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Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures

Ethics without Self, Dharma without Atman

Western and Buddhist Philosophical Traditions in Dialogue

Editors: Davis, Gordon F. (Ed.)

  • Is unique in its coverage of multiple traditions in the history of philosophy
  • Addresses the relationship between personal identity and the scope of moral obligation
  • Is the first book to compare Buddhist philosophical ideas with both ancient and modern Western philosophers
  • Deals with Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu and Santideva from the combined perspective of analytic ethics and scholarship in the history of philosophy
  • Brings together many of the most distinguished practitioners of Buddhist philosophy
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-67407-0
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Hardcover $109.00
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-67406-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This volume of essays offers direct comparisons of historic Western and Buddhist perspectives on ethics and metaphysics, tracing parallels and contrasts all the way from Plato to the Stoics, Spinoza to Hume, and Schopenhauer through to contemporary ethicists such as Arne Naess, Charles Taylor and Derek Parfit. It compares and contrasts each Western philosopher with a particular strand in the Buddhist tradition, in some chapters represented by individual writers such as Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Santideva or Tsong Khapa. It does so in light of both analytic concerns and themes from the existentialist and phenomenological traditions, and often in an ecumenical spirit that bridges both analytic and continentalist approaches. 

Some of the deepest questions in ethics, dealing with the scope of agency, value-laden notions of personhood and the nature of value in general, are intertwined with questions in metaphysics. One set of questions addresses how varying conceptions of selfhood relate to moral values (e.g. the concern of self or selves for the well-being of others); another set of questions addresses how a conception of oneself or one’s selves should or should not affect how one thinks of happiness, or eudaimonia, or – in classical Indian terms – artha, sukha or nirvana.  Western philosophy has featured discussion of both, but some would argue that certain traditions of Asian philosophy have offered a more sustained and even treatment of both sets of questions.  The Buddhist tradition in particular has not only featured much discussion on both fronts, but has attracted many contemporary philosophers to its distinctive spectrum of approaches, and to what is – from many ‘Western’ points of view – a seemingly subversive analysis of ego, selfhood and personhood, whether in metaphysical, phenomenological or other incarnations.  

About the authors

Associate Professor and former Chair of Philosophy Dept. (Carleton U.) B.Phil. and D.Phil. in Philosophy, University of Oxford (D.Phil. 2005) Founding executive member of Ethics and Public Affairs doctoral program (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada) Research interests: Ethical theory, Comparative Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy, Buddhist Ethics, Metaethics, Political Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Personal Identity, Early Modern Metaphysics Author of “Traces of Consequentialism and Non-Consequentialism in Bodhisattva Ethics” (Philosophy East & West 2013); “Moral Realism and Anti-Realism outside the West” (Comparative Philosophy 2013)

Table of contents (13 chapters)

  • Self-Sceptical Ethics and Selfless Morality: A Historical and Cross-Cultural Overview

    Davis, Gordon F.

    Pages 1-20

  • The Ethics of Self-Knowledge in Platonic and Buddhist Philosophy

    Griffin, Michael

    Pages 21-72

  • Detachment in Buddhist and Stoic Ethics: Ataraxia and Apatheia and Equanimity

    McRae, Emily

    Pages 73-89

  • Skepticism and Religious Practice in Sextus and Nāgārjuna

    Mills, Ethan

    Pages 91-106

  • Spinoza Through the Prism of Later ‘East-West’ Exchanges: Analogues of Buddhist Themes in the Ethics and the Works of Early Spinozists

    Davis, Gordon F. (et al.)

    Pages 107-130

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-67407-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-67406-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Ethics without Self, Dharma without Atman
Book Subtitle
Western and Buddhist Philosophical Traditions in Dialogue
Editors
  • Gordon F. Davis
Series Title
Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures
Series Volume
24
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-67407-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-67407-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-67406-3
Series ISSN
2211-1107
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 284
Topics