Reclaiming the ‘science’ in Moral Science
Reflection is understood in two ways: 1) as the mirror-image of an object and 2) as a thought process that involves deliberate contemplation. Moral Science would make use of Reflection of both kinds to evaluate individual nature, which is the object of its study.
You would normally see, in a reflection, the physical contours of an object that is appropriately placed in front of a reflecting surface. You could also see, say on a pool of still water, a distant object such as the moon. And, yet again, you could witness, reflected through judicious use of gadgets, a solar eclipse that may otherwise not be directly seen.
Let us first consider the metaphor of a mirror-image. Whosever the individual, when one stands in front of the simple mirror, one can see oneself. Going beyond the physical contours, a ‘moral mirror’ would be used as a thought tool to consider the reflection we see in the mirror as that of a being who is made up of not only physical organs but mental and emotional states of being and becoming. Just as a simple mirror image can help us appreciate our appearance, we can become more aware of our intrinsic individual nature by holding up a moral mirror to our selves, .
‘Reflecting’ in the sense of contemplating on the image we see reflected in the moral mirror follows from this basic engagement with the image of ourselves as a product of a variety of impulses or forces.
[To be continued]