- New Horizons in Leadership Studies series
Chapter 6: Language, ethics and leadership
Ethics begins only when the good is revealed to consist in nothing other than a grasping of evil and when the authentic and the proper have no other content than the inauthentic and the improper. (Agamben, 1993, p. 12). . . . what drives the nations of the earth toward a single common destiny is the alienation from linguistic being, the uprooting of all peoples from their vital dwelling in language. (Agamben, 1993, p. 82). This chapter looks at the construction of leadership through an aspect of community – language. The link that this has with ethical notions of leadership is also reviewed and a discussion is held on the dualistic nature of ethics in leadership. Agamben’s words above, therefore, seem to resonate with this chapter as he appears to be suggesting that we can only judge what is good in comparison to what is bad and vice versa, we can only judge what is bad in comparison to what is good. He goes on to put forward that good and evil have the same state of things, ‘they are perfectly identical’ (Agamben, 1993, p. 91). This relational sense of ethics and authenticity seems to connect well to the discussions held in this chapter where ideas of community that are based on a communicative view are explored.
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