The following is an interview between Web Coordinator of the Sapiens Tribune, Felicia Appenteng, and Sapiens Editor and Professor of Philosophy at the IE School of Arts and Humanities, Julián Montaño.


FA:  If Jeremy Bentham were to teach a group of students at IE Business School, what would his most valuable lesson be?

JM:  None. The best thing for a IE student is not to read Bentham in any case. A supposed thinker that states that the principal ethical key, the first moral principle (“we are to act so as to bring about the greatest happiness of the greatest number”) could be at odds with common sense, should not be a learning source for any common-sensical living being. If IE decided to enrol classic thinkers should start with Aristotle and St. Augustine, St Thomas and Leibniz, Kant and Wittgenstein, Hilary Putnam or Sir Isaiah Berlin, never with Bentham, Mill or any utilitarian thinker whatsoever.

FA:  Do the non-profit world and the profit-making world have an obligation to each other?  What can they teach each other about business?

JM:  There are no obligations about oneself (I do not see any logical sense in the expression “to have an obligation about oneself”, if I do not accomplish my obligation about myself, would I punish myself?). Now, there are not two worlds: profit making world AND non-profit. There are only one world: the world of interesting an adding-value projects -and the underworld of non-adding value projects. What you call non-profit and profit worlds play the same match in the same in league. They are one of a kind.  Two things that are one of a kind do not have obligations to each other, since obligations about oneself do not exist. What adding value projects should do (either profit or non-profit) is just to add value to people, to stakeholders: stockholders and readers, clients and viewers, providers and students.

FA:  How has your master’s degree in philosophy influenced your marketing skills?


JM:  Marketing is a pretty tricky thing for which you do need two abilities: analytical skills and synthetic skills, analysis and creativity, put that in another way: logical skills and the ability to grasp point of views. Philosophy is based upon the ability of combining both: to scrutinise arguments and to reach to the abstract/different/non-immediate point of view of things.

FA:  A lot has been said recently about the value of humanities, as many people find disciplines such as economics and medicine to be more valuable.  This discussion became even more prominent after Anthony Kroneman published, “Education’s End.”  How would you describe the value of the humanities?


JM:  The value of humanities is incommensurable. Humanities tell us precisely what “Value” is, what is for a thing to be valuable to somebody. Humanities tell us when something is a Value or not, in the formal sense, but also tell us when do something become a Value for somebody, and sometimes, as in ethical thinking, when something, in the material sense, is acceptable as a “Value”. Therefore is most valuable, there won’t be things with “Value” in a world without Humanities, without deep thinking and creativity, things without a immediate end, that is to say with a mediate end (a Value).

FA:  As a marketing manager, what sorts of cultural changes have you observed over the span of your career?

JM:  I dare to advance- you the cultural changes in the last years I observed. The end of the postmodern perspectivism and the moral relativism, typical of the 80’s and 90’s and the beginning of a world with a more ethical and thick point of view (as opposed to the post modern aestheticist and simplistic ways of seeing the world). There is more moral commitment, more personal involvement. There is also more communitarian participation, therefore more agreement and consensus. We have problems (multiculturalism, fundamentalism, ecology) so challenging that we have adopted a very practical and resolutive standpoint, in community nonetheless, more than in the past two decades.

FA:  As an Editor for The Sapiens Tribune, how do you choose the topics which you write about?  What do you think the importance of blogs is in contemporary intellectual discourse?


JM:  I try to choose interesting points more abundantly than avant-garde and academicist topics. Humanities and philosophy in particular should be entertaining, even funny if possible. Blog should be a flexible, nimble, encounter point, so there is no need for heavy, hard to read topics. Blogs are the typical community-centered knowledge tool of these era, the era of the Connected Reason, the era in which to share things (words and money, images and signs) and rotate them in is more important than to stock them unusefully.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

We use both our own and third-party cookies to enhance our services and to offer you the content that most suits your preferences by analysing your browsing habits. Your continued use of the site means that you accept these cookies. You may change your settings and obtain more information here. Accept