Indian ethics is one of the great traditions of moral thought in world philosophy whose insights have influenced thinkers in early Greece, Europe, Asia, and the New World. This is the first such systematic study of the spectrum of moral reflections from India, engaging a critical cross-cultural perspective and attending to modern secular sensibilities. The volume explores the scope and limits of Indian ethical thinking, reflecting on the interpretation and application of its teachings and practices in the comparative and contemporary contexts. The chapters chart orthodox and heterodox debates, from early classical Hindu texts to Buddhist, Jaina, Yoga, and Gandhian ethics. The range of issues includes: life-values and virtues, karma and dharma, evil and suffering, renunciation and enlightenment; and extends to questions of human rights and justice, ecology and animal ethics, nonviolence and democracy. Ramifications for rethinking ethics in a postmodern and global era are also explored. Indian Ethics offers an invaluable resource for students of philosophy, religion, human sciences and cultural studies, and to those interested in South Asian responses to moral dilemmas in the ostcolonial era.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; General introduction: Thinking ethics, the West and India. Introduction to Part A Early Indian Ethics - Vedas to the Gita; dharma, rites to 'Right': Dharma, imperatives, and tradition: toward an Indian theory of moral action, J.N. Mohanty; Dharma and rationality, Bimal Krishna Matilal; The myth of the ethics of Purusartha or humanity's life-goals, Daya Krishna; The fires of strangers: a Levinasian approach to Vedic ethics, Laurie L. Patton; Samkhya-Yoga ethics, Roy W. Perrett; Ethics of liberation in Patanjali's yoga, Ian Whicher; Karma's suffering: a Mimamsa solution to the problem of evil, Purushottama Bilimoria; Dana as a moral category, Maria Heim. Introduction to Part B: Buddhist and Jain Approaches to Ethical Decision Making: Purgation and virtue in Jainism: toward an ecological ethic, Christopher Key Chapple; Buddhist ethical theory, Padmasiri de Silva; Are there 'human rights' in Buddhism?, Damien Keown; Buddhism and democracy, Jay L. Garfield; Buddhist reductionism and the structure of Buddhist ethics, Mark Siderits; Animal ethics and ecology in classical India - reflections on a moral tradition, M.K. Sridhar and Purushottama Bilimoria. Introduction to Part C: Reflections on Moral Ideals and Modernity; Ghandi and Nonviolence: Hindu theory of tolerance, Bhikhu Parekh; Action oriented morality in Hinduism, Christopher Key Chapple; The ethical irrationality of the world: Weber and Hindu ethics, Pratap Bhanu Mehta; Social injustice, retribution and revenge: a normative analysis of the contemporary social scene, Rajendra Prasad; Gandhi, empire and a culture of peace, Joseph Prabhu; Ethical skepticism in the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, Stephen Philips. Index.
'This is a remarkable achievement both in scope and organization and in the outstanding quality of some essays.The editors have earned the gratitude of all Western students of Hindu and Buddhist thought and of comparative ethics. New possibilities of dialogue have been opened up.' --Alasdair MacIntyre, University of Notre Dame, USA
'This collection of essays relating to classical, contemporary and applied moral thinking in and from India makes a significant contribution in an area that is due for just this kind of re-envisioning of possibilities. Bilimoria's essay constitutes an excellent beginning point to initiate the trajectory of studies through the various aspects the essayists plan to cover. Good comparative materials are lacking in Ethics, and this book fills a gap.' --William J. Jackson, Indiana University, Indianapolis, USA
'This is a much needed volume that will have a substantial impact on the ways that scholars of both Indian philosophy/culture and western philosophy conceive of Indian ethics. The sophistication and breadth of the various chapters included will make the volume useful to a wide variety of scholars and non-scholars alike.' --Deepak Sarma, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA
'...insightful and noteworthy...this collection opens up the way for further inquiries into comparative studies between Indian and Western ethics...Students and scholars of comparative studies will find this book interesting and beneficial. Recommended.’ --CHOICE