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Picture of Professional Morality and Guilty Bystanding

Professional Morality and Guilty Bystanding

Merton’s Conjectures and the Value of Work

Author(s): Barry L. Padgett
Contributors: Barry L. Padgett;

Book Description

Work as center of life has such an important role in our lives; it bears a standard by which we measure our success. It is a major component of self-actualization and well-being. Professional life offers the hope of rewarding work, not just financially but work that is fulfilling. However, professions are also riddled with complexities and ethical conflicts that obstruct the goal of meaningful work. Our jobs are fraught with moral ambiguities and dilemmas; these become sources of frustration and alienation. What is needed is a transformation, a renewal of our professional lives and the institutional contexts in which we operate, to humanize the alienating aspects of work and professions. Thomas Merton (1915-1968), though a cloistered monk, wrote extensively on spiritual and social issues. He has been called "a spiritual master" for contemporary times. He possessed an uncanny sense of self-awareness and moral imagination. His life and writings have inspired countless persons on life’s spiritual journey. Yet, while people have looked to Merton for guidance on spiritual issues, the implications of his thought for several other areas of life are open to exploration. This book focuses on the significance of his reflections in Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, which offer one the confidence to embark on a journey that seeks to transcend the complexities of professional life, and courage to transform the negative features of workplaces and organizations through reasoned moral action, moral imagination, and leadership.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-0245-1
ISBN-10: 1-4438-0245-X
Date of Publication: 01/03/2009
Pages / Size: 160 / A5
Price: £34.99


Barry L. Padgett is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. His area of specialization is applied philosophy; he teaches Bioethics to graduate students in fields of Nursing and Physical Therapy, and a Business Ethics component of the MBA program at Bellarmine. He holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University.