Madhyamaka Buddhist Meta-ethics: The Justificatory Grounds of Moral Judgments

Philosophy East and West 65 (3):765-785 (2015)
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In recent decades, several attempts have been made to characterize Buddhism as a systematically unified and consistent normative ethical theory. This has given rise to a growing interest in meta-ethical questions. Meta-ethics can be broadly or narrowly defined. Defined broadly, it is a domain of inquiry concerned with the nature and status of the fundamental or framing presuppositions of normative ethical theories, where this includes the cognitive and epistemic requirements of presupposed conceptions of ethical agency.1 Defined narrowly, it concerns the justificatory status of fundamental moral claims or judgments, i.e., claims or judgments of the form ‘x is good, right, virtuous’ and ‘x is bad, wrong, vicious.’..
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