An Analysis of Consequentialism and Deontology in the Normative Ethics of the Bhagavadgītā

Journal of Indian Philosophy 40 (3):277-315 (2012)
Abstract
This paper identifies the different normative ethical arguments stated and suggested by Arjuna and Krishna in the Gītā , analyzes those arguments, examines the interrelations between those arguments, and demonstrates that, contrary to a common view, both Arjuna and Krishna advance ethical theories of a broad consequentialist nature. It is shown that Krishna’s ethical theory, in particular, is a distinctive kind of rule-consequentialism that takes as intrinsically valuable the twin consequences of mokṣa and lokasaṃgraha . It is also argued that Krishna’s teachings in the Gītā gain in depth, coherence, and critical relevance what they lose in simplicity when the ethical theory underlying those teachings is understood as a consequentialism of this kind rather than as a deontology
Keywords Ethics   Gītā  Krishna  Consequentialism  Deontology
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