Moral and Political Philosophy

Moral and political philosophy is such an inquiry. Both are dimensions of what we can call the philosophical enterprise. From the studies of philosophy, especially the understanding philosophy as the love of wisdom, philosophy provides deep insight into the human condition.

These insights that philosophy provides is a guide to actions in a world filled with ups and downs. The wisdom that philosophy searches for is a comprehensive set of beliefs and ideas that acts as a general vision or perspective about the universe, a person’s place in the universe, and the possible goals and objectives a person may productively pursue in the universe.

Essentially therefore, philosophy seeks to promote human understanding. Philosophy helps human beings to understand the universe and the human condition, and in turn that understanding is brought to bear on human actions.

In other words, an action becomes a meaningful one to the extent that it results from an adequate understanding of the human condition and it leads to an action that enables man to cope with the uncertainties of the universe and live a meaningful life. The survival of the human person is therefore directly tied to the idea of human understanding.

Political philosophy is fundamentally concerned with the problem of how humans can achieve the organization of the society to enable development, progress and the good life.

At the heart of moral and political philosophy are questions about how we should live, and about how we should conceive of the relation between the good for ourselves and the obligations that we bear to others.

Moral philosophy is the branch of learning that deals with the nature of morality and the theories that are used to arrive at decisions about what one ought to do and why. Much has been written about moral philosophy and the theories that support ethical decisions.

Political philosophy is a branch of philosophy that is concerned, at the most abstract level, with the concepts and arguments involved in political opinion. The meaning of the term political is itself one of the major problems of political philosophy.

Morality and Ethics

Whether or not you have taken a course in philosophy or in ethics before, most of us are familiar with ethical or moral terms. Terms like good, bad/evil, right, wrong, just, unjust, moral and immoral often come up in our attempt to judge the behaviour or action of other people, the state, the state institutions, or even ourselves.

These terms become useful, in other words, when we consider what a person or institutions or government ought or should do and what they shouldn’t do. It would seem to most of us that the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral, just and unjust can be compared, without any problem, to the difference between black and white. An action is either good or bad; a decision is either right or wrong, a situation is either just or unjust.

Given the concern of moral philosophy with the way we act, behave or go about making crucial and critical decisions, especially about how we relate with others or how we live the good life in the human society, it becomes crucial to understand what ethics fundamentally is.

If the difference between good and bad or right or wrong is not as easily determined as the difference between black and white, then what are the things, factors or variables to consider in making decisions that will, for instance, touch the lives of millions of people in a state? The decision a person takes at any point in time may be determined by self-interest, law, customs, traditions, etc.

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