The role of philosophy in the fight against corruption in contemporary society

Anthony Opiyo Ogutu

There is nothing in the universe that does not interest or concern philosophy. Owing to the generality and vastness of its subject matter, philosophy is interested in the subject matter of all the other disciplines for philosophical reflection can be brought to bear on any subject matter whatsoever. In other words, every discipline raises questions which philosophical investigation can help clarify; and every domain of human existence confronts us with problems on which philosophical reflection can shed light such as issues to do with corruption, education, economics, law etc. Given that philosophy examines rationally the fundamental problems affecting man and the world in which he lives, it can contribute significantly in the fight against corruption particularly by addressing the phenomenon of corruption from a moral point of view given the fact that corruption is primarily an ethical or moral problem. This is to say that ethics deals with questions of morality- what is right and wrong in human relations. In other words, ethics is the philosophical study of morality and therefore we are saying that the impact of corruption has very serious ethical implications. Because ethical reflection illuminates an individual’s sense of right and because there is a loss of sense of values in that contemporary society has obscured the one dimension of life which alone defines us as human-the ethical capacity for evaluating our conduct, this paper therefore proposes ethical awareness as the necessary condition in the fight against corruption since ethical awareness is the necessary condition for human survival and flourishing for without a basic moral norm that protects basic moral values, society itself is impossible. This paper therefore aims at shedding light on how philosophy can help in alleviating corruption by placing emphasis on the fundamental role of ethics. We can eradicate corruption completely by inculcating sound ethical moral values or by adopting an ethical culture given that ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos, meaning, custom, way of life, behavior, namely moral behavior. Besides, this paper also intends to point out why we cannot divorce philosophy from other disciplines such as education, economics, law etc. given that there is nothing in the universe which does not interest or concern philosophy.

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