“Ethics and economics are always embedded in culture and express cultural values. Following this insight, economics and ethics are rethought as culturalist ethics and made fruitful for practical questions...”
The team led by Thomas Beschorner focuses on a range of topics related to "Economy – Culture – Ethics", all of which are examined from a cultural-theoretical perspective. This approach is both theoretically grounded and practically applicable.
The theoretical aspect involves rethinking both economics and ethics, and bridging the gap between them using a "culturalist ethics" approach. To achieve this, the team employs a multi-level social science model that comprises a theory of action, institutions, organization, and systems, and investigates concrete social practices and their social contexts. Additionally, the team develops a concept of "ethics from below" that aligns with these practices. Consequently, a cultural theory of morality and a moral theory of culture are essential components of the proposed culturalist ethics.
This general perspective serves as a heuristic for examining various research topics, and underpins the work of the team's staff and external doctoral candidates. These topics include corporate social responsibility, responsible leadership, financial market institutions, and corruption.
In addition, the team focuses on questions related to the ethics of digitalization, such as human-machine interactions and robot ethics, blockchain technology, social credit systems, and the impact of surveillance societies.
The team's research work and teaching activities - both undergraduate and continuing education - reflect these various areas of focus. The team also regularly contributes to public discourse through articles in the media.
Thomas Beschorner is a Professor of Business Ethics and Director of the Institute for Business Ethics at the University of St.Gallen. He works on topics at the intersection of social sciences and ethics in general, particularly in the fields of business ethics & CSR, ethics of AI, and sports & ethics. He has published over 100 research articles and regularly writes in Die Zeit, Zeit Online, NZZ, Spiegel Online, FAZ, and other leading media in the German-speaking world.