31. Buddhist Ethics and Western Moral Philosophy

  1. Steven M. Emmanuel
  1. William Edelglass

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch31

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

How to Cite

Edelglass, W. (2013) Buddhist Ethics and Western Moral Philosophy, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch31

Author Information

  1. Marlboro College, Vermont, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658772

Online ISBN: 9781118324004

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Keywords:

  • Buddhist Ethics;
  • consequentialism;
  • dialogue;
  • virtue ethics;
  • Western moral philosophies

Summary

This chapter shows how some forms of Buddhist ethics share features with Western moral philosophies, especially virtue ethics and consequentialism. Interpreting various forms of Buddhist ethics with the aid of diverse Western moral theories can increase our understanding. The author suggests that no one Western meta-ethical theory provides an adequate theoretical framework for grasping moral thinking in any of the major traditions of Buddhism and, a fortiori the vast and heterogeneously diverse tradition of Buddhism as a whole. Instead of translating Buddhist moral thinking into Western categories, scholars will understand Buddhist ethics better if approached, in the end, on its own terms, an approach that leads to a richer and more fertile philosophical dialogue.