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    Arts and the natural sciences Essay

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    What are ethical judgments? Who decides whether it is ethical? Is it the society that outlines the differences? The real question however, arises when one questions if the society itself is moral ? Can the social norms and morality be judged by certain sections of the society? Do these sections of society affect our upbringing and define our moral outlook ? Does the society only outline the boundaries of morality or does it teach the coming generations about the moral judgments that they believe in?

    Who creates society? Aren’t we the society? What kind of methods are we referring to? Are we talking about an understanding or drilling information into our brains whether it is useful or not? Is production of knowledge the slow and gradual manners and facts that we imbibe through a lifetime, Or is it learning new knowledge, of a sort? But isn’t the knowledge that we imbibe new to us at that time?

    “How far is morality setting boundaries in the understanding of new knowledge and information?” For some, new knowledge can be learning something new, personally but does that actually mean it is true? According to Aristotle[1], the “production of new knowledge” is the “transmission” of “already existing knowledge by argument.” Does this mean that in our lives, we will never discover anything new? Because all the knowledge in the world already exists with various people? How far is morality setting boundaries in the understanding of new knowledge and information?

    Looking at the natural sciences and the arts as areas of knowledge, it is questionable whether it is morally correct for us to use and exhaust knowledge, talent and resources while we leave nothing for the coming generations. Or, are we so engrossed in setting the moral boundaries that we don’t see the advantages or the new knowledge that can be gained from it? Natural sciences, through reason, can see the benefits of this new found knowledge countering and questioning various different types of ethics whereas arts through the use of perception can be debatable. Do our emotions come in the way of setting the boundaries of ethical judgments that change our perception of art? Would taking a dying form of art and reviving it in the society of the people who created it be ethically correct or incorrect?

    This, in one place, will give them employment, promote and package the product properly. And will alongside aid the local economy of the indigenous people. On the other hand, taking the art form that took these indigenous people centuries to refine and using it for the benefit of a company raises questions about their moral perspective towards the locals. Fabindia is a textile and Clothing Company founded by a French man named John Bissell in 1960[2], who took the traditional art of textiles of India used it to his advantage by promoting it and selling it to the people through aesthetics and marketing.

    According to the company’s official website[3] the Fabindia philosophy is: “Fabindia was founded with the strong belief that there was a need for a vehicle for marketing the vast and diverse craft traditions of India and thereby help fulfill the need to provide and sustain employment.” As mentioned above, in the case of art, there can be different perceptions which can also be related to emotional responses. That being said every Indian citizen may differ between their perception of the company being morally acceptable or not.

    Isn’t it morally acceptable to promote a traditional dying art, which was once the trademark of the country for the benefit of the people? Ethically, the promotion is an ideal form of sustainable art and economy. The fact that this company has gone from a local company to one that has expanded into selling their products to over 33 countries[4], for someone to create a moral boundary towards the progression of the Indian economy and a promotion of India as a country it-self as some people would think, in its true sense, quite immoral. The local craftsmen would learn an ample amount of new techniques and knowledge, thus creating vast knowledge rather than limiting it, ethically. The moral outlook towards this would be to let these traditional craftsmen take this knowledge home and let them use it to come out with their own, contemporary ideas.

    Despite this, the proper questions related to the original art and the craftsmen still stands to an issue. The company, Fabindia may help the economy of the traditional craftsmen and give them enough knowledge on how to promote their jobs. But, is this traditional craft still theirs? The local people may learn a new technique to sustain themselves financially but are they being taught to use new methods of production by creating contemporary fusion of the traditional Indian and western styles? These craftsmen have now, because of the company, Fabindia, lost the identity of their art because it’s been branded under the name of Fabindia. These people are not obtaining any new knowledge but are exerting their own to provide for a company.

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