Lecture Note BBA 7th. Semester: Patan Multiple Campus Prof. Bijaya Gopal Shrestha Scholastic philosophy
✓ The term scholastic is derived from the Latin word scholasticus and the Greek scholastikos. ✓ Scholastic means a man devoted to studying or scholar. ✓ The term philosophy represents a way of thinking about the world, the universe, and it works by asking very basic questions about the nature of human thought, the nature of the universe, and the connections between them. ✓ As a single expression, scholastic philosophy can be termed as scholasticism.
Scholastic philosophy represents a medieval school of philosophy as teaching learning pedagogy through dialectic method.
Dialectic means the art or practice of arriving at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments.
Scholastic philosophy is a teaching learning pedagogy through dialectical reasoning.
Scholasticism originally began as a reconciliation of the philosophy of the ancient classical philosophers (particularly Aristotle (384–322 b.c.e.) with medieval Christian theology (Dogma or religious belief) through dialectic method.
There were great practices among medieval philosophers to incorporate Aristotle’s philosophy in defense of the faith. The most important Aristotelian principle is the idea of being (human) and an understanding of what all things are composed of.
There were different contradictory views about existence, knowledge, life, power, morality, human nature, and general reality. Therefore the ideal goal of Scholasticism was the certain truth, through dialectic method with the instruments like definition, distinction, and argumentation, although frequently it could reach only probable conclusions.
There should be a clear delimitation (demarcation) of the respective domains of philosophy and theology.
Scholasticism highlights Man should guide his faith with his reason. The reason should guide the faith.
Scholastic philosophy refers to a tool and method of learning which emphasized dialectical reasoning to extend knowledge by inference and to resolve contradictions. Therefore, it is a teaching learning pedagogy through dialectical reasoning.
Lecture Note BBA 7th. Semester: Patan Multiple Campus Prof. Bijaya Gopal Shrestha The Kantian Ethics
✓ The Kantian ethics is one of the normative ethical theories. ✓ Kantian ethics is popular as DEONTOLOGY. ✓ Immanuel Kant (1724 -1804) is popular philosopher in explaining Deontological Ethics. Kant is famous as Non-consequentialist Philosopher.
Duty based morality in human conducts is the main prescription of Kantian ethics. It suggests us to do our duty disregards of the consequence. “Do your duty that is best; leave unto the Lord the rest.”
Some scholars have explained the Kantian Ethics linking with Niskam Karma (Desire less action). It is one of the central moral philosophy of Bhagvad Gita.
Kant’s Categorical Imperative Kant developed a particular principle to determine moral duty, which he called the categorical imperative. It suggests that the imperatives of morality are not hypothetical but categorical. For example ‘Do not cheat the customers,’ ‘Fair pricing,’ ‘Honor your promise’ are the inherent corporate duty.
Categorical means ‘without any doubt.’ It also represents ‘not hypothetical.’ It connotes without conditions. Imperative means absolutely necessary or unavoidable. The categorical imperative is the central philosophical concept in the deontological (duty based) moral philosophy of Kant. It is referred to as Kantian deontology. It was introduced in Kant’s Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785).
Kant believed that inclinations, emotions, and consequences should play no role in the moral action. The core formulations categorical imperative includes: (i) Autonomy, (ii) Humanity, and (iii) Universality, and (iv) The Law of nature. One should respect human dignities (i.e., treat all people as free and equal to us, don't exploit people). ‘Treat others as you would like to be treated,’ Universality of the behavior is one of the main focuses of the Categorical Imperative. One should act only according to that maxim which can be universalized. It means to act only in ways that one would wish others to act when faced with the same circumstances.
The Kantian ethics is very rational philosophy for the harmonious society. Despite the eminent rationalities and righteousness associated with the Kantian ethics, several CRITICISMS are recorded. ✓ Rigidity is one of the main problems of Kantian ethics. ✓ It solely dishonors the outcome as a valid factor in evaluating the morality of an action. ✓ Kant’s categorical imperative is not actually free from consequentialism view. It is because; its motivation is also oriented toward the consequence, i.e., universality. ✓ It denies expectations of growth. Private sectors’ motivation toward the economic objective (their desire for profit) is not valid as per Kant.
No one can survive, indeed, in this world with rigid deontology in all respects. In many instances human beings must think the consequence of their action. Lecture Note BBA 7th. Semester: Patan Multiple Campus Prof. Bijaya Gopal Shrestha The Machiavellian Principle
✓ Machiavellian principle is well-known political philosophy propounded by Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527), renowned western (Italian) philosopher. ✓ The main sources of Machiavellian principles are his book The Discourses (about republic) and The Prince (about monarchism). These are based on the observations of political situation of Medieval Period Europe, especially Italy. ✓ Machiavellian principles were more focused on the qualities of political ruler. ✓ It is more political philosophy than an ethical theory. It is about statecraft. ✓ The Machiavellian principles focus largely on preserving state and retaining power of ruler rather than pursuing ideals. ✓ The basic assumption of Machiavelli is: “Human nature is fundamentally bad. They are Selfish, Fickle, Egoistic, and Runaway from danger, Aggressive.” Therefore, there is significance of Prince (Monarch). Machiavellian principles are basically the suggestions to the ruler. He suggests that every society consists of two sections: (i) Nobility and (ii) Common people. Nobility section of society is more dangerous and less reliable for prince whereas, common people are less dangerous and more reliable. Therefore prince should base his power on common people.
Critical overview of Machiavellian principle ✓ Its fundamental assumption about human being is pessimistic. ✓ Machiavelli suggests maintaining fearful environment than love. But he suggest to ruler to appear as good as he can. Therefore, it is double standard conception. ✓ According to Machiavellian principle political ruler is allowed to break the conventional moral principles. Accordingly, ruler (Prince) is above those principles. Ruler can make moral principles through laws. Whereas common people must obey those all moral principles. ✓ Machiavellian principle advocates cruelty to political opposition for the power of political ruler. However, it also advocates preservation of state. ✓ It advocates dual morality concept. One for political ruler and next for common people. Machiavellian principle argue against the nobility/elite group of society and suggest cruelty to them when need. Lecture Note BBA 7th. Semester: Patan Multiple Campus Prof. Bijaya Gopal Shrestha Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill
✓ It is one of the Normative Ethics and important part of Teleological Ethics ✓ Utilitarianism is also known as Consequentialism ✓ Consequence of the conducts is its major concern, i.e., the end justifies the means ✓ It suggests to regard the consequence as a predictor to evaluate ethical stance ✓ Actions those maximize pleasure and minimize pain is to be considered as ethical ✓ Our duty is to promote the greatest happiness of the greatest number. ✓ Bentham (1748-1832) and Mill (1806-1873) are popular philosophers of Utilitarianism. ✓ It is consistent with the Buddhist philosophy: Bahujana sukhaya bahujana hitaya
According to Bentham the consequences can be measured in some way. The pleasure (positives) and pain (negatives) of different individuals be added together and based on the results different courses of action can be compared. Bentham had formulated precise quantitative measurement of pleasure and pain. A way of measurement that he called as: hedonistic calculus. The evaluating procedure of pleasure and happiness is as follows: Intensity: How strong it is Duration: How long it is Certainty: How likely it could be Propinquity: When it could arrive Fecundity: If it will cause further pleasure Purity: How free from pain it is Extent: How many people are affected Critiques view that Bentham’s hedonistic version of utilitarianism failed to differentiate between kinds and qualities of pleasure. Some have criticized it by illustrating pig’s pleasure. J. S. Mill attempted to develop a more defensible version of the utilitarian position. Mill has substantially modified Bentham’s Utilitarianism and popularized it. Mill holds that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others. It means pleasure also differ in their quality. Mill's major contribution to utilitarianism is his argument for the qualitative separation of pleasures. Thus, in calculating the greatest happiness, one must make qualitative distinctions. Utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill is relatively clear. In many cases, Utilitarianism is foundation of law making. It is consistent with many religious claims. It is comfortable for moral reasoning in different business issues and dilemma.
Criticisms of the Utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill Most of the criticisms are directed to their arguments of happiness as pleasure and how pleasure is to be defined and measured. We can predict only some of the consequences of our actions. We have no way of measuring happiness. We cannot say, for instance, that the consumption gives us ten times happiness we would get from a saving. There are further difficulties about comparing the happiness of different people. The weighing of consequences is vague intuition than scientific calculation. The same action can be ethical for some time and situation while unethical for the next. Some critical questions are: Can utilitarianism account for justice and fairness? Is there any space for personal integrity in utilitarianism? Is there any space for humanity in utilitarianism? Can it address unjust inequalities in society? How it can address for minorities? Lecture Note BBA 7th. Semester: Patan Multiple Campus Prof. Bijaya Gopal Shrestha The Moral Positivism of Thomas Hobbes
The moral positivism of Tomas Hobbes is commonly known as political philosophy that describes the real world situation and the fact about peaceful coexistence of human being. The following issues are major concern of the moral positivism of Tomas Hobbes:
To understand the moral positivism of Tomas Hobbes, first we must think about THE STATE OF NATURE, the situation when there was not state or government and no governing power (no ruler). It was a pre-political and pre-moral stage of human society. In this situation, every individual has NATURAL RIGHT. In such a situation, the people were equal and free. People are by nature brutish, nasty, and selfish. Therefore, it results war of everyone against everyone due to equality. It is the situation of NATURAL RIGHT with every individual and no rule of law.
Unhealthy aggressive competition Every body's NATURAL RIGHTS results Dangerous conflict
In this situation there can be no morality, justice, industry or civilization due to lawlessness. However, every rational being obviously try to avoid this state of nature and natural right for their peaceful living. Therefore, people decide to give up all their NATURAL RIGHTS, except the right to self preservation, by establishing an all powerful authority called “Sovereign” to control and regulate their life. The sovereign is like an Absolute Monarch. The sovereign brings safety of life, security of property, law and order, justice and morality to society. According to Hobbes, it is the process of the origin of state. This process is known as SOCIAL CONTRACT. It was described in his well- known text LEVIATHAN. It represents creation of common wealth as state.
CRITICISMS Opponents of Hobbes argue that his approach to the human being is very pessimistic and based on the false idea that people are selfish and cruel creatures. So it is a dark theory. It does not trust in human beings and thus favors a regime of absolute monarchy. It proposes severe rules and little space for freedoms. A contract is simply “the mutual transferring of right.” The longevity of such a contract is a major issue. How it is possible to hold from one generation to the next? Origin and content of established social contract may not fit for coming generation. Lecture Note BBA 7th. Semester: Patan Multiple Campus Prof. Bijaya Gopal Shrestha Divine Command Ethics
✓ The word Divine is directed to a deity or a God. ✓ Divine command ethics is an ethical view based on theism or the belief that God exists. According to divine command ethics, God’s will alone decides what is right and wrong and human reason has no authority, God has absolute authority. ✓ The theory of divine command ethics asserts that actions are right or wrong depending on whether they follow God’s commands or not. ✓ It is also known as theological voluntarism. It can be explained as a theory of the relationship between morality and religion. ✓ It can be linked with Meta-ethics. It deals with the meaning of ethical terms, the nature of moral discourse, and the foundations of moral principles. ✓ One of the greatly admired advocates of divine command ethics is St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). ✓ His most influential work is the Summa Theologica which consists of three parts explaining existence and attributes of God, ethics, and Christ. ✓ Divine command ethics believe in religion's role in our society. The advocates of divine command ethics strongly argue that: • God is eternal. God created the universe and everything in it, including human beings. • If God created human beings, then God has an absolute claim on our obedience. • If God has an absolute claim on our obedience, then we should always obey God's commands. • Therefore, the Divine Command theory is true.
CRITICISMS Critiques of Divine Command Theory argue that • Divine Command Theory is highly controversial. Most of the objections on divine command theory are targeted with its multiplicity in viewpoint rather than the theism. • One objection, among others, focuses on a great number of religions in the world. The believers of different religion have their own interpretations of the nature and commands of their God. Furthermore, in a single religion, there are different schisms (e.g., Theravada (Hinayana), Mahayana, and Vajrayana in Buddhism; Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant in Christianity; in the same way Hinduism and Islam have also different branches). • No one can justify that only one religion is correct. So it is very complex to define divine command. • The religions of the world often give conflicting accounts of the nature and content of the commands of God. Divine command theory is thus a kind of moral relativism: what's right or wrong is what one's God (like one's self or one's society) says is right or wrong--and there are no moral standards. • Morality cannot be dependent on the will of God. History demonstrates that morals change over time and without special revelations from any god. Examples include the changes of moral stance in the issues of gay men, lesbians, abortion, and many other human right concepts.
Lecture Note BBA 7th. Semester: Patan Multiple Campus Prof. Bijaya Gopal Shrestha Virtue Ethics
✓ Virtue ethics presupposes that ethical action depends on virtue and a virtuous person will naturally act ethically. Law, education and practical wisdom plays a greater role in making the citizens virtuous. ✓ Most virtue ethics theories take their inspiration from Aristotle. Aristotle’s one of the most widely read and influential works is the Nicomachean Ethics. ✓ Virtue ethics is popular as Aristotelian ethics. However, many philosophers consider Cardinal Virtues of Plato (428 BC – 348 BC) and Golden Mean of Aristotle (384 BC -322 BC) as ground work of VIRTUE ETHICS.
Temperance: It represents self-control. It involves the ability to modulate oneself in regard to pleasure, emotion, desire, and self-fulfillment. Temperance gives us the ability to control ourselves in terms of what we want and desire. Some philosopher argues temperance as “Wholeness”.
Prudence: It represents "practical wisdom" as opposed to the wisdom of a CARDINAL theoretical philosopher. So it is also termed as “Wise Judgment”. VIRTUES
Courage: It means fortitude. It represents virtues of self-efficacy. It denotes the ability to persist in our goals despite pain, suffering, hardship, discouragement, obstacle and personal risk.
Justice: It represents fair-mindedness (Impartiality). Temperance, prudence, and courage serve as the basis for justice.
Golden Mean is very popular concept in virtue ethics theory as philosophy of moderate position. It is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example, Flattery and Surliness are vices. Whereas, Friendliness is the moderate position Acting morally is a moderate position between those two extremes. The specific mean will depend on the person and it can be determined by a rational principle with practical wisdom. Virtue is a state of character concerned with rational choice of mean. The Concept of Golden Mean [The doctrine of the mean]
Undoubtedly virtue ethics is oriented toward making genuine world. Proponents thought that the best way to bring about the greatest good is possible by developing the virtues.
CRITICISMS of VIRTUE ETHICS • Critiques think that virtue ethics is vague in nature. It fails to give us any help for moral behavior. • It fails to be action-guiding in particular and stands only as character based philosophy. • There is also the question of how to apply virtue theory to moral dilemmas. For example, what is the virtuous stance to take on the issue of abortion? So identifying the virtues is difficult in many cases. Virtue ethics cannot give us an easy and instant answer. • It emphasizes moral judgment with practical wisdoms. In many cases a life-long process of moral learning that will only provide clear answers, when one reaches moral maturity.