Furthermore, it reveals that there are two basic meanings of ASEAN in its international dealings, which have important implications under international law: ASEAN as an international organisation with its own legal personality and ASEAN as the collectivity of its member states. Table of Contents: 1. Introduction 2. ASEAN as a contracting party 5. Beyond market access?
From this point emerges a glaring contradiction: If the human tendency to be social and the group tendency to police human behavior are what make morality possible, then how can morality evolve? Morality does evolve. It has evolved. This is what it means to live scientifically, whether described through natural sentiments, the principle of utility, or instinctive sympathy.
This seems to be a serious weakness in all science-based moralities. All three schools of thought, observe Hunter and Nedelisky, fail in their own way. What emerges next is a science more independent of philosophy.
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Exemplifying this, the authors note, is the psychological field known as behaviorism, in which human instincts are dismissed as irrelevant and human behavior is viewed as something that can be molded in any number of ways and toward any number of ends. The ancient philosophers believed people had certain natural tendencies that could not be overcome. There was a limit to how much you could shape human material, they argued.
Machiavelli and the modern project, on the other hand, argue that people are completely malleable. This is why there is a lot of going to school in the modern project. With enough education, you can train a person to become a Nazi, a commissar, or a suicide bomber; you can train a woman to think it right to stay at home and raise children, or to have a career and leave the children in day care; you can train a man to think it right to have a career, or to stay at home and raise children.
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The question then becomes what do we want to train people to do? In other words, how should people live their lives?
The last player includes the new branches of experimental science devoted to understanding the mechanics of human behavior. Yet this new synthesis seems more like a device to enable those on the side of science to live together in order and peace, analogous to the way American military strategy sometimes emerges from the need to give the army, navy, air force, and marines each a piece of the action.
The new synthesis is simply a compromise, the sum of its parts, and just as the parts fail, so does the synthesis fail. It fails in the way an aspiring writer who performs duties sent down to him through channels fails to be a writer and instead becomes a clerk. What has emerged from all the conferences and books on science-based morality is not a science-based morality—there is no creation of spiritual values—but simply a more detailed description of how people make moral decisions. Neuroscience, primatology, and evolutionary psychology study brains and genetics to explain our morality-making machinery.
The authors recognize this to be an important shift in the nature of the quest, and an unspoken one. Two components of the new synthesis come out ahead in all this: experimental science and utilitarianism. Experimental science gets more grant money.
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Utilitarianism gets the final say. Utilitarianism has a scientific component, but it also has a convenient relativistic component that fits our times well. It can be used to justify any morality simply on the basis of whatever the social consensus is. The greatest number of people simply has to pronounce one form of life better more happiness-producing than another.
In After Virtue , the philosopher Alasdair MacInytre observed this tendency as it relates to rights. We believe in natural rights, and we pretend natural rights are real, but, in fact, MacIntyre explains, what underlies all this is the principle of utility: We have natural rights until the moment when the social consensus decides the idea of natural rights is no longer convenient, at which point the consensus decides what rights we do have and to what degree. For example, we supposedly have a right to our property, but the taxman decides how much of a right.
We supposedly have a right to free speech, but diversity experts decide how much of a right. All of these final decisions are defended by the principle of utility.
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Hunter and Nedelisky describe a variation on this when they criticize the work of neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland who, in the end, uses neuroscience not to understand morality but to understand social norms. Social norms are nothing more than whatever people agree on at the moment, justified by the principle of utility. I would use a different metaphor. We have become like the man who tries to conduct an orchestra, all the while being ignorant of music.
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The man waves his hands in front of well-rehearsed musicians, and the musicians still play well by virtue of their own momentum and because of what previous conductors taught them. Since then the text has been developed in two separate directions.
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On the one hand, three of the chapters have been made more accessible to students of jurisprudence and have been included in the second edition of the te- book Rattsfilosofi, samhalle och moral genom tiderna edited by Joakim Nergelius. On the other hand, the whole dissertation has been revised, translated and published as the present book.
In the time that has passed since my dissertation, many things have changed. On the personal level, my friend and tutor, Aleksander Peczenick, was sadly taken away from my circle of colleagues.
In contrast to that sad event, I have spent two nine-month periods on paternity leave, raising my two children, Selma and Bernhard. This past year, I have decided to move from theory to practice and have started working in a court of law.