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Abstract

Buddhist philosophy teaches a thoroughly relational ontology, holding that what really is are relations and processes enfolding out of a common substrate though time. Often, however, attempts to apply Buddhist thinking to economic issues seem to forget this. Corporations and markets are described in the language of substantive structures and impersonal mechanisms, rather than in relational and process terms. This essay argues that a thorough-going Buddhist analysis, supplemented by contemporary insights from feminist theory, yields a relational understanding of business firms and markets that can help move debates about ethics and business beyond issues of scale.

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