Ethics

When we observe the world, we cannot help but feel appalled by the rapid disappearance of any sense of moral and ethical consciousness. At the same time, antisocial ways of thinking are rapidly increasing.

It is now becoming quite common for people to think that they are free to do whatever they wish and, as a result, many kinds of social crimes are committed repeatedly, social order becomes chaotic, and society falls into great confusion.

One underlying cause of this social confusion is that the human pattern of thinking has become more materialistic; another cause is the collapse of traditional values and norms of ethical behavior.

Axiology: The Theory of Value

Value theory is dealt with in economics, in ethics, and in various other disciplines. In philosophy, axiology refers to the philosophy of value. In other words, it is that field of philosophy that deals with value in general.

The content of axiology, even fragmentarily, can already be found in ancient times. But, it is in modern times, especially after Kant made his well-known distinction between fact and value, that axiology became an important field of study in philosophy.

Many different views of value have appeared throughout history; in fact, history can be seen as a continuous succession of failed attempts to establish absolute values. In ancient Greece, Socrates and Plato attempted to established absolute values by pursuing true knowledge.

In the modern period, Descartes and Kant established views of value centered on reason, as in Greek philosophy. The Neo-Kantian school dealt with value as one of the main issues in philosophy, but they completely separated philosophy, which deals with values, from natural science, which deals with facts.  As a result, today many problems have come into being. Scientists have continued to analyze facts in complete disregard of values.

Utilitarianism and pragmatism are materialistic views of value, which make values completely relative. Analytical philosophy is a philosophy without value.  Nietzsche’s philosophy and Communism can be described as anti-value philosophies, opposing traditional views of value.

Traditional views of values based on Greek philosophy are no longer regarded as effective today. As a result, society today is in extreme confusion.

 

Education

Education as well in today’s democratic societies is in crisis. Yet, a proper theory of education, able to overcome this confusion, is difficult to find anywhere, and present-day education seems to have lost its sense of direction.

Appropriate relationship between teachers and students are diminishing. That is to say, students do not respect their teachers, and teachers have lost their sense of authority and enthusiasm.

In consequence, the relationship between teachers and students has largely become one wherein the teachers are merely selling knowledge, very often based largely on “political correctness”, and the students are buying it, so that schools have turned in to places for buying and selling knowledge.

In order to solve problems such as the destruction of nature, pollution the development of weapons of mass destruction, and so on, people must become able to acquire the original creativity, which is centered on values. Therefore, scientists must first be persons of values, or persons of character, before being scientists. In other words, ethics must become the basis of any Science.

Dr. Konstantina Palamiotou

Phd. University of Athens