Sunday, 25 November 2007

Categorizing people/work

D. Keown (1992) opens his work with a great review of past writings in Buddhist Ethics. Some of that effort will have to be replicated in my own and should be sketched out here.

Keown himself: (p.1) "In the face of the complexity of Buddhist metaphysics it is easy to lose sight of the fact that Buddhism is a response to what is fundamentally an ethical problem - the perennial problem of the best kind of life for man to lead."
N.B. Keown clearly sets the stage with this sentence. In fact, if you agree with this it is very easy to follow Keown down the path to an Aristotelian interpretation of Buddhist Ethics. However, one must then ask what to do with all that darned metaphysics. Other thinkers, myself included, will find metaphysical issues central to Buddhist Ethics (not a red herring as Keown suggests, cf. p19)
p. 4 "Previous Research"

Most has been descriptive (not normative or metaethical).

Tachibana (1926) "So far as I know, no work is specifically devoted to this single subject" i.e. ethics in Buddhism.

Saddhatissa (1970, Buddhist Ethics)... Keown comments favorably.

Poussin (1927, La Morale Bouddhique) - based on the Abhidharmakośa, a record of debates; its as close as the tradition gets "to the discipline of moral philosophy."
Roderick Hindery (1978, Comparative Ethics in Hindu and Buddhist Traditions) "a 'lacuna' or 'perhaps a total gap' in the contemporary analysis of Mahāyāna Buddhist ethics (p.223)."

G.S.P. Misra (1984, Development of Buddhist Ethics); included work on psychology (Abhidharma) - ch.3; morality of the bodhisattva (ch.5); and transcendence of ethics in Tantra (ch.6).
more to come...

Buddhist Ethics is Born!

In my ongoing efforts to use technology to overcome my inherent laziness and scatterbrainedness - a blog, devoted to Buddhist Ethics.


To categorize previous thought in Buddhist Ethics (rationalist, romantic, essoteric, etc)

To categorize previous thinkers (")

To categorize my own thoughts

To think aloud

To (eventually) invite feedback from interesting people

and anything else related to the above.