Weeding the management garden: Hume’s Fork and action nominalism at work

Robert Spillane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, it is argued that management is a relationship based on rational authority – or reasoned elaboration – and its main vehicle is argumentation. Authoritarian management, on the other hand, is based on a rejection of argumentation in favor of base rhetoric in the form of management jargon. If managers aspire to authoritative status by criticizing the obfuscating jargon and pretentious nonsense that characterizes much management discourse, the study of philosophy is especially indicated. Philosophers can provide the tools by which hundreds of pages of meaningless jargon can be reduced to a few pages of truth-bearing propositions. Two important tools in this endeavor are nominalism and Hume’s Fork.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of philosophy of management
EditorsCristina Neesham, Steven Segal
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783319483528
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameHandbooks in philosophy
ISSN (Print)2524-4361
ISSN (Electronic)2524-437X


  • Management jargon
  • Authority
  • Authoritarianism
  • Action nominalism
  • Hume’s Fork


Dive into the research topics of 'Weeding the management garden: Hume’s Fork and action nominalism at work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this