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Modernization as a Philosophical Problem
- Philosophy is here to be understood as an intellectual expression of conflicts in culture. Its function is to locate these conflicts, and its objective is to provide general solutions to them. To be modem is to be guided by the positive law that is used by the legally authorized judges in their setting of disputes and that has as its basis elemental concepts of science and philosophy. To be traditional is to be guided by the living law that has as its substantive normative content spontaneously held beliefs and habits and customs by which most of the people live, and act even if there were little or no positive law. Modernization is a passage from what is traditional to what is modem. To go through this passage there are three possible ways: 1. To copy what is modem in toto, even at the expense of traditional values; 2. To accept modem science and technology, but to reject the mode of thinking that makes them possible; 3. To adopt modem science and technology as well as the scientific mode of thinking only after carefully integrating them into one's tradition. I reject  on the ground that this way will bring with it the weakening of national identity. I reject  on the ground that science and technology will be broken without its underlying mode of thinking. I accept  on the ground that this way alone will preserve the essential of national identify and keep the underlying spirit of modem science and technology alive. The main theme of this paper is to show that the effective and smooth way of building a new modem society in the East is the synthesizing of the Western way of scientific and analytic thinking with the Eastern way of living.
Myat Mon Oo
- Jour. Myan. Acad. Arts & Sc.