Normative Vs. Descriptive Essay

2068 Words Dec 9th, 2016 9 Pages
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 considered immoral in a normative sense. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The definition of Morality, the descriptive sense of morality is the morality which “refers to certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion), or accepted by an individual for her own behavior”, while the normative sense of morality is “a code of conduct” which is accepted by “all rational persons”(“The definition of Morality”, plato.stanford.edu). In the Art of War, Sun Tzu describes morality in a descriptive sense. As we can see, in the book, Sun Tzu gives the sovereign, the general, and the soldiers a series of codes,…

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