05. <http://www.thecorporation.com/.>

Hawken, Paul. The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability. New York: Harper Business, 1993.

McDowell, John. Mind, Value and Reality. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002.

Nussbaum, Martha. Love’s Knowledge:  Essays on Philosophy and Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Taylor, Charles. Sources of the Self: the Making of the Modern Identity. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.