Ethics for Mādhyamikas

Bronwyn Finnigan and Koji Tanaka

in Moonshadows

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199751426
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827190 | DOI:
Ethics for Mādhyamikas

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This chapter investigates implications of the Madhyamaka doctrine of two truths for ethics, focusing on the possibility of justifying ethical precepts given the doctrine of the two truths and the role of that doctrine in ethical practice. The chapter defends a kind of ethical contextualism but demonstrates its limitations in delivering a justificatory basis with suasive normative force. It argues that the proper response to this problem requires reconceiving the relationship between ethics and the two truths and focusing on the instantiation of precepts in practice. The chapter concludes by explicating the function of the bodhisattva precepts as active values that are practiced in response to a conventional world.

Keywords: ethics; Madhyamaka; ethical contextualism; normative force; active values; virtue; bodhisattva precepts; Mahāyāna ethics

Chapter.  4644 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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