Pūrva Mīmāṃsā: Non-Natural, Moral Realism (Ethics-1, M14)

In A. Raghuramaraju (ed.), Philosophy, E-Pg Pathshala. Delhi: India, Department of Higher Education (NMEICT) (2016)
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In this module I set out the Moral Non-Naturalism of Pūrva Mīmāṃsā as a version of Deontology that defines duty in terms of its beneficent properties. It elucidates the scheme of right living according to ordinance or command. Whereas natural accounts of moral terms suffer from circularity (by merely re-naming of a natural property with a moral term, which then serves to justify its moral appraisal), proponents of Mīmāṃsā defend their position by offering the Vedas as constituting independent evidence about what yields goodness. In some ways, the argument provided by the defenders of Mīmāṃsā prefigure Moore's complaint of the Naturalistic Fallacy, but the Mīmāṃsā approach doesn't claim that defining natural properties by ethical terms is a fallacy: it is simply circular.

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Shyam Ranganathan
York University


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