It has been widely proposed that the Jain logical methods of linguistic analysis collectively known as anekāntavāda (manypointedness) are an extension of the Jain ethical imperative of ahiṃsā (non-harm) into philosophy as a form of intellectual tolerance and relativity--described by several scholars as "intellectual ahiṃsā"--whose genealogy and development over the past sixty-five years are given in detail. It is shown how Jains used anekāntavāda to expose the relative truth of non-Jain metaphysics, while arguing that only Jain metaphysics, which alone is (...) based on the omniscience (kevala-jñāna) of the Jina, contains absolute truth (samyag-jñāna). Examples are given of Jain intolerance of others, based on nonphilosophical literacy and historical evidence, before returning to the issue of Jain tolerance for and curiosity about non-Jain philosophical positions, in an attempt to ground future discussions of Jain tolerance and intolerance on a fuller range of Jain data and not on ideological formulations inadequately grounded in historical analysis. (shrink)
(Gandhi Marg 15:1 [April-June, 1993], pp. 24-36) Individuality is and is not even as each drop in the ocean is an individual and is not. It is not because apart from the ocean it has no existence. It is because the ocean has no existence if the drop has not, i.e., has no individuality. They are beautifully interdependent. And if this is true of the physical law, how much more so of the spiritual world!
This paper has been extracted from a book manuscript that attempts to interpret Gandhi’s ethics of nonviolence ahimsa) in terms of virtue theory. The first section addresses the issue of virtue theory’s relationship to consequentialism and concludes that there is no way to avoid the fact that the virtues developed because of their consequences. Therefore, I will join Gandhi’s virtue ethics with P. J. Ivanhoe’s character consequentialism. Particularly significant in distinguishing utilitarianism from virtue theory is the relationship of means (...) to ends. Character consequentialism will insist that moral ends are always internally related to the virtues as means. In the second section I will explicate the distinction between enabling and substantive virtues, discuss the enabling virtues of self-control, patience, and courage, and conclude that the virtue of nonviolence forms an alliance with these enabling virtues. (shrink)
The paper considers how Mahatma Gandhi?s Law of Ahimsa (or non-violence) can be reconciled with the necessity of violence; some of the strategies that Gandhi adopts in response to this problem are critically examined. Gandhi was willing to use (outward) violence as an expedience (in the sense of necessity), but he was opposed to using non-violence as an expedience. There are two versions of Gandhi?s doctrine. He makes a distinction between outward violence and inner violence. Both versions grant that (...) outward violence is often necessary and must be administered with compassion. On the more demanding version, outward version is never justified, not even when it is necessary; it is at best excused or pardoned. On the less demanding version, outward violence under certain conditions is justified. (shrink)
Peace is the primary public good. --James K. Galbraith Somehow or other the wrong belief has taken possession of us that ahimsa is preeminently a weapon for individuals and its use should, therefore, be limited to that sphere. In fact this is not the case.
In this paper, I critically develop the Jain concept of nonharm as a feminist philosophical concept that calls for a change in our relation to living beings, specifically to animals. I build on the work of Josephine Donovan, Carol J. Adams, Jacques Derrida, Kelly Oliver, and Lori Gruen to argue for a change from an ethic of care and dialogue to an ethic of carefulness and nonpossession. I expand these discussions by considering the Jain philosophy of nonharm (ahimsa) in (...) relation to feminist and other theories that advocate noneating of animals, “humane killing,” and “less harm.” Finally, I propose that a feminist appropriation of the Jain concept of nonharm helps us develop a feminist ethic of nonharm to all living beings. (shrink)
An analysis of the Jain metaphysics of non-absolutism (anekāntavāda) shows how the epistemological theory of points of view (nayavāda) and the sevenfold schema of predication (saptabhaṅgī) provide a foundation for the central Jain principle of nonviolence (ahiṃsā).
Strict pacifists say that killing is always wrong. Jewish and Christian pacifists often appeal to the claim in Genesis that all people are made in the image of God, suggesting that killing them represents a kind of sacrilege as well as a violation of human dignity. Christian pacifists also refer to sayings of Jesus in the Gospels to love one's enemies and not retaliate against force with force. Hindu and Buddhist pacifists would cite their basic obligation of ahimsa, avoiding (...) harm to any sentient creature. And nonreligious pacifists often say that violence only begets more violence. (See my "Ethics and War in Comparative Religious Perspective."). (shrink)
This article reviews the element of consciousness from a Buddhist and a non-Buddhist (Western) perspective. Within the Buddhist perspective, two practices toward attaining expanded and purified consciousness will be included: the Seven-Point Mind Training and Vipassana. Within the Western perspective, David Hawkins’ works on consciousness will be used as a main guide. In addition, a number of important concepts that contribute to expanded and purified consciousness will be presented. Among these concepts are impermanence, karma, non-harming (ahimsa), ethics, kindness and (...) compassion, mindfulness, right livelihood, charity, interdependence, wholesome view, collaboration, and fairness. This article may be of use to students and workforce members who consider a transdisciplinary approach on human wellbeing in personal and professional environments. (shrink)
Anti-essentialism, antiuniversalism, anti-foundationalism, fragmentation of subjectivity, pluralization of truths are feared to entail the danger of forfeiture of possibilities for critical counter discourses. But the deconstruction of categories is not inevitably the death of politics; rather, the postmodernist intervention of canonical power /knowledge alliances facilitates the recovery of "other" strategies of resistance concerning world problems from "nonconventional" sources that have hitherto been invalidated by mainstream discourses. Thus the crisis triggered by postmodern critique could hold immense opportunities for new configurations of (...) politics to emerge through micro-politics of permanent resistance and diversification of discourses of subversion. Political activism today stands in a complicated parasitical relationship of debt and defiance vis-ä-vis the postmodernist discourse, which, despite many shortcomings, does offer possibilities of thinking the "Other". To this end, I seek to go back into the history of philosophy and reclaim tools of resistance from "different" cultural contexts to revitalize and re-imagine our oppositional practices in the present. This paper attempts to experiment with the concept of non-violence [Ahimsa) as conceptualized within the Indian philosophical tradition. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Gandhi’s writings on moral issues propose an easiest formula to the world to establish harmony and peace in the global society. In a world where people are confronting a psychological fear of sudden terror and violence, the Gandhian formula of ‘non-violence (ahimsa) as a means’ to form a perfect harmonious world is getting strong attention of the world-community. Truth and non-violence are the two most valuable ingredients of Gandhian moral thoughts. For him, Truth or God is the end and (...) non-violence is the mean and the two can not be separated. They are more effective in life when they are used in their united form. This unity can be actualized only through the motive of ‘love to humanity’ without separating one person from another on any ground. He argues that the unity of truth and non-violence is a better way to have a moral and harmonious life. In this paper, I will focus upon the Gandhian formula in wider perspective, which reflects in his political activities and his writings as well, with the contention that it is highly applicable to normalize the violence rooted in different parts of the world at both the levels of religious and political. I will contend that Gandhian notion of truth and non-violence in terms of ends and means may play a medicinal role to harmonize the world suffering from extremism and terrorism. (shrink)
Two fundamental problems in all thought can be identified: One, life and world affirmation and second, life and world negation. Indian approach is characterized as the second and hence it is claimed that moral problems have not been persistently pursued and successfully tackled in India. Points like the advaita concept of liberation, law of karma, the system of social stratification, stages of life and duties associated with them are picked up to show that theIndian system is ethically bankrupt. But along (...) with the science of salvation, the science of statecraft (arthasastra) and four objectives of human life are emphasized. The two functions of knowledge namely, theoretical and practical (arthaparicchiti and phalaprapti) referring to fact and value are recognized and it is held that knowledge of facts lead to the pursuit of values. Value is taken as the ‘object of desire’. The concept of svadharma and ahimsa are basic to it. The ‘ought of ethics’ (Dharma) is foundational to all Indian thought. A comprehensive value system consisting of spiritual, moral, material and social values and the distinction between instrumental and intrinsic values are recognized. Contemporary ethical issues relating to human rights and women, suicide, abortion and the host of problems thrown open by science and biotechnology find proper place in it. (shrink)
Jainism is characterized by an observance of non-violence (ahimsa) and asceticism (tapas). In the field of philosophy, it is marked by the doctrine of manifold aspects (anekantavada). The purpose of this study is to explore the inseparable connection between Jainism as a religion and as a philosophy. The first chapterdescribes the position of philosophical thinking in Jainism, while the second examines the doctrine of manifold aspects, which has become synonymous with Jainism. These exploration makes it clear that most of (...) Jaina philosophers have not moved beyond their religious framework into the realm of pure philosophy, even though they have developed philosophical doctrine called the doctrine of manifold aspects. Finally, I introduce Haribhadra’s statement that could becalled an ideal form of the doctrine of manifold aspects. He deals with Kapila (thought to be the founder of the Samkhya school) impartially, and he deals with Mahavira, who founded Jainism, critically. It is interesting that such an idea was stated by a philosopher who was placed in a religious framework. Though thismay be a rare case, it shows the possibility that the philosophical thinking of Jainism has the potential to go beyond its own religious framework. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; 1. Religious ethic and the philosophy of warfare in vedic and epic India: 1500 BCE-400 BCE; 2. Buddhism, Jainism, and Asoka's Ahimsa; 3. Kautilya's Kutayaddha: 300 BCE-300 CE; 4. Dharmayuddha and Kutahuddha from the Common Era till the advent of the Turks; 5. Hindu militarism under Islamic Rule: 900 CE-1800 CE; 6. Hindu militarism and anti-militarism in British India: 1750-1947; 7. Hindu military ethos and strategic thought in post-colonial India; Conclusion.