In Colin Marshall (ed.), Comparative Metaethics: Neglected Perspectives on the Foundations of Morality. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 139-156 (2019)

Nicolas Bommarito
Simon Fraser University
Alex King
Simon Fraser University
Bimal Krishna Matilal (1935-1991) was a Harvard-educated Indian philosopher best known for his contributions to logic, but who also wrote on wide variety of topics, including metaethics. Unfortunately, the latter contributions have been overlooked. Engaging with Anglo-American figures such as Gilbert Harman and Bernard Williams, Matilal defends a view he dubs ‘pluralism.’ In defending this view he draws on a wide range of classical Indian sources: the Bhagavad-Gītā, Buddhist thinkers like Nāgārjuna, and classical Jaina concepts. This pluralist position is somewhere between relativism and absolutist realism. Unlike the relativist, he argues that there is a genuinely universal morality; unlike the absolutist, he argues that there are multiple, but often conflicting and incommensurable, moral frameworks and ideals. This paper will explain his objections to relativism, as well as flesh out his suggestive remarks about his own pluralistic account.
Keywords Matilal  metaethics  relativism  pluralism  emptiness  Nagarjuna  Jainism  Indian Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

In memoriam Bimal Krishna Matilal.Bimal Krishna Matilal - 1991 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 19:227-228.
Matilal, Bimal, Krishna 1935-1991.Dhh Ingalls - 1991 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 19 (3):227-228.
Bimal Krishna Matilal 1935?1991.DanielHH Ingalls - 1991 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 19 (3).
Bimal Krishna Matilal 1935–1991.Daniel H. H. Ingalls - 1991 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 19 (3):227-228.


Added to PP index

Total views
121 ( #87,355 of 2,446,302 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #24,380 of 2,446,302 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes