Bhagavad Gītā: The Dialectic of Four Moral Theories (Ethics-1, M08)

In A. Raghuramaraju (ed.), Philosophy, E-PG Pathshala. Delhi: India, Department of Higher Education (NMEICT) (2016)
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This is the first of lessons on the Bhagavad Gītā. The Bhagavad Gītā is a small section of the Mahābhārata, which is a dialectical experiment in moral theory. Here the characters not only assume the role of prominent ethical theories, but must also work through the ethical challenge as a matter of practice. In this module I explicate the main arguments of the Gītā, which lead us from teleological accounts of ethics (Virtue Ethics, Consequentialism) to procedural accounts (Deontology and Bhakti). Bhakti is the most radically procedural of the four theories, and provides an account of right action independent of the good. To access article: (a) choose "Ethics 1" from the first drop down menu, and (b) the title of the paper in the second drop down menu---after clicking on the link (the title of this article above, or the link below).

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Shyam Ranganathan
York University


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