စာဖတ္သူမ်ား ရဲ႕ အႀကံျပဳခ်က္ကုိဖိတ္ေခၚ ႀကိဳဆုိလ်က္ပါ
ပညာတတ္ က ဝိနည္းေရွာင္တတ္
ပညာရွိ က ပညာရွိနည္းနဲ႔ ႏွိပ္စက္တတ္
ပညာရွင္ မွ စိတ္ခ်ရသတတ္
Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán has been called ‘the crime-fighting philosopher’ for using philosophy to make sense of organized crime. He has worked for a range of organisations including the Colombian government, Global Integrity, and Transparency International. Nick Chester asks him about using philosophy to combat corruption.
Can you start by saying a bit about your background in philosophy?
My undergraduate studies were in philosophy. My main philosophical interests are analytical philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and Artificial Intelligence. Since the beginning, I felt those philosophical areas offered practical options for fixing social problems. The more [the philosophers of language and mind] Russell, Wittgenstein, Ryle, Fodor, Searle and Dennett I read, the more I was convinced that several social problems could be avoided or fixed through clarity in our language and our thinking processes. I saw this as a therapeutic option while living in the chaotic, violent and corrupt environment of Bogota, Colombia. Unfortunately, people think that philosophy is unpractical, which is a shame, because there is nothing more practical and powerful than interpreting the world in a clear way without dogmas.
I’m basically a philosopher trying to understand the world through empirical observation, which is what scientists do. I cannot really tell the difference between my philosophical and my scientific mind.
How can philosophy be used to fight corruption?
Photo © David Sastre 2016
It’s easy to understand that we share a limited amount of natural and public resources, and that we are psychologically connected with other humans. As Homo sapiens, our brains are all similar, so we share the same epistemological universe – we all know about it in the same way – and therefore we are connected. We almost automatically simulate and feel others’ feelings. Therefore, it makes sense to constantly improve the happiness and quality of life of people around us, seeking the equilibrium between our and their happiness. Confronting corruption and crime is a about pursuing that equilibrium.
Given the inherent desire that people have to act according to their personal biases, do you think there’s any such thing as a truly non-corrupt society?
No, there is no such thing, because breaking rules is inherent to our species – which is not entirely negative, since rule-breaking is the genesis of positive creativity and change. As humans, we don’t live in mental stasis, but constantly seek change. Unfortunately, negative social effects happen when rule-breakers constantly take the path of not only breaking paradigms and traditions, but also breaking basic laws.
Saint Augustine argued that corruption means a deprivation of something originally good has occurred. Do you think this concept can be applied to the corruption of legal and institutional systems, or do you think the evil created there is more than the removal of original goodness from those systems?
Unfortunately, most institutions are designed as metaphysical entelechies – as abstract good ideas about how society should behave. However, when those institutions are then created, the rule-breaking characteristic of the human mind quickly inserts corruption.
Judicial and legal systems are obviously designed to deal with crime; but the influence of corruption and crime is often omitted when other economic and social institutions are designed. For instance, it is generally accepted that decentralized institutions are good for democracy. However, in some countries, criminal groups use decentralized institutions. Narco-paramilitary groups ended up managing the health system in Colombian municipalities at the beginning of this century, and drug trafficking networks use municipal police bodies across Mexico.
The process of designing perfect institutions that are later corrupted in practice is partially the result of assuming that human