Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Views on ethics

Agawu's article talks about the significance of recognizing the issue of ethics in ethnomusicology and ethnography, or pretty much everything. It first points out that the nature of ethics as a dicey ambiguous concept of life principles makes it hard to determine /define or touch upon in researches. Just like the author puts it," how can we determine what is right/wrong."
Also a t a society that has developed its own set of morals and codes shall we seek to break free the rules sometimes?
The article then illustrates the areas where ethnic come into effect or cause discussions. Such as music's moral values, induce the tradition/history/location behind the music and the text set for the music.
The author repeatedly mentions the difficulties ethnomusicologist face in terms of incorporating the issue of ethics into their research study. There are several examples i find in the papers interesting.
First, Appiah listed five feathers in African ethical thoughts, including communitarian, anti universalist, naturalistic, no formal moral vocabulary, humanist, he also contrasted these features with western ones, and concluded with individuality reputation&status,organized moral reflection and such. This has led me to think that, the five features Appiah described seem to fit Mary underdeveloped or developing societies. If we go back into the western history we even see similar thoughts. Therefore I m questioning that should we describe these features as "ethical thoughts"? Shall we consider ethics as a simple definite right or wrong answers or iOS it relative and more like inclinations? Does the ethical thoughts still remain while the economy advances or the politics gains power? What if such ethical values meet the world?

Secondly, what is the relation between principles of ethics and human nature?
Is it something image or earned?
How about the relation between principles of ethic dated culture /tradition?
Is agawu actually using "ethics" as a broad term for and inclusion of cultures ,human nature, and human beings?

Thirdly, if we look at the origin, the term ethics came from Greek philosophies. It is also known as moral philosophy and is a branch of philosophy that involves Systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right/wrong behaviors. Socrates thought self knowledge is considered necessary for success and a person must become aware of every fact and its context relevant to his existence if he wishes to attain self knowledge. While Aristotle stated that self realizationism, a baby at birth is not a person but a potential person to become a real person the child's inherent potential must be realized.
In Chinese philosophy there is also a parallel that is called moist consequentialism. It is a theory that evaluates the moral worth of an action based on how much it contributes to the social harmony of a state. "order, material wealth, increase in population".

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