Reclaiming the ‘science’ in Moral Science
It appears fair to conclude that a science of morals may not translate with ease for application in the prevailing social structures of law, politics, corporate sector and the academia. One reason for this could be that these institutions are in fact collectives of individuals, each of whom is impacted by various forces as they negotiate their own processes of being and becoming. An institutional character, therefore, becomes difficult to restructure since it even defies universal definition. Though its contours are tangible to the society that is part of the structure as well as to those outside it, with whom it may or may not interact, interventions may not be effective if administered as if for a whole. Though the structure is a sum of its parts, the parts themselves are independent and heterogeneous agents. An act of re-structuring may have to take cognisance of this and can hope to cause an impact only if it caters to this reality.
A second reason why a science of morals may be difficult to implement in existing institutions is the fact that these are mechanisms that are human-created to achieve certain finite ends and are, therefore, subject to contrived directives as distinct from natural laws. I would like to dwell on this aspect of the problem with greater emphasis. For, would it not be intuitive for a science of morals to concern itself first with that which we imbibe and exhibit naturally rather than with that which we are perforce obliged to imbibe and exhibit?
[To be continued]