The Metaphysical Basis of Śāntideva's Ethics

Journal of Buddhist Ethics 22:249-283 (2015)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Western Buddhists often believe and proclaim that metaphysical speculation is irrelevant to Buddhist ethics or practice. This view is problematic even with respect to early Buddhism, and cannot be sustained regarding later Indian Buddhists. In Śāntideva’s famous Bodhicaryāvatāra, multiple claims about the nature of reality are premises for conclusions about how human beings should act; that is, metaphysics logically entails ethics for Śāntideva, as it does for many Western philosophers. This article explores four key arguments that Śāntideva makes from metaphysics to ethics: actions are determined by their causes, and therefore we should not get angry; the body is reducible to its component parts, and therefore we should neither protect it nor lust after other bodies; the self is an illusion, and therefore we should be altruistic; all phenomena are empty, and therefore we should not be attached to them. The exploration of these arguments together shows us why metaphysical claims can matter a great deal for Buddhist ethics, practice and liberation.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
LELTMB
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-06-26
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2015-07-16

Total views
85 ( #24,515 of 39,017 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
67 ( #6,009 of 39,017 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.