Moral Agency and the Paradox of Self-Interested Concern for the Future in Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakośabhāṣya
Sophia 57 (4):591-609 (2018)
AbstractIt is a common view in modern scholarship on Buddhist ethics, that attachment to the self constitutes a hindrance to ethics, whereas rejecting this type of attachment is a necessary condition for acting morally. The present article argues that in Vasubandhu's theory of agency, as formulated in the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya (Treasury of Metaphysics with Self-Commentary), a cognitive and psychological identification with a conventional, persisting self is a requisite for exercising moral agency. As such, this identification is essential for embracing the ethics of Buddhism and its way of life. The article delineates the method that Vasubandhu employs to account for the notion of a selfless moral agent, with particular emphasis on his strategies for dealing with one central aspect of agency, self-interested concern for the future.
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Citations of this work
Volition, Action, and Skill in Indian Buddhist Philosophy.Matthew MacKenzie - 2020 - In The Routledge Handbook of Skill and Expertise. Routledge.
Buddhist Philosophy and the Embodied Mind: A Constructive Engagement.Matthew MacKenzie - 2022 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
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Personal Agency: The Metaphysics of Mind and Action.E. J. Lowe - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
The Constitution of Selves.Christopher Williams & Marya Schechtman - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):641.
Personal Identity and Buddhist Philosophy: Empty Persons.Mark Siderits - 2003 - Ashgate.