• "Social Sciences"
  • Date:07-01-99(SSC-No.003)
  • Size:35,084 Kb.
  • Words: 5380

"Morals for Man" or "Man for Morals"

Andrei PROKOFIEV

Among problems posed by theoretical ethics, the most urgent is the one that arises in the course of the search for the correct concept of the place of morals both among the goals of human life and in its concrete practices. This problem is formulated in the well-known antithesis of theoretical paradigms, which, openly or by implication, presuppose the possibility of an all-embracing dicussion in ethics on the theme: MORALS FOR MAN or MAN FOR MORALS.

Were with faced with a historical task alone, we could trace the stages of the emergence of this problem, beginning with the Biblical formula: "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath", on through Jesus's dispute with the Pharisees , through the ethics of Apostle Paul, and ending with the specifics of Kant's image of homo moralis. However, the grouping and systematization of historical information pertaining to this antithesis can only serve as a means for solving the theoretical debate. An historical approach can merely complicate the investigation and even the summarization of its results. Therefore, I have chosen a different approach, which avoids direct dependence on history and offers a general review of the argumentation in regard to this atithesis.

In this country the anthisesis was clearly formulated by A.Huseinov, whose treatment of these paradigms is not metaethical in character, since they present not merely competing descriptions of structures of moral consciousness, but "value positions".1 This approach appears indisputable. Whether pure metaethics itself is justified, and even whether it does exist is highly problematic, for every explanation of morals either decrees a certain binding attitude to it or is an altogether senseless project.

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