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Posthuman Affirmative Business Ethics: Reimagining Human-Animal Relations Through Speculative Fiction

By J. Sayers, L. Martin, E. Bell

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Posthuman affirmative ethics relies upon a fluid, nomadic conception of the ethical subject who develops affective, material and immaterial connections to multiple others. Our purpose in this paper is to consider what posthuman affirmative business ethics would look like, and to reflect on the shift in thinking and practice this would involve. The need for a revised understanding of human-animal relations in business ethics is amplified by crises such as climate change and pandemics that are related to ecologically destructive business practices such as factory farming. In this analysis, we use feminist speculative fiction as a resource for reimagination and posthuman ethical thinking. By focusing on three ethical movements experienced by a central character named Toby in Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy, we show how she is continually becoming through affective, embodied encounters with human and nonhuman others. In the discussion, we consider the vulnerability that arises from openness to affect which engenders heightened response-ability to and with, rather than for, multiple others. This expanded concept of subjectivity enables a more relational understanding of equality that is urgently needed in order to respond affirmatively to posthuman futures.

Date 2021
Publication Title J Bus Ethics
Pages 1-12
ISBN/ISSN 0167-4544 (Print)0167-4544
DOI 10.1007/s10551-021-04801-8
Author Address Massey Business School, Massey University, 1 University Avenue, Albany, Auckland, 0632 New Zealand. GRID: grid.148374.d. ISNI: 0000 0001 0696 9806University of Auckland Business School, University of Auckland, Sir Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland, 1010 New Zealand. GRID: grid.9654.e. ISNI: 0000 0004 0372 3343The Open University Business School, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA UK. GRID: grid.10837.3d. ISNI: 0000000096069301
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals
  2. Employees
  3. Ethics
  4. Feminism
  5. Imagination
  6. Literature
  7. open access
  8. Posthumanism
  9. Referral and Consultation
  10. rights
  1. open access