A social perspective towards the moral

Political philosophy is also to be distinguished within practical philosophy from both empirical elements and from virtue proper. The separation from virtue is treated later in this section. Yet Kant also included the more pragmatic, impure, empirical study of human behavior as part of practical philosophy.

A social perspective towards the moral

His lectures and essays on social ethics from cross-cultural and Buddhist perspectives reflect his first-hand experiences as a bhikkhu in the Thai Theravada tradition.

Buddhism is often criticized as a religion that, being mainly concerned with personal salvation, lacks a social ethics.

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Although this may seem to be true, Buddhist teachings on personal conduct do contain principles that could be reinterpreted and extended to a social ethical theory. Thailand offers a good framework in which to approach Buddhist social ethics, for it provides an opportunity to examine socio-political issues under the global market economy at a structural level and from a Third World point of view.

Buddhist monks in Thailand are part of a unified hierarchical sangha community of monks which in turn is controlled by the government. Every day, they also eat food donated to them by Thai people, the majority of whom are poor and oppressed.

This situation makes it possible to look at Buddhism from a social justice perspective, and thereby add a new dimension to the Buddhist hermeneutics for the poor. If greed is understood not just in individual terms but also as a built-in mechanism of oppressive social structures, then to reduce or eliminate greed through personal self-restraint will not be enough; these social structures will have to be changed as well.

Many Buddhists seek liberation Pali: I wish to offer a challenge to Buddhist ethical values by interpreting liberation as necessarily involving social as well as personal liberation.

A revolution led by a small number of members of the civilian, bureaucratic, and military elite brought about a radical change in the power structure by placing the monarchy under a constitution. Influenced by the Western idea of democracy, they introduced a new political system in Thailand.

During this time, influenced by the global market economy, Thailand has also experimented with capitalism. From to the fall of Phibun's regime init was ruled primarily by the military under democratic constitutions.

A social perspective towards the moral

The monarchy was suppressed, and the economy was dominated by state-owned enterprises. From the coup by Sarit Thanarat to the fall of Thanom-Praphat's regime inThailand was under a military dictatorship without a constitution.

There was an increase of private enterprise and capitalism. During the same period, the Thai monarchy gained wide respect both among the people and the military.

The student-led revolution and the middle-class revolution of were the first uprisings by the people in the modern history of Thailand. Although neither revolution changed the fundamental social and political structures of the country, they demonstrated that ordinary people, especially the middle-class, have become increasingly powerful in Thai politics.

From the mids to the mids, there was an economic boom in Thailand within the global market economy dominated by the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, but this was accompanied by a widening income gap between urban elites and the rural poor, the destruction of the rain forests, and deterioration of the natural environment.

Kant's Social and Political Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

During successive regimes from to the present, the military maintained control, staging a number of coups and dominating parliamentary government. The monarchy continued to win wide support from the Thai people, gaining the power to negotiate with the military, as seen by the king's intervention in the resignation of Thanom Kittikhachorn in and of Suchinda Khraprayun inas well as in the appointment of Sanya Thammasak as prime minister in and Anand Panyarachun in Pro-democracy movements, especially the middle-class revolution ofgained international support in the post cold-war era.

Business elites became more influential in Thai politics as a more democratic parliament and a civilian government gradually took shape. The sixty-fifth anniversary of Thai democracy in marked a turning point when a reformed constitution, to which many people contributed, was finally promulgated.

In summary, since the end of absolute monarchy inThai politics has gone through five stages, from constitutional military rule and military dictatorship through democratic experiments and ideological conflict to the rise of a middle class and the promulgation of a reformed constitution.

It is the hope of Thai people that when the new constitution has been fully applied, they will experience a more genuine democracy and Thai politics will have entered a new era. The social and economic development of Thailand within the global market economy in recent decades has increased the division between urban and rural society.

Industries and services have been emphasized in the cities, while the agricultural sector in rural areas has been neglected.

Education and economic growth have been concentrated in Bangkok and other urban areas, leaving most of the rural population, especially in northeastern Thailand, undereducated, poor, and far behind in access to public services.

Tenant farming and agribusiness corporations have uprooted traditional farmers from their own lands and pressured many younger men and women to migrate from the countryside to the cities in search of jobs.

This social dislocation has brought about a continuing decline of rural social structures, tradition, and culture, and has created the problem of overpopulation in the big cities.

Most of the young male migrants have become low-wage laborers in construction, factories, and service businesses; since the s, many have left to work in the Middle East, Taiwan, Brunei, and Singapore.


Many young women from the countryside, particularly from the north, have become prostitutes in Bangkok and other cities. More recently some have traveled to Japan and elsewhere to work in prostitution. The widening gap in both income and education between urban and rural society has turned Thailand into two worlds:Piaget's Theory of Moral Development: While both Freud and Skinner focused on the external forces that bear on morality (parents in the case of Freud, and behavioral contingencies in the case of Skinner), Jean Piaget () focused on the individual's construction, construal, and interpretation of morality from a social-cognitive and social.

· Macro perspective and praxis, therefore, are needed at the national as well as local levels in order to construct a more serious Buddhist social ethics.

Social Realities

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