Author of Borders of Ethics:
Philosophy of Ethics traceable in ancient Iranian Andarznamas
29 Jun 2012 12:45
Author of "Borders of Ethics" said the westerners believe that the philosophy of ethics begins with Plato's treatises whereas I believe that with a glance at our Iranian culture we can trace the philosophy of ethics back to ancient Iranians rituals much before Plato's writings in Andarznamas.
IBNA: Shirzad Peik-herfeh said "I have tried to present an image of the philosophy of ethics in this book. In order to define the philosophy of ethics, we should not begin with current theories. We should rather make a survey of our possessions. It is like trying to describe an Iranian for a non-Iranian; this should be done by obtaining a general portrait of all Iranian ethnicities. Such a portrait cannot be realistic but is %80 reliable. Our idea of the philosophy of ethics is thus."
He continued: "If we make a study of various philosophers of ethics, we come up with five fields: the 'normative ethics' is the first. It talks about the musts and must nots and encouraged and prohibited deeds and tends to establish the basis of good and bad in society. This is the first and most important field of ethics."
Peik-herfeh added that it is not clear when human beings began to theorize this field. The west believes that Platonic conversations initiated this as there is no mention of that before him.
"Yet I believe whereas I believe that with a glance at our Iranian culture we can trace the philosophy of ethics back to ancient Iranians rituals much before Plato's writings in Andarznamas."
He mentioned the 'meta-ethics' as another field and said: "The debates between various normative ethic theories resulted in the creation of a new field known as meta-ethics. It seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, statements, attitudes, and judgments. The third category or field is in charge of solving everyday problems based on the normative ethics and is known as the applied ethics."
According to him, there are two more fields active in the philosophy of ethics that deal with the psychology of ethics and descriptive ethics. Emphasizing on the necessity to pay more academic attention of the subject of ethics, he said the interest is already made and this is proved by the establishment of philosophy of ethics minor in philosophy departments of the country, promising a shining future for philosophy in our country.
Peik-herfeh went on to explain that the ethic context is quite richer in Iran than in the west due to the prevalence of prayers, traditions and Andarznamas (didactic texts) from ancient Iran.
In her 'Consequentialism' Ms. Julia Drivers has claimed that the term was first brought by ancient Chinese philosopher Metsu, whereas this is not well-based. In my studies I found many documents showing that consequentialism has been present in our culture much before its emergence in ancient China.
"Borders of Ethics" is recently published by Nashr-e Ney and praised at the 20th Book of the Season Award.