Some introductory words by Professor Richards…

Think of the diverse human beliefs and practices of the past and the present as cultural resources available to be employed in the construction of a world that works for everybody. Think of the social sciences as innovative language-games, not as mirrors that reflect social reality, but as social movements that reconstitute social reality. Think of the problems of constructing sustainable relationships between the human species and the biosphere; of instituting peace; and of achieving social justice; as problems of methodology. Think of the global economy as the logic of the market writ large. Think of the logic of the market as the survival strategy followed by the human animal when faced with an environment fundamentally shaped by the legal framework of the modern civil codes that govern commerce. The modern codes update but do not transform principles drawn from ancient Rome – suum cuique, honeste vivare, non fit injuria, pacta sunt servanda. How can “we” transform the universal minimal morality of the market into a mosaic of diverse solidarities, while at the same time coping with the systemic imperatives of economic reality as it is currently constituted? That is the question I try to answer in my work. Who is this “we”? That is another question I try to answer.

–Howard Richards
January 2004