The Aesthetics of Business

An aesthetic judgment, according to John Dobson, consists of five elements: disinterest, subjectivity, inclusivity, contemplativity, and internality. In his article “Aesthetics as a Foundation for Business Activity” (2007, Journal of Business Ethics), Dobson explains how businesses today need to consider aesthetics in their business practices. People (i.e., consumers) are no longer satisfied with the simple logical, ethical, or economic approaches that have dominated business previously.

People have asked about their business whether it is profitable and ethical. However, Dobson argues that they should also ask whether it is beautiful. In other words, he claims that making decisions on the basis of the five elements of aesthetic judgment “will better align business activity with societal quality of life.”

The postmodern condition challenged the foundations of economic and moral judgments, since they rest on truth claims. The judgment of beauty, however, has a privileged position because it does not depend on a truth claim; it is a primordial valuation, according to Dobson. He concludes that an appreciation of beauty in business can lead to better decisions that can improve the quality of life.

*Please click the link above to get the full text of John Dobson’s interesting article, and then comment below!

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