Religious Studies 24 (1):65 - 89 (1988)

I have meditated regularly, following simple Buddhist procedures, for more than ten years, and that seems just about long enough for me to start to offer some preliminary account of it, despite the limitations of my progress and experience, and the difficulty of describing the more intimate and less explored reaches of the mind. I think I have learned enough to say that through prolonged spiritual practice one arrives at the springs of action and at root attitudes, and is in a position to be possessed of them in a purer, stronger form. It may seem difficult to see how the practice of philosophy can be reconciled with the practice of meditation, but I shall describe how I have tried to do so, and say how I think the one bears on the other. In fact all I can do in the present paper is to attempt a limited discussion of moral psychology, and its relation to the foundations of ethics, a discussion, I must concede now, in which I waver uncertainly in my expression of the key issues. But I think that I cannot delay indefinitely, and if I can sketch out the terrain even roughly, better work on it can come later. My references to mindfulness and to meditation will be elementary and not systematic, though adequate, I hope, to what I want to say about ethics. What I am writing in praise of is mindfulness, or awareness, which I take to be a virtue that is developed through the practice of meditation or some comparable contemplative activity. I am also concerned for the future direction of philosophy. It seems to me that our attaining to this virtue will transform its practice, so that it moves closer to traditional expectations, somewhat disappointed in recent years, though supposedly less so now. If I am not deluded, there is an interior route towards the great questions of metaphysics, and we shall be known for not having taken it. It is a task for a new generation of philosophers, and I for one still scan the horizon for their arrival
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412500001232
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Facing Truths: Ethics and the Spiritual Life: Michael McGhee.Michael McGhee - 1992 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 32:229-246.
Facing Truths: Ethics and the Spiritual Life.Michael McGhee - 1992 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 32:229-246.

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