The Problem of Morals, Art and PoliticsJune 26, 2021
Oh philosophy, the guide of life! O seeker of virtues, exorcist of vices! What would we and human history do without you?
Because language is ambiguous, philosophers have attempted to clarify meanings while seeking answers to philosophical questions.
Questions of the sort Socrates asks Athenian citizens also attempt to reveal what they essentially believe about certain concepts.
Socrates asked his fellow countrymen, “What is justice?” or “What is beauty?” While asking seemingly simple questions like this, he aimed not only to illuminate the meanings but also to explore the concepts themselves. In such debates, Socrates has challenged assumptions about the way we live life and what we consider important.
What it really means to lead a “good” life, concepts such as justice and happiness, and how we can achieve them; researching how we should behave forms the basis of the ethical (or moral philosophy) branch of philosophy, and the branch in question was born from the question of why beauty and art, known as aesthetics, came into existence.
Reflecting on ethical questions about our individual lives is a natural step to start thinking about the kind of society we might want to live in—how to run it, the rights and responsibilities of citizens. One of the important branches of philosophy, political philosophy deals with these thoughts, and philosophers come up with models about how society should be organized in line with their own beliefs, from Plato’s “State” to Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım