Normative And Descriptive In Sun Tzu's The Art Of War

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Normative vs. Descriptive
Why Sun Tzu’s moral law could still lead to the destruction of world?

The Art of War is one of the most influential military treatises in the world, it precisely details the necessary factors to win a war in just thirteen chapters, which is probably the reason that, even in contemporary history, this book is still considered as the reference or guide in the battlefield. In this way, The Art of War is undeniably a successful battle book, and Sun Tzu a talented strategist. Yet, it defines morality quite descriptively: it only regulates morality with a series of specific code, as it then lacks a normative sense of morality. Without this sense of morality, there will be an increase in possibility of having wars and it will make people, especially soldiers, lack in pathos. Both of scenarios would be
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In Sun Tzu’s opinion, in order to win a war, despite of the five constant factors: people’s support, good weather, favorable terrain, a wise commander, and a disciplined army( Chapter 1, Sun Tzu, The Art of War, ibook.com); but he also requires the general to be absolutely calm and rational in order to address any kind of emergency situations. According to the Art of War Chapter 8, Sun Tzu presents five qualities which are fatal to the general: “(1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;(5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble”(Sun Tzu, The Art of War, ibook.com). In this sense, a perfect general should detach from all those emotions so that he could always make the right choice. However, this absolute rationality, or in other words, a complete detachment from human emotion, could become a lack of

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