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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. Roger T. Ames (2011). Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary. The Chinese University Press.
  2. Ok-Sun An (1997). Compassion and Benevolence: A Comparative Study of Early Buddhist and Classical Confucian Ethics. Peter Lang.
  3. 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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  4. David Bastow (1969). Buddhist Ethics. Religious Studies 5 (2):195 - 206.
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  5. Carl B. Becker (1990). Buddhist Views of Suicide and Euthanasia. Philosophy East and West 40 (4):543-556.
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  6. Maurice Bloomfield (1892). The Essentials of Buddhist Doctrine and Ethics. International Journal of Ethics 2 (3):313-326.
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  7. 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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  8. Brian Edward Brown (2004). Environmental Ethics and Cosmology: A Buddhist Perspective. Zygon 39 (4):885-900.
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  9. 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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  10. Amber D. Carpenter, Indian Buddhist Philosophy : Metaphysics as Ethics.
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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. Sŏng-man Chʻoe (ed.) (2006). Yugyojŏk Sahoe Chilsŏ Wa Munhwa, Minjujuŭi. Chŏnnam Taehakkkyo Chʻulpʻanbu.
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  14. David A. Clairmont (2011). Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics: On the Person as Classic in Comparative Theological Contexts. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. Bruno Contestabile (2010). On the Buddhist Truths and the Paradoxes in Population Ethics. Contemporary Buddhism 11 (1):103-113.
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  18. 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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  19. Dangtrin (uuuu). Trīam Sabīang Wai Līang Tūa. Samnakphim Nawaniyāi Bāngkok.
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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. Jake H. Davis & David R. Vago (2013). Can Enlightenment Be Traced to Specific Neural Correlates, Cognition, or Behavior? No, and (a Qualified) Yes. Frontiers in Psychology 4.
    Can enlightenment be traced to specific neural correlates, cognition, or behavior? No, and (a qualified) Yes.
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  23. Xiaomang Deng (2010). Ru Jia Lun Li Xin Pi Pan. Chongqing da Xue Chu Ban She.
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  24. Qun Dong (2007). Fo Jiao Lun Li Yu Zhongguo Chan Xue. Zong Jiao Wen Hua Chu Ban She.
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  25. Rvhe U. Doṅʻʺ (2011). Yañʻ Kyeʺ Mhu Nhaṅʻʹ Kuiyʻ Kyaṅʻʹ Ta Rāʺ. Citʻ Kūʺ Khyui Khyui Cā Pe.
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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. Hugh Meredith Flick (1996). Carrying Enemies on Your Shoulder: Indian Folk Wisdom in Tibet. Sri Satguru Publications.
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  35. Charles Wei-hsun Fu & Sandra A. Wawrytko (eds.) (1991). Buddhist Ethics and Modern Society: An International Symposium. Greenwood Press.
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  36. Jay Garfield, Buddhist Ethics.
    There are two temptations to be resisted when approaching Buddhist moral theory. The first is to assimilate Buddhist ethics to some system of Western ethics, usually either some form of Utilitarianism or some form of virtue ethics. The second is to portray Buddhist ethical thought as constituting some grand system resembling those that populate Western metaethics. The first temptation, of course, can be avoided simply by avoiding the second. In Buddhist philosophical and religious literature we find many texts that address (...)
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  37. Raghunath Ghosh & Jyotish Chandra Basak (eds.) (2009). Language and Truth in Buddhism. Northern Book Centre.
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  38. Charles Goodman (2010). Ethics in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  39. Charles Goodman (2009). Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    Fundamental Buddhist teachings -- Main features of some western ethical theories -- Teravāda ethics as rule-consequentialism -- Mahāyāna ethics before Śāntideva and after -- Transcending ethics -- Buddhist ethics and the demands of consequentialism -- Buddhism on moral responsibility -- Punishment -- Objections and replies -- A Buddhist response to Kant.
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  40. Charles Goodman (2008). Consequentialism, Agent-Neutrality, and Mahāyāna Ethics. Philosophy East and West 58 (1):17-35.
    : What kinds of comparisons can legitimately be made between Mahāyāna Buddhism and Western ethical theories? Mahāyānists aspire to alleviate the suffering, promote the happiness, and advance the moral perfection of all sentient beings. This aspiration is best understood as expressing a form of universalist consequentialism. Many Indian Mahāyāna texts seem committed to claims about agent-neutrality that imply consequentialism and are not compatible with virtue ethics. Within the Mahāyāna tradition, there is some diversity of views: Asaṅga seems to hold a (...)
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  41. Charles Goodman (2002). Resentment and Reality: Buddhism on Moral Responsibility. American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (4):359-372.
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  42. Stephen J. Gould (1995). The Buddhist Perspective on Business Ethics: Experiential Exercises for Exploration and Practice. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 14 (1):63 - 70.
    While Buddhism focuses on the same ethical concerns as Western ethical traditions, it provides a distinct perspective and method for dealing with them. This paper outlines the basic Buddhist perspective and then provides some experiential exercises which offer insight for self-understanding and ethical practices in business. Implications for business and ethics research are provided.
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  43. Rita M. Gross (2010). Review of Charles Goodman, Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics. [REVIEW] Sophia 49 (2):311-313.
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  44. Qiyong Guo (ed.) (2011). "Ru Jia Lun Li Xin Pi Pan" Zhi Pi Pan. Wuhan da Xue Chu Ban She.
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  45. Qiyong Guo (ed.) (2004). Ru Jia Lun Li Zheng Ming Ji: Yi "Qin Qin Hu Yin " Wei Zhong Xin = a Collection of Contention About Confucian Ethics. Hubei Jiao Yu Chu Ban She.
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  46. Charles Hallisey & Anne Hansen (1996). Narrative, Sub-Ethics, and the Moral Life: Some Evidence From Theravāda Buddhism. Journal of Religious Ethics 24 (2):305 - 327.
    The intent of this article is to explore the extent to which we can apply to Buddhist ethics Martha Nussbaum's statement that "[l]iterary form is not separable from philosophical content, but is itself, a part of content - an integral part, then, of the search for and the statement of truth" (Nussbaum 1990, 3). We explore the transformative impact that narratives can have on moral life, using examples from the story literature of Theravāda Buddhist traditions in Sri Lanka and Southeast (...)
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  47. Peter Harvey & Mark Siderits (2004). An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31 (3):405–409.
    This systematic introduction to Buddhist ethics is aimed at anyone interested in Buddhism, including students, scholars and general readers. Peter Harvey is the author of the acclaimed Introduction to Buddhism (Cambridge, 1990), and his new book is written in a clear style, assuming no prior knowledge. At the same time it develops a careful, probing analysis of the nature and practical dynamics of Buddhist ethics in both its unifying themes and in the particularities of different Buddhist traditions. The book applies (...)
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  48. Maria Heim (2011). Buddhist Ethics: A Review Essay. [REVIEW] Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (3):571-584.
    I argue that three recent studies (Imagining the Life Course, by Nancy Eberhardt; Sensory Biographies, by Robert Desjarlais; and How to Behave, by Anne Hansen) advance the field of Buddhist Ethics in the direction of the empirical study of morality. I situate their work within a larger context of moral anthropology, that is, the study of human nature in its limits and capacities for moral agency. Each of these books offers a finely grained account of particular and local Buddhist ways (...)
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  49. Peter D. Hershock (2012). Valuing Diversity: Buddhist Reflection on Realizing a More Equitable Global Future. State University of New York Press.
    Uses Buddhist philosophy to discuss diversity as a value, one that can contribute to equity in a globalizing world.
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  50. Roderick Hindery (1978). Comparative Ethics in Hindu and Buddhist Traditions. Motilal Banarsidass.
    The book contains elaborate notes, two appendices, critical textual matter, a diagram of topical parallels, a bibliography, and an index.
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