David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Environmental Ethics 16 (3):287-301 (1994)
The principle of non-injury toward all living beings (ahimsā) in India was originally a rule restraining human interaction with the natural environment. I compare two discourses on the relationship between humans and the natural environment in ancient India: the discourse of the priestly sacrificial cult and the discourse of the renunciants. In the sacrificial cult, all living beings were conceptualized as food. The renunciants opposed this conception and favored the ethics of non-injury toward all beings (plants, animals, etc.), which meant that no living being should be food for another. The first represented an ethics modeled on the power that the eater has over the eaten while the second attempted to overturn this food chain ethics. The ethics of non-injury ascribed ultimate value to every individual living being. As a critique of the individualistic ethics of noninjury, a holistic ethics was developed that prescribed the unselfish performance of one’s duties for the sake of the functioning of the natural system. Vegetarianismbecame a popular adaptation of the ethics of non-injury. These dramatic changes in ethics in ancient India are suggestive for the possibility of dramatic changes in environmental ethics today
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Christopher G. Framarin (2012). Hinduism and Environmental Ethics: An Analysis and Defense of a Basic Assumption. Asian Philosophy 22 (1):75-91.
Similar books and articles
S. K. Chakraborty (1997). Business Ethics in India. Journal of Business Ethics 16 (14):1529-1538.
Michel Dion (2000). The Moral Status of Non-Human Beings and Their Ecosystems. Ethics, Place and Environment 3 (2):221 – 229.
R. Naga Raja Sarma (1931). Ethics of Divorce in Ancient India. International Journal of Ethics 41 (3):329-342.
Manorama Jauhari (1968). Politics and Ethics in Ancient India. Varanasi, Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan.
Hub Zwart (2000). A Short History of Food Ethics. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 12 (2):113-126.
Susan J. Standfast (1989). Injury Prevention as a Public Health Responsibility: The New York State Department of Health Injury Control Program. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 17 (1):50-57.
Holly L. Wilson (2011). Kant's Treatment of Animals. In Paul Pojman (ed.), Food Ethics. Wadsworth.
Kate Lindemann (2001). Persons with Adult-Onset Head Injury: A Crucial Resource for Feminist Philosophers. Hypatia 16 (4):105-123.
Robert Heeger & Frans W. A. Brom (2001). Intrinsic Value and Direct Duties: From Animal Ethics Towards Environmental Ethics? [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 14 (2):241-252.
James P. Sterba (2005). Global Justice for Humans or for All Living Beings and What Difference It Makes. Journal of Ethics 9 (1-2):283 - 300.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #258,237 of 1,088,810 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )
How can I increase my downloads?