Abstract

In this essay several challenges are raised to the project of classifying Śāntideva’s ethical reasoning given in his Bodhicaryāvatāra, or Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, as a species of ethical theory such as consequentialism or virtue ethics. One set of difficulties highlighted here arises because Śāntideva wrote this text to act as a manual of psychological transformation, and it is therefore often difficult to determine when his statements indicate his own ethical views. Further, even assuming we can identify a set of statements that accurately portray the moral position of Śāntideva, it is argued that these statements underdetermine which foundational normative theory should be ascribed to him.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 249-275
Launched on MUSE
2015-02-02
Open Access
No
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