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Buddhist Ethics

Edited by Jake H. Davis (City University of New York, Brown University)
Assistant editor: Carissa Véliz (City University of New York)
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  1. Robert Aitken (1984). The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics. North Point Press.
    In Taking the Path of Zen , Robert Aitken provided a concise guide to zazen (Zen meditation) and other aspects of the practice of Zen. In The Mind of Clover he addresses the world beyond the zazen cushions, illuminating issues of appropriate personal and social action through an exploration of the philosophical complexities of Zen ethics. Aitken's approach is clear and sure as he shows how our minds can be as nurturing as clover, which enriches the soil and benefits the (...)
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  2. Roger T. Ames (2011). Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary. The Chinese University Press.
  3. Roy C. Amore (1971). The Concept and Practice of Doing Merit in Early Theravada Buddhism. Umi Dissertation Information Service.
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  4. Ok-Sun An (1997). Compassion and Benevolence: A Comparative Study of Early Buddhist and Classical Confucian Ethics. Peter Lang.
  5. Michael G. Barnhart (2012). Theory and Comparison in the Discussion of Buddhist Ethics. Philosophy East and West 62 (1):16-43.
    Comparisons, and by that I mean the hunt for essential similarities or at least serious family resemblances, between the ethical views of Western and non-Western thinkers have been a staple of comparative philosophy for quite some time now. Some of these comparisons, such as between the views of Aristotle and Confucius, seem especially apt and revealing. However, I’ve often wondered whether Western “ethical theory”—virtue ethics, deontology, or consequentialism—is always the best lens through which to approach non-Western ethical thought. Particularly when (...)
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  6. David Bastow (1969). Buddhist Ethics. Religious Studies 5 (2):195 - 206.
    The canonical texts of Early Buddhism describe and explain a way to achieve a goal. What the goal is is not immediately clear; many different descriptions are given of it, and these descriptions can be variously interpreted. It is to some extent easier to find out what is the way to achieve the goal; the texts contain frequently repeated lists of stages on this Way. The best way of starting a consideration of the nature of the goal and its moral (...)
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  7. Carl B. Becker (1990). Buddhist Views of Suicide and Euthanasia. Philosophy East and West 40 (4):543-556.
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  8. Sr Bhatt (2003). Buddhist Foundations of Global Ethics. In S. R. Bhatt (ed.), Buddhist Thought and Culture in India and Korea. Indian Council of Philosophical Research. 194.
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  9. Maurice Bloomfield (1892). The Essentials of Buddhist Doctrine and Ethics. International Journal of Ethics 2 (3):313-326.
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  10. Nicolas Bommarito (2014). Patience and Perspective. Philosophy East and West 64 (2):269-286.
    I offer a Buddhist-inspired account of how patience can count as a moral virtue, arguing that virtuous patience involves having a perspective on the place of our own desires and values among others and a sense of their relative importance.
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  11. Roongraung Boonyoros (1991). Buddhist Ethics in Everyday Life in Thailand: A Village Experiment. In Charles Wei-Hsun Fu & Sandra A. Wawrytko (eds.), Buddhist Ethics and Modern Society: An International Symposium. Greenwood Press. 215--228.
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  12. Brian Edward Brown (2004). Environmental Ethics and Cosmology: A Buddhist Perspective. Zygon 39 (4):885-900.
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  13. Delin Cai & Haifeng Jing (eds.) (2007). Quan Qiu Hua Shi Dai de Ru Jia Lun Li =. Qing Hua da Xue Chu Ban She.
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  14. Amber Carpenter (2013). Indian Buddhist Philosophy. Acumen Publishing.
    Organised in broadly chronological terms, this book presents the philosophical arguments of the great Indian Buddhist philosophers of the fifth century BCE to the eighth century CE. Each chapter examines their core ethical, metaphysical and epistemological views as well as the distinctive area of Buddhist ethics that we call today moral psychology. Throughout, the book follows three key themes that both tie the tradition together and are the focus for most critical dialogue: the idea of an?tman or no-self, the appearance/reality (...)
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  15. Amber D. Carpenter, Indian Buddhist Philosophy : Metaphysics as Ethics.
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  16. John Ross Carter (2005). Buddhist Ethics? In William Schweiker (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics. Blackwell Pub..
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  17. David W. Chappell (2004). Buddhist Perspectives on Weapons of Mass Destruction. In Sohail H. Hashmi & Steven Lee (eds.), Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Religious and Secular Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. 13--213.
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  18. David W. Chappell (1996). Searching for a Mahāyāna Social Ethic. Journal of Religious Ethics 24 (2):351 - 375.
    Mahāyāna ethics has a threefold emphasis: avoiding all evil, cultivating good, and saving all beings. Most Western studies of Buddhist ethics have used Pali and Sanskrit sources to examine the first two components, which are based on monastic codes for avoiding wrong doing and attain- ing virtue. Among the few studies of the third category, which includes Buddhist social ethics, East Asian Mahāyāna materials have been sadly lacking despite the Mahāyāna rhetoric about saving all beings. To correct this deficiency, this (...)
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  19. David W. Chappell (1991). Buddhist Responses to Religious Pluralism: What Are the Ethical Issues? In Charles Wei-Hsun Fu & Sandra A. Wawrytko (eds.), Buddhist Ethics and Modern Society: An International Symposium. Greenwood Press. 355--370.
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  20. Jihong Chen (2011). Zhi Shi de Zhi Li: Xian Qin Ru Jia "Fen" Zhi Lun Li Yan Jiu. Zhongguo She Hui Ke Xue Chu Ban She.
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  21. Sŏng-man Chʻoe (ed.) (2006). Yugyojŏk Sahoe Chilsŏ Wa Munhwa, Minjujuŭi. Chŏnnam Taehakkkyo Chʻulpʻanbu.
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  22. David A. Clairmont (2011). Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics: On the Person as Classic in Comparative Theological Contexts. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  23. Barbra R. Clayton (2006). Moral Theory in Śāntideva's Śikṣāsamuccaya: Cultivating the Fruits of Virtue. Routledge.
    This book analyses the moral theory of the seventh century Indian Mahayana master, Santideva. Santideva is the author of the well-known religious poem the Bodhicaryavatara (Entering the Path of Enlightenment) , as well as the significant, but relatively overlooked, Siksasamuccaya (Compendium of Teachings) . Both of these works describe the nature and path of the bodhisattva, the altruistic spiritual ideal especially exalted in Mahayana literature. With particular focus on the Siksasamuccaya , this work offers a response to three questions: What (...)
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  24. Tim Connolly (2013). Ethics of Compassion: Buddhist Karuṇā and Confucian Ren. In Ithamar Theodor Zhihua Yao (ed.), Brahman and Dao: Comparative Studies of Indian and Chinese Philosophy and Religion. Lexington Books.
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  25. Bruno Contestabile (2010). On the Buddhist Truths and the Paradoxes in Population Ethics. Contemporary Buddhism 11 (1):103-113.
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  26. John Hurrell Crook (1991). Buddhist Ethics and the Problem of Ethnic Minorities: The Case of Ladakh. In Charles Wei-Hsun Fu & Sandra A. Wawrytko (eds.), Buddhist Ethics and Modern Society: An International Symposium. Greenwood Press.
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  27. Deane Curtin (1994). Dōgen, Deep Ecology, and the Ecological Self. Environmental Ethics 16 (2):195-213.
    A core project for deep ecologists is the reformulation of the concept of self. In searching for a more inclusive understanding of self, deep ecologists often look to Buddhist philosophy, and to the Japanese Buddhist philosopher Dōgen in particular, for inspiration. I argue that, while Dōgen does share a nondualist, nonanthropocentric framework with deep ecology, his phenomenology of the self is fundamentally at odds with the expanded Self found in the deep ecology literature. I suggest, though I do not fully (...)
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  28. Dangtrin (uuuu). Trīam Sabīang Wai Līang Tūa. Samnakphim Nawaniyāi Bāngkok.
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  29. Gordon Davis (2013). Traces of Consequentialism and Non-Consequentialism In Bodhisattva Ethics. Philosophy East and West 63 (2):275-305.
    It is difficult to generalize about ethical values in the Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition, let alone in Buddhist philosophy more generally. One author identifies seventeen distinct ethical approaches in the Mahāyāna scholarly traditions alone (i.e., not including various folk traditions).1 Nonetheless, in comparative studies in the history of ethics, there is increasing recognition that several different Buddhist traditions have stressed a foundational role for universalist altruism that was largely absent from ancient Greek eudaimonism and perhaps even absent-qua foundational-from most other premodern (...)
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  30. Gordon Fraser Davis (2013). Moral Realism and Anti-Realism Outside the West: A Meta-Ethical Turn in Buddhist Ethics. Comparative Philosophy 4 (2).
    In recent years, discussions of Buddhist ethics have increasingly drawn upon the concepts and tools of modern ethical theory, not only to compare Buddhist perspectives with Western moral theories, but also to assess the meta-ethical implications of Buddhist texts and their philosophical context. Philosophers aiming to defend the Madhyamaka framework in particular – its ethics and soteriology along with its logic and epistemology – have recently attempted to explain its combination of moral commitment and philosophical scepticism by appealing to various (...)
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  31. Leesa S. Davis (2014). Mindfulness, Non-Attachment and Other Buddhist Virtues. In Stan van Hooft & Nafsika Athanassoulis (eds.), The Handbook of Virtue Ethics. Acumen Publishing Ltd..
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  32. Padmasiri De Silva (1998). Environmental Philosophy and Ethics in Buddhism. St. Martin's Press.
    This work introduces the reader to the central issues and theories in Western environmental ethics, and against this background develops a Buddhist environmental philosophy and ethics. Drawing material from original sources, there is a lucid exposition of Buddhist environmentalism, its ethics, economics and Buddhist perspectives for environmental education. The work is focused on a diagnosis of the contemporary environmental crisis and a Buddhist contribution for positive solutions. Replete with stories and illustrations from original Buddhist sources, it is both informative and (...)
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  33. Padmasiri De Silva (1991). Environmental Ethics: A Buddhist Perspective. In Charles Wei-Hsun Fu & Sandra A. Wawrytko (eds.), Buddhist Ethics and Modern Society: An International Symposium. Greenwood Press.
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  34. Xiaomang Deng (2010). Ru Jia Lun Li Xin Pi Pan. Chongqing da Xue Chu Ban She.
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  35. Gunapala Dharmasiri (1988). Fundamentals of Buddhist Ethics. Philosophy East and West 38 (4):439-440.
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  36. Qun Dong (2007). Fo Jiao Lun Li Yu Zhongguo Chan Xue. Zong Jiao Wen Hua Chu Ban She.
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  37. Rvhe U. Doṅʻʺ (2011). Yañʻ Kyeʺ Mhu Nhaṅʻʹ Kuiyʻ Kyaṅʻʹ Ta Rāʺ. Citʻ Kūʺ Khyui Khyui Cā Pe.
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  38. Oyuna Dorzhiguishaeva (2008). Tolerance as the Basic Category of Buddhist Ethics. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 23:13-19.
    The concept of tolerance is one of the basic ethical categories of Buddhism. Showing conscious tolerance, you control a situation and do not allow feelings, such as anger or arrogance to take top above reason. Besides, the tolerance to other people and different situation shows your wide scope and common emancipation. The tolerance is one of qualities inherent to bodhisattvas - sacred Buddhists. These qualities are called paramita, and paramita of tolerance - kshanti-paramita. Kshanti-paramita is triple: tolerance to other alive (...)
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  39. John Dunne (2011). Toward an Understanding of Non-Dual Mindfulness. Contemporary Buddhism 12 (1):71--88.
    The aim of this article is to explore an approach to ?mindfulness? that lies outside of the usual Buddhist mainstream. This approach adopts a ?non-dual? stance to meditation practice, and based on my limited experience and training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, this non-dual notion of ?mindfulness? seems an especially appropriate point of comparison between Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Buddhism. That comparison itself will not be the focus here?given my own inexpertise and lack of clinical experience, it would be (...)
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  40. William Edelglass (2006). Moral Pluralism, Skillful Means, and Environmental Ethics. Environmental Philosophy 3 (2):8-16.
    J. Baird Callicott claims that moral pluralism leads to relativism, skepticism, and the undermining of moral obligations. Buddhist ethics provides a counterexample to Callicott; it is a robust tradition of moral pluralism. Focusing on one of the most significant texts in Buddhist ethics, Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra, I show how it draws on a multiplicity of moral principles determined by context and skillful means (upāya kauśalya). In contrast to Callicott’s description of pluralism as detrimental to moral life, I suggest that South Asian (...)
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  41. Robert M. Ellis (2011). A New Buddhist Ethics. Lulu.com.
    This book is a survey of practical moral issues applying the Middle Way (as developed in 'A Theory of Moral Objectivity') as the basis of 'Buddhist' Ethics. No appeal is made to Buddhist traditions or scriptures, but instead the Middle Way is applied consistently as a universal philosophical and practical principle to suggest the direction of resolutions to moral debates. Practical ethics topics covered include sexual ethics, medical ethics, environmental ethics, animals, violence, the arts, scientific issues and political ethics.
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  42. Ron Epstein, The Inner Ecology: Buddhist Ethics and Practice.
    Buddhists call Buddhism the Buddha Dharma: the Dharma, a collection of methods for getting enlightened, taught by a Buddha, a Fully Enlightened One. Buddhists refer to themselves as people who have taken refuge with the Three Jewels: 1) the Buddhas or Fully Enlightened Ones, 2) the Dharma or methods taught for reaching enlightenment, 3) and the Sangha or community of Buddhist monks and nuns, called Bhikshus and Bhikshunis. In formally becoming a Buddhist one becomes a disciple of a Buddhist master, (...)
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  43. Andrew Fenton (2009). Buddhism and Neuroethics: The Ethics of Pharmaceutical Cognitive Enhancement. Developing World Bioethics 9 (2):47-56.
    ABSTRACTThis paper integrates some Buddhist moral values, attitudes and self‐cultivation techniques into a discussion of the ethics of cognitive enhancement technologies – in particular, pharmaceutical enhancements. Many Buddhists utilize meditation techniques that are both integral to their practice and are believed to enhance the cognitive and affective states of experienced practitioners. Additionally, Mahāyāna Buddhism's teaching on skillful means permits a liberal use of methods or techniques in Buddhist practice that yield insight into our selfnature or aid in alleviating or eliminating (...)
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  44. Bronwyn Finnigan (forthcoming). Meta-Ethics for Madhyamaka: Investigating the Justificatory Grounds of Moral Judgments. Philosophy East and West.
    This paper investigates whether the metaphysical commitments of Madhyamaka Buddhism afford a satisfactory justificatory ground for moral judgments. Finnigan and Tanaka (2011a) argue that they do not. Their argument has since been challenged by Tillemans (2010-11), who alleges that both Svātantrika and Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamikas can readily justify moral judgments by respective appeal to the doctrine of the two truths. This paper shall contest this claim with respect to Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka. It shall provide several arguments to show that Prāsaṅgika cannot satisfactorily (...)
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  45. Bronwyn Finnigan (2014). Examining the Bodhisattva's Brain. Zygon 49 (1):231-241.
    Owen Flanagan's The Bodhisattva's Brain aims to introduce secular-minded thinkers to Buddhist thought and motivate its acceptance by analytic philosophers. I argue that Flanagan provides a compelling caution against the hasty generalizations of recent “science of happiness” literature, which correlates happiness with Buddhism on the basis of certain neurological studies. I contend, however, that his positive account of Buddhist ethics is less persuasive. I question the level of engagement with Buddhist philosophical literature and challenge Flanagan's central claim, that a Buddhist (...)
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  46. Bronwyn Finnigan (2011). How Can a Buddha Come to Act?: The Possibility of a Buddhist Account of Ethical Agency. Philosophy East and West 61 (1):134-160.
    In the past decade or so there has been a surge of monographs on the nature of ‘Buddhist Ethics.’ For the most part, authors are concerned with developing and defending explications of Buddhism as a normative ethical theory with an apparent aim of putting Buddhist thought directly in dialogue with contemporary Western philosophical debates in ethics. Despite disagreement among Buddhist ethicists concerning which contemporary normative ethical theory a Buddhist ethic would most closely resemble (if any), 1 it is arguable that (...)
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  47. Bronwyn Finnigan (2011). The Possibility of Buddhist Ethical Agency Revisited—A Reply to Jay Garfield and Chad Hansen. Philosophy East and West 61 (1):183-194.
    I begin by warmly thanking Professors Garfield and Hansen for participating in this dialogue. I greatly value the work of both and appreciate having the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with them. Aside from the many important insights I gain from their replies, I believe that both Garfield and Hansen misrepresent my position. In response, I shall clarify the argument contained in my preceding comment, and will consider the objections as they bear on this clarified position.Both Garfield and Hansen (...)
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  48. Bronwyn Finnigan (2010-11). Buddhist Meta-Ethics. Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 33 (1-2):267-297.
    In this paper I argue for the importance of pursuing Buddhist Meta-Ethics. Most contemporary studies of the nature of Buddhist Ethics proceed in isolation from the highly sophisticated epistemological theories developed within the Buddhist tradition. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that an intimate relationship holds between ethics and epistemology in Buddhism. To show this, I focus on Damien Keown's influential virtue ethical theorisation of Buddhist Ethics and demonstrate the conflicts that arise when it is brought into dialogue (...)
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  49. Hugh Meredith Flick (1996). Carrying Enemies on Your Shoulder: Indian Folk Wisdom in Tibet. Sri Satguru Publications.
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  50. Charles Wei-hsun Fu & Sandra A. Wawrytko (eds.) (1991). Buddhist Ethics and Modern Society: An International Symposium. Greenwood Press.
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