THE BLOOMSBURY RESEARCH HANDBOOK OF: INDIAN ETHICS 9781472587770, 9781474295031, 9781472587756

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Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Series
Title
Copyright
Contents
1 Moral Philosophy: The Right and the Good
1. Introduction
2. What Is Philosophy?
Explication versus Interpretation
Why We Should Reject Interpretation
Why We Should Explicate
The Evidence: Disciplinary Relativity of Objectivity
3. Philosophical Concepts and the Right to Disagree
4. Moral Theory
Four Moral Theories
Virtue Ethics: The good (state of mind, or character, organization of society) is a condition of right action.
Consequentialism: The right (action) is justified by the good (outcome).
Deontology: The good is justified by the right.
Bhakti/.Yoga: The right (procedure) causes the good.
Observations of Indian Moral Theory
5. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
2 Philosophy, Religion, and Scholarship
1. Introduction
Looking Ahead
2. Objections of Misunderstanding
The Argument That Dharma and Ethics Are Philosophical Synonyms Is Too Quick
Interpretation Is Required for the Distinction of Truth and Objectivity
The Preceding Account of Moral Theory Is Unscholarly
Your Writing Is Inelegant, Imprecise
The Idea That “Dharma” Means Ethics Is Forced
You Failed to Convince Me
3. Religion
The Criticism of Religion Is Not Universally Applicable
Religion Is More Than Ethics
4. Objection to the Characterization of Interpretation
5. In Defense of Orthodox Indology
The Philology Project
Indologists Know Better: Mill’s Liberal Imperialism
6. Interpreter’s Criticism
You Are Mean and Uncharitable
Explication Is Bias
7. Standard Objections to Indian Ethics: OI
8. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
3 The West, the Primacy of Linguistics, and Indology
1. Introduction
2. Two Models of Thought
Thought as Explication
Thought as Interpretation
The Historical Roots of Logocentric Accounts of Thought
How the Linguistic Account of Thought Hides Itself
Linguistic Account of Thought Is Not Ubiquitous
3. Implications of the Linguistic Account of Thought
Anthropocentric Communitarianism
Uncritical Naturalism
Anti-Philosophy
4. Objections
Disciplinary Criticism of the West Is Essentializing
Generalizations Admit of Exceptions
The West Is Not the Only Intellectual Tradition with Commitments
5. Orthodox Indology as the Creature of Western Theory and Western Imperialism
Notes
Bibliography
4 Beyond Moral Twin Earth: Beyond Indology
1. Introduction
2. Beyond Moral Twin Earth: Will the Real Bhumi Step Forward?
Moral Twin Earth
A World of Diversity
Outcomes
3. Failed Solutions
Davidsonian “Solutions”
Right-Wing Solutions
4. Objection
5. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
5 Interpretation, Explication, and Secondary Sources
1. Introduction
2. Quackery vs. Research
3. Contrasts
4. Summary of Contributions
Moral Theory (Metaethics and Normative Ethics)
Applied Ethics
Ethics and Politics
5. Conclusion: Why More Indian Ethics Is a Good Thing
Bibliography
6 The Scope for Wisdom: Early Buddhism on Reasons and Persons
1. Introduction
2. Ethical Reasoning in Early Buddhism
3. The Characteristic of Nonself
4. Mindfulness and Wisdom
5. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
7 Jaina Virtue Ethics: Action and Nonaction
1. Introduction
2. The Embodied Situation According to Jainism
3. Jaina Metaethics: Virtue as Intrinsic Personal Reality
4. Jaina Normative Ethics: Recovering Virtue from Action
5. The Relevance of Virtue
6. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
8 Patañjali’s Yoga: Universal Ethics as the Formal Cause of Autonomy
1. Introduction
2. Explication, and Interpreting the Yoga Sūtra
3. Yoga’s Place in Moral Theory
4. The Good as the Output of the Regulative Ideal
The Three Parts of the Right
Freedom vs. Determinism: The Metaphysics of Morals
5. The Public Practice of Personhood
6. Universal Ethics
Response to Competing Theories
7. Fixing Kant
8. Working Out the Tension in Mill with a Bit of Yoga
9. Conclusion
Note
Bibliography
9 Nyāya Consequentialism
1. Introduction
Nyaya Ethics: Consequentialism
Liberation Without Consciousness
2. Motivation and Obligation
3. Response to Western Moral Theory
4. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
10 Mindfulness and Moral Transformation: Awakening to Others in Sāntideva’s Ethics
1. Introduction: A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night
2. Bodhicitta: A Good beyond Measure
3. Guarding Awareness: Moral Development and Mental Discipline
4. Moral Dimensions of Mindfulness and Concentration
5. The Perfection of Wisdom
6. Virtues and Consequences in Śāntideva’s Ethics
7. Conclusion: Moral Treatise as Meditation Manual
Notes
Bibliography
11 Three Vedāntas: Three Accounts of Character, Freedom, and Responsibility
1. Introduction
2. Moral Theory
3. The Vedas
4. MTA Part 1: Death and Deontology
5. MTA Part 2: The Bhakti Option and the Gītā
6. Three Orthodox Options
Śaṅkara
Rāmānuja
Madhva
7. Do You Have Character?
8. Driving Past the Idea That Vedānta Is Theology Not Ethics
9. Conclusion: Responsibility?
Bibliography
12 Medical Ethics in the Sanskrit Medical Tradition*
1. Introduction
2. Medical Ethics in Modern Ayurvedic Education
3. Medical Ethics in the Ayurvedic Treatises
The Pillars of Medicine: Physicians, Attendants, and Patients
The physician
The attendant (and other carers)
The patient
Right Professional Conduct
Veracity in The Doctor–Patient Relationship
A physician’s honesty: Truth, but not the whole truth
Ensuring patient compliance
Deception as a therapeutic tool
4. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
13 Toward a Complete and Integral Mīmāṃsā Ethics: Learning with Mādhava’s Garland of Jaimini’s Reasons
1. On Hindu Ethics and Mīmāṃsā’s Uncertain Place
2. The Garland of Jaimini’s Reasons as a Best Entry Point into Mīmāṃsā Ethical Reasoning
3. In What Sense Then Is Mīmāṃsā Reasoning Ethical Reflection?
Bibliography
14 A Study in the Narrative Ethics of the Mahābhārata
1. Introduction
2. Narrative and Philosophy
3. The Mahābhārata’s Merit as Narrative
4. Moral Theory
5. Arjuna and the Pāṅḍavas as the Personifications of Virtues (and Vices)
6. Breach of Virtue as the Restoration of Dharma
7. Justice
8. Friendship
9. Yudhiṣṭhira’s Test
10. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
15 Ethics of M. K. Gandhi: Nonviolence and Truth
1. Introduction
2. Some Previous Research
3. Criticism of Modernity
4. Nonviolence (Ahiṃsā)
Nonviolence in the Bhagavad Gītā
Niṣkāmakarma Sthitaprajña, Anasakti
Jainism
Independence
5. Truth (Satya)
6. Combining Truth and Nonviolence
Ethics of Consumption (Aparigraha)
7. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
17 The Ethics of Radical Equality: Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan’s Neo-.Hinduism as a Form of Spiritual Liberalis
1. Introduction
2. The Ethics of Radical Equality
3. The Hell Dance of Demons: The Politics of Caste Oppression
4. Neo-Hinduism as Spiritual Liberalism
5. The Limits of Radical Equality: Neo-Hinduism as a Substantive Doctrine
6. Conclusion
Note
Bibliography
Glossary
Index
Recommend Papers

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i

THE BLOOMSBURY RESEARCH HANDBOOK OF

INDIAN ETHICS

ii

BLOOMSBURY RESEARCH HANDBOOKS IN ASIAN PHILOSOPHY Series Editors: Chakravarthi Ram-​Prasad, Lancaster University, UK. Sor-​hoon Tan, National University of Singapore.

Editorial Advisory Board: Roger Ames, University of Hawai’i; Doug Berger, Southern Illinois University; Carine Defoort, KU-Leuven; Owen Flanagan, Duke University; Jessica Frazier, University of Kent; Chenyang Li, Nanyang Technological University; Ronnie Littlejohn, Belmont University; Evan Thompson, University of British Columbia.

Series description: Bringing together established academics and rising stars, Bloomsbury Research Handbooks in Asian Philosophy survey philosophical topics across all the main schools of Asian thought. Each volume focuses on the history and development of a core subject in a single tradition, asking how the field has changed, highlighting current disputes, anticipating new directions of study, illustrating the Western philosophical significance of a subject, and demonstrating why a topic is important for understanding Asian thought. From knowledge, being, gender, and ethics, to methodology, language, and art, these research handbooks provide up-​to-​date and authoritative overviews of Asian philosophy in the twenty-​first century.

Other titles in the series: The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender, edited by Ann A. Pang-White The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy Methodologies, edited by Sor-​hoon Tan The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art, edited by Arindam Chakrabarti

iii

THE BLOOMSBURY RESEARCH HANDBOOK OF

INDIAN ETHIC S Edited by Shyam Ranganathan

Bloomsbury Academic An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

LON DON • OX F O R D • N E W YO R K • N E W D E L H I • SY DN EY

iv

Bloomsbury Academic An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc



50 Bedford Square London WC1B 3DP UK

1385 Broadway New York NY 10018 USA

www.bloomsbury.com BLOOMSBURY and the Diana logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published 2017 © Shyam Ranganathan and Contributors, 2017 Shyam Ranganathan has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the Editor of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Bloomsbury or the editor. British Library Cataloguing-​in-​Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: HB: 978-​1-​4725-​8777-​0 ePDF: 978-​1-​4725-​8775-​6 ePub: 978-​1-​4725-​8776-​3 Library of Congress Cataloging-​in-​Publication Data A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. Series: Bloomsbury Research Handbooks in Asian Philosophy Cover design: Clare Turner Cover image © Bridgeman Images Typeset by Newgen Knowledge Works (P) Ltd., Chennai, India

v

CONTENTS

Preface vii P art I:  W estern I mperialism , I ndology ,

and

E thics  

1 Moral Philosophy: THE RIGHT and THE GOOD  Shyam Ranganathan

1 5

2 Philosophy, Religion, and Scholarship  Shyam Ranganathan

35

3 The West, the Primacy of Linguistics, and Indology  Shyam Ranganathan

59

4 Beyond Moral Twin Earth: Beyond Indology  Shyam Ranganathan

85

5 Interpretation, Explication, and Secondary Sources  Shyam Ranganathan P art II: M oral T heory (M etaethics

and

N ormative E thics ) 

103

123

6 The Scope for Wisdom: Early Buddhism on Reasons and Persons  Jake H. Davis

127

7 Jaina Virtue Ethics: Action and Nonaction  Jayandra Soni

155

8 Patañjali’s Yoga: Universal Ethics as the Formal Cause of Autonomy  Shyam Ranganathan

177

9 Nyāya Consequentialism  Kisor K. Chakrabarti

203

10 Mindfulness and Moral Transformation: Awakening to Others in Śāntideva’s Ethics  William Edelglass

225

11 Three Vedāntas: Three Accounts of Character, Freedom, and Responsibility  Shyam Ranganathan

249

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CONTENTS

P art III: A pplied E thics  

275

12 Medical Ethics in the Sanskrit Medical Tradition  Dagmar Wujastyk

277

13 Toward a Complete and Integral Mīmāṃsā Ethics: Learning with Mādhava’s Garland of Jaimini’s Reasons  Francis X. Clooney, S. J.

299

P art IV: E thics

P olitics  

319

14 A Study in the Narrative Ethics of the Mahābhārata  Edeltraud Harzer

321

15 Ethics of M. K. Gandhi: Nonviolence and Truth  A. Raghuramaraju

341

and

16 The Ethics of Radical Equality: Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan’s Neo-​Hinduism as a Form of Spiritual Liberalism  Ashwani Peetush

357

Glossary 

383

Index 

385

vii

PREFACE

The purpose of this book is to bring together the best of contemporary research into Indian ethics—​“cutting edge” was how it was described to me. I hope it approximates this ideal. This topic was initially a curiosity for me—​one that had to do with philosophical interests in metaethics, the philosophy of thought and translation. My South Asian background made more sense to me in my moral philosophy classes as a North American, nineteen-​year-​old undergraduate (where we read Kant, Mill, and Aristotle) than in my philosophy of religion classes, where the topics of conversation (the problem of evil, divine foreknowledge, the compatibility of science and scripture) were far from what was familiar to me given my family’s background. My family God, Vishnu, was prone to giving moral philosophy lectures on battlefields and elsewhere and the topics of my moral philosophy classes (of practical rationality, the principles of choice, whether we should take consequences or rules seriously) were the very substance of what was our religion. And yet, I found it amazing that the common view among scholars is (and hopefully now merely was) that Indian philosophers were not interested in ethics, but were they ever religious! Over time my interest in Indian ethics evolved from mere metaethical concern to a substantive interest. Indian philosophy has some interesting contributions to make to moral philosophy, but we have to be open to philosophy in the Indian tradition to appreciate them. This book is the result of several scholars’ work. But as the editor, it was my task to see it to completion, and there are several sources of inspiration and guidance that I wish to acknowledge. My teachers in the study of Indian philosophy are overwhelmingly my philosophy professors, who, without exception, had no specialized knowledge of Indian philosophy and were by and large immersed in projects connected with Western figures. They were philosophers trained in the analytic or continental traditions. They taught me about Indian philosophy because they taught me about philosophy. When one gets over the fact that Indian philosophy is written in Indian languages like Sanskrit, it is just philosophy. If one does not understand what philosophy is, no amount of attention to the details of Sanskrit grammar, provenance of manuscripts, or anthropological insight will help the study of Indian thought. And if one does not know what philosophy is, one will confuse this with the study of Sanskrit, manuscripts, and Indian culture (as is often the case in Indology). I am hence quite grateful to their generosity in sharing their disciplinary knowledge of philosophy with me. I want to thank my colleagues at York’s Philosophy Department who have supported and encouraged my teaching and research interests—​ all of them.

viii

viii PREFACE

A special thanks is owed to Alice MacLachlan who encouraged me to include some Indian philosophy in my survey courses, such as Introduction to Philosophy, or Introduction to Ethics. Even in my third year Ethical Theory course, I now reserve the last week for Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra, after having reviewed the spread of issues from analytic moral theory starting with Moore and Ayer, through normative theory and some applied issues. Eric Scarffe, my research assistant, patiently read over drafts of my work and provided feedback, which was useful at a time when many of my arguments had not seen the light of day. To the hundreds of students that I have taught each year at York I am most grateful. In teaching them and responding to their questions and quizzical expressions, many of the issues that bear upon the study of Indian ethics have become clear to me. My students have shown me that philosophy is the most tolerant and inclusive of disciplines: when we focus on the argument and immerse ourselves in the task of explication, our own background stops being a barrier to understanding what was alien to us. I would like to thank the Philosophy Graduate Student Association at York for inviting me (at the last minute) to deliver a paper at their graduate conference in 2012. The occasion forced me to come up with a paper in a week, and the result was the kernel of my Planet Ethics thought experiment. I similarly owe Colleen Coalter, my editor at Bloomsbury, a debt of gratitude. Toward the very end, she asked me to rewrite my introduction into smaller parts. That forced me to be more explicit than I expected to be, and hence was born my analysis of explication, which features prominently in my introduction. I am especially grateful for the friendship, encouragement, guidance, or (virtual) support (via the Internet), of the following scholars whose contact and feedback helped me along my way with this project: Ajay Rao, Amod Lele, Ashwani Peetush, Brian Black, Brian Huss, Chad Meister, Chakravarthi Ram-​Prasad, Chandan Narayan, Claudine Verheggen, Clinton Debogorski, David Slakter, Dermot Killingley, Elisa Freschi, Evan Thompson, Gordon Davis, Ian Whicher, Ithamar Theodor, (the late) Joseph O’Connell, Joshua Moufawad-​Paul, Jyotirmaya Sharma, Karen Wendling, Kristen Andrews, Matthew Dasti, Muhammad Ali Khalidi, Nathaniel Roberts, Nell S. Hawley, Purushottama Bilimoria, Richard Gombrich, Robert Myers, Tom Angier, Vasudha Narayanan, and Vishwa Adluri. The “or” here is inclusive. The contributors to this book were a pleasure to work with: I am grateful to them for their wonderful contributions. I owe a special debt of gratitude to my family who have supported me as I explored the unglamorous research projects of a philosopher. I am especially grateful to my wife Andrea, who supported and encouraged my research and writing. Finally, I am most grateful to our readers for taking an interest in Indian Ethics.

1

PART ONE

Western Imperialism, Indology, and Ethics Indian moral philosophy, Indian ethics, is moral philosophy or ethics written by Indians. Insofar as it is philosophy, studying Indian ethics should be a function of applying best disciplinary practices to it. This requires being clear about what such practices amount to. Yet, very little has been written on the topic. There are few factors that explain this lacuna. One factor is that philosophers transmit this disciplinary knowledge to their students via practice, and not by theory. It is a disciplinary know-​how, not a know-​ that, which structures the possibilities of research in philosophy and one that will be unapparent in interdisciplinary contexts such as Indology—​without special effort to make it apparent. It, the discipline of philosophy, is logically prior to what we discover via philosophical research and is rarely treated as the object of inquiry itself. Unlike most research findings that depend upon our research interests, the basic disciplinary knowledge is something we can practice from multiple perspectives and tends not to be reported in the findings of philosophers. It constitutes pedagogy in philosophy. A second factor is that as it is logically prior to philosophical research, it is easy for philosophers to believe they are writing about it, while they are in fact confabulating. We confabulate when we endorse false memories. This occurs when we identify the consequences (such as our favored philosophical theory, or the scenery) of the implementation of a practice that we can undertake from multiple perspectives (such as philosophy or driving) with the practice that generates these impressions. Confabulation is most tempting as the consequences of one’s own practice will seem most reasonable and compelling. The error can be avoided by affirming the importance of third party perspectives in corroborating first party findings. The distinction between first-​and third-​party perspectives is essential to any discipline, such as driving or philosophy. The third factor is that the contemporary continental and analytic traditions with their roots in ancient Greek philosophy

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WESTERN IMPERIALISM, INDOLOGY, AND ETHICS

assumes (without critical awareness) the interpretive model of thought: accordingly, the thinkable is one’s perspective especially as encoded in one’s idiolect (what seems true to oneself), not a discipline (such as philosophy, mathematics or science) that coordinates multiple perspectives. In practice, this model of thought collapses the distinction between first-​and third-​party perspectives. The Eurocentric starting point of this tradition of understanding on the model of interpretation is the West: it not only understands thought as a perspective, but also treats the European experience as the universal frame as a result of its European heritage. Interpretation is imperialistic as it depicts autonomous third-​ party perspectives as incompatible with thought and as something to be appropriated. Scholars with only a passing understanding of philosophy derived from the West will hence be misled about what philosophy is by the West. The West’s imperialism is hence at play in the obfuscation of Indian ethics, as it relies upon a model of thought that does not tolerate third-​party perspectives. In the first chapter, “Moral Philosophy: THE RIGHT and THE GOOD,” I draw a distinction between best practices in philosophy—​explication—​and compare this with interpretation. Explication draws a clear boundary between first-​and third-​party reasons. This opens up an appreciation of the basic concept of “ethics”—​THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD—​as also the basic concept of the Indic term “dharma.” Interpretation, given Eurocentric assumptions about ethics, generates the familiar distinction between secular moral philosophy and religion, while explication does not. Explication depicts the rationality of an ethical theory as internal to a perspective, and the differences across ethical theories as the objectivity of the disagreement. This is the concept ETHICS itself. Interpretation identifies the rationality of ethics with a Eurocentric perspective, and problematizes everything else as mysterious and confused. In “Philosophy, Religion, and Scholarship,” I respond to a host of objections but I also address the common myths about the lack of ethics in Indian thought and the correlative view that India is the land of religion. Interpretation attempts to treat the reasons of the interpreter as beyond reproach, and the religification of what cannot be derived from first-​party reasons is a strategy employed to preserve the incontrovertible status of the first party’s reasons. The usual associations with religion—​that it is a faith, tradition bound and non-​philosophical—​is the projection of the failure of interpretation to understand a dissenting perspective onto the dissenting perspective. Religion is merely moral theory (or moral theories) that disagrees with Eurocentric ethics. In “The West, the Primacy of Linguistics, and Indology,” I explicate the history of philosophy and argue that interpretation derives from, and constitutes, the basic model of thought in the Western tradition of philosophy stretching back to the Greeks. This model of thought identifies a perspective with a thought, and thereby attempts to explain everything (including alien perspectives) in terms of first-​party reasons. It is immortalized in the thematic Western theory of thought: thought is linguistic meaning. The primary importance given to linguistics in Indology is not only motivated by this dominant Western account of thought, but also applies the account of thought to India that is responsible for Western imperialism.

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WESTERN IMPERIALISM, INDOLOGY, AND ETHICS 3

In “Beyond Moral Twin Earth: Beyond Indology,” I take the standard thought experiment in the literature to explain moral communication across cultures a step further and assume a context of radical moral diversity. I call this world “Planet Ethics.” Against this backdrop I test models of thought from the Western tradition against models of thought based on explication. The standard Western models result in tyranny and imperialism, while the explicatory account allows for free discussions on morals across languages. I consider responses to this argument based on Donald Davidson’s interpretive recommendations. I note that the strategies that Davidson recommends accord with what is common practice in Indology, but this includes treating Indians like Archie Bunker—​a loveable bigot who does not know how to speak language. None of these interventions bring us any closer to appreciating moral disagreement on Planet Ethics. In “Interpretation, Explication, and Secondary Sources,” I summarize the findings, draw attention to the differences between the explicator and interpreter, and summarize the contributions of the authors to this book as it helps us understand Indian moral philosophy. Understanding the role of ethics in Indian philosophy is very much like the challenge of understanding the movement of stars in the heavens. No new data is required: we need to give up the idea that our perspective is privileged. The rejection of the privilege of our perspective results in a yogic approach to thought that fulfills the requirement of inquiry and cross-​ cultural communication. The basic systems of Indian philosophy are moral philosophical, and the failure to appreciate this is akin to Geocentrism: the undue importance given to our own perspective in knowledge.

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5

CHAPTER ONE

Moral Philosophy: THE RIGHT and THE GOOD SHYAM RANGANATHAN

1. INTRODUCTION Moral philosophy is an important part of philosophical research but is poorly understood, in part because philosophy as a discipline is popularly misrepresented as an objectless inquiry of speculation. Ethics, concerned with our values and expectations, seems especially troubling as a form of philosophical inquiry, for what we want and expect out of life seem emblematic of subjectivity. Ethics would hence have little to do with what is objective, but intrinsically with what is subjective or intersubjective. In the effort to give ethics some content, it is often misrepresented as the study of shared values or customs. Ethics is thus confused with social-​scientific and ethnographic concerns, just as philosophy is popularly confused with the psychological project of studying and exploring one’s own thoughts. In this chapter, I account for philosophy as a discipline that determines the content of moral philosophy. Philosophy in general, and ethics in particular, is objective. The idea of objectivity is commonplace. Objects are not only what we converge on from differing perspectives, but also what explain our disagreements. When you and I look at a mirror from differing perspectives, we know it is an object because its asymmetry relative to our perspectives explains why we disagree about its appearance to us. Objectivity contrasts with illusions, such as reflections in mirrors or perhaps pictures of mirrors taken from differing angles. We cannot converge on illusion from differing perspectives, because the asymmetry of the observer explains what is experienced in the case of illusion. Truth is often conflated with objectivity, but if truth is not to be a redundant notion, no different than objectivity, then it is not what explains our disagreements. Rather truth is the property of a representation that corresponds or fits what it represents. In explanation we have a choice: to prioritize objectivity or truth. My plan in this chapter is to contrast the methodology that prioritizes truth—​ interpretation—​with the prioritization of objectivity—​explication. Explication—​a concern for objectivity—​is the cornerstone of philosophy. Explication allows us to identify the basic concept ETHICS and DHARMA as what theories of ethics and dharma

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SHYAM RANGANATHAN

disagree about: THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. This is the concept expressed by not only the English terms “moral” and “ethics,” but also “dharma” in Indian philosophy. This sets the stage for a very general explication of four moral theories: Virtue Ethics, Consequentialism, Deontology, and Yoga/​Bhakti. I draw examples from the Indian and Western traditions. In the penultimate section, I reflect on the findings. A careful explication of moral philosophy provides no grounds for distinguishing between secular European ethics and non-​European religion: Indian theories of dharma are as much theories of ethics as theories of ethics from the Western tradition are theories of dharma. Interpretation creates the distinction between ethics and religion via the imposition of one’s own values on an alien perspective. Via interpretation, the difference between the two perspectives is reified as the religious component of the alien perspective. Explication only reveals moral theory in the case of dharma.

2.  WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? Here is a crude approximation: philosophy is to ideas and thoughts what mathematics is to numbers. This might be a crude way of putting it as mathematics moves beyond numbers, but it is a useful starting point as it approximates how philosophers view their own discipline and their own work. The ordinary way of classifying philosophy as a discipline within the Humanities is misleading. Philosophy is not about our humanness. We could be Martians and engage in philosophy. Moreover, the study of human beings is anthropology—​philosophy is a distinct discipline from anthropology. Philosophy is often popularly conceived as the effort to describe or grasp how we think. That is not philosophy either—​that is psychology or perhaps sociology. Anthropology, sociology, and psychology are social sciences. The social sciences are empirical sciences. Philosophy is not an empirical science—​neither is mathematics. However, both are relevant to life in ways that go beyond what can be empirically studied. Today it is not uncommon to apologize for philosophy’s lack of empirical support. Some believe it is a problem that philosophical claims are not empirically grounded (cf. Weinberg, Nichols, and Stich 2001). But this is a confusion (cf. Cappelen 2012). The value of mathematics cannot be reduced to its empirical content: 2+2=4 is not true because of our experiences in counting—​nor is it the kind of thing that is subject to empirical testing, as though if we do the experiment and find out that 2+2 turns out to be 5, then we have to revise arithmetic. In the case of arithmetic, we are largely concerned with how we should think about quantities, and if our practice departs from the advice of arithmetic, so much the worse for actual practice (Frege 1980; Husserl 2001). Insofar as philosophy is concerned with thought it is related to how we should think about various topics—​not necessarily and not usually with how we do think—​ and in this respect it is similar to mathematics and departs from social scientific inquiry. Its value is not reducible to its conformity to sociological and cultural expectations. Rather, the value of philosophy consists in rendering philosophical

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commitments—​widely or narrowly shared—​transparent so that we can objectively judge and compare them on their merits. A package so judged is often called a “philosophy.” The most plausible of philosophies are formulated to a high degree of abstraction and generality such that the abstractions are general and the generalities are abstract. Such philosophies have a higher degree of relevance across contexts, and are not bound to the contexts that they were initially developed for and in. How does philosophy help us render our precritical ideas transparent so that we may judge them on their merits? Philosophical research breaks down this challenge into two parts. The first necessary activity of philosophy is the explication of a perspective. (The perspective might be of a historical figure or a fictional character in a dialogue, or one of many perspectives of a character or figure over time. It may even be what is articulated in an anonymous text or it may be a fictional interlocutor invoked by a real author.) The second activity of philosophy is to contribute to the diversity of philosophical options. This can either take the form of assessing the merits of an explicated perspective, or it can take the form of a new philosophical package that excels where alternatives fail. The second activity begins the moment we have succeeded in explication, for then we are in an objective position to compare alternatives that can explain the disagreements. The line between the two activities is logical, not temporal.

2.1.  Explication versus Interpretation To explicate a perspective P—​augustly called a “philosophy”—​about topic t, is to E: • discern the reasons rP that constitute P, which explain P’s use of “t” and to arrive at a systematization of rP that explains the uses of “t.” The systematization of rP that entails P’s t-​claims is P’s theory of t. The reasons rP may be what P explicitly says, or what is entailed by P. Note, the result of E is a theory of t, but the theory of t does not entail E. The reasons that explain the use of P’s t-​claims are (usually) everything that constitute P aside from its t-​claims, for these ancillary reasons function as premises or theoretical explanations of P’s t-​claims. To read texts as philosophy is to read them as articulating perspectives P that provide arguments for their various t-​claims. The goal of the explication is to provide the simplest (abstract and general) account of t-​claims, entailed by the set of reasons r constituting a particular perspective P: this is to arrive at P’s theory of t. If I follow this procedure, I can converge on your perspective P, its constituent reasons rP, and your theory of t with you—​though I may not agree with your P or your reasons rP. For instance, if you are a philosopher concerned with morality, then when I explicate your perspective P, I identify your reasons rP (explicit or entailed by what you say) that explain your use of the term “morality.” In this case, the systematic explanation of your use of the term “morality” would simply be your theory of morality. This is what it is to understand your perspective on morality. But as I relied on your reasons to explain your use of the term “morality” in my explication, I do

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not have to agree with you about morality to converge with you on your theory of morality. I can hold a completely differing theory of morality, and yet accurately converge on your theory of morality with you. Explication is the gold standard of philosophical research and also the primary skill in philosophy as it allows us to determine the possibilities of philosophical debate, which we can converge on from all possible perspectives in the debate. Explication is hence theory neutral, and can thereby be used to study all philosophy. But it can also be employed to arrive at the same results regardless of the substantive commitments of the explicator because these do not figure in the evidence that goes toward an explication. Explication is hence theory neutral with respect to both what it explains and the substantive commitments of explicators. What we explicate plays a pivotal role in explaining our philosophical disagreements. We can converge on them from differing disagreeing perspectives. Hence, what we arrive at in philosophy via explication is objective, as objects are what we can converge on from differing disagreeing perspectives. The reason that what we arrive at are objects, and not illusions, is that their asymmetries relative to our vantage explain our disagreements. In the case of philosophy, the peculiar features of perspectives, their reasons, and the resulting theories that explain their t-​claims relative to our substantive vantages explain whether we agree or disagree with each other. Explication is an objective research methodology that transcends our mind—​ our perspective, reasons, opinions, and experiences—​for it leads us to objects of philosophical inspection that we can converge on from differing perspectives. If we want our perspectives to be accurate about objectivity regardless of our orientation, we need them to be abstract and general. Hence, candidate philosophical theories are expected to be formulated to a high degree of generality and abstraction. We can explicate any term usage relative to a perspective. But certainly the interesting terms that invite explication are those whose usage differs significantly across perspectives. This difference in usage is evidence of a theoretical disagreement. The reason that explication seems so interesting in these cases is that simple social scientific explanations about what is meant do not work. The social scientific approach treats such interesting terms as having their meaning filled out by something social and observable. In this interesting case, the descriptive expectation proliferates meanings (usually relative to each context of use) and cannot provide a unified explanation for why one word is used in so many ways. In philosophy, these are the central terms: “reality,” “knowledge,” “good,” “right,” “ethics”—​the terms that first-​year philosophy students want to understand by dictionary definitions to the chagrin of their philosophy professors. The alternative to explication is subjective: interpretation. Interpretation is often confused with translation. The two concepts are often treated interchangeably—​ particularly in the hermeneutic (“interpretive”) tradition (Heidegger, for instance, was reputed to have held that every translation is itself an interpretation, cf. Lilly 1991: vii; Gadamer 1996: 384, 387)—​but there are important differences between the two. Translations and interpretations are

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easy to confuse, for both function as proxies for original texts. However, an interpretation is an explanation: it seeks to explicitly shed light on a distinct corpus. It is an intermediary. A translation, in contrast, takes on the literary identity of the original (Ranganathan 2007, 2011). To interpret some package P is for the interpreting subject S to I: • use S’s reasons (or if you prefer, “premises,” “assumptions,” “beliefs,” “truths,” and even “tradition”) rS in the explanation of P (cf. Gadamer 1996; Davidson2001a, 2001b). Note that the result of I is I: the result of an explanation of P in terms of rS is rS. The results of an interpretation are nothing logically different from the conditions of interpretation. If it turns out that in explaining P in terms of rS one arrives at something else, rNot-​S, then something has gone amiss in interpretation: one has transcended the bounds of one’s explanatory resources. I would have to either revise my original reasons used in explanation to accommodate the discovery, or reapply the original stock of reasons. If I revise my reasons, I bring my perspective closer to what I am explaining. If I reimpose my reasons, I would have to reify what cannot be explained by my reasons as inexplicable as the definition of the differentia. This would render the findings consistent with and entailed by my reasons. The former is the strategy of domestication, and the latter the strategy of religification. Both ensure that the results of interpretation are logically equivalent to the conditions of interpretation. The two strategies are often concurrent. If I interpret your perspective on morality, then I am committed to understanding your views on the topic by my reasons. But insofar as our perspectives are different, this differentia forces me to revise my views to accommodate your views, or to decide that some of your views on the topic are inexplicable. But I can domesticate these inexplicable views by correlating them to my conceptual scheme. So some of your views that you articulate on “morality”—​the inexplicable ones—​will be redescribed by me as “legal,” or perhaps “ritual” insofar as they correlate with what I am inclined to call legal or ritual. Your one term “morality” will then correspond to several concepts in my scheme. Your term “morality” will seem religious (mysterious yet traditional) to me as it corresponds to many things, some of which are ethical, and the logic that connects these various ideas are under the surface of my domestication, inexplicable by my reasons.

2.2.  Why We Should Reject Interpretation Interpretation is deeply troubled as a procedure for understanding. First, it is often presented as the default approach for understanding because knowledge requires truth, and interpretation is a criticism of method without any concern for truth. This is often taken to be a lesson of Gadamer’s famous Truth and Method: “The idea of a formal method is indeed convincingly criticized by Gadamer” (Ramberg and Gjesdal Winter 2014). But interpretation, and the prioritization of truth in explanation, is a formal method. It is not the truth plus a method. So interpretation cannot take

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credit for being correct because it is true. It is in no sense the default methodology of understanding. Second, it trades on a conflation between two different senses of reason. We often define reasons as our own opinions. But the reasons that lead us to a conclusion may be someone else’s opinions—​and we can disagree with the reasons. Failing to clearly distinguish the two senses of a reason leads to believing that any reason that you have for a conclusion—​even if it is someone else’s—​has to be your reason. A third problem is that interpretations are always subjective. An interpretation is the explanation of some perspective P by virtue of the interpreter’s reasons—​not in terms of what is objective. Change the perspective of the subject who is interpreting, and one derives a different interpretation. Explanation of a perspective in terms of what is objective is explication—​this does not make use of the subject’s reasons in the explanation. Hence, the explicator can change their mind about what they believe is reasonable and arrive at the same explication of a perspective P. Indeed, people with differing substantive positions on a common controversy can converge in explication, though they disagree with each other and what they are explicating. Interpretation renders this impossible. The associated problem here is that interpretation conflates truth and objectivity: because interpreters fancy themselves as relying on true beliefs in explanation, they think that their explanations are objective. But this is not the case: even if one’s reasons are true, interpretation is subjective for the outcome of interpretation depends on the beliefs of the interpreter—​not on what is being explained. The fourth problem with interpretation is that it is the structure of begging questions. The question begging nature of interpretation has long been affirmed poetically in the hermeneutic tradition in Western philosophy as the hermeneutic circle. The standard description of the circle is the mutual informing of the understanding of the part and whole of a text (Ramberg and Gjesdal Winter 2014). Interpreters use the term “valid” loosely to mean correct or right (cf. Ramberg and Gjesdal Winter 2014). In logic, we distinguish between valid arguments and sound ones. Valid arguments are those whose conclusions follow from the premises. We identify these conclusions as what must be true if the premises are true. We can identify valid arguments without needing to agree with the premises or without the premises being true. Valid arguments are objective: we can converge on them without agreeing and the premises of a valid argument need not be true. At times, we have to disagree with them: P and Not-​P, therefore P and Not-​P. This is valid, but you would be foolish to agree with the argument as its premise and conclusion are contradictions. The argument also begs the question: it is viciously circular and hence fallacious—​the premises entail the conclusion and the conclusion entails the premises. Yet the contradiction that is the premise is the reason that takes me to the conclusion, and the conclusion in turn depends on this reason. If you do not distinguish between a reason for a conclusion and taking this reason to be true, you confuse reasons with what you take to be your reasons. You would have to believe this argument if you did not draw the appropriate distinction. Sound arguments are the valid arguments with true premises, and while we might converge on the validity of an argument, we often do so while disagreeing

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about the truth of the premises. This is very easy in philosophy where the premises are themselves controversial. The argument is objective—​ what we identify in explication—​ and it explains our philosophical disagreements. This means that understanding someone else’s argument is not the same as trying to understand how they are right or how they could be right—​a matter that fans of interpretation get confused about (Gadamer 1996: 292; compare also Davidson’s various conflations of understanding others as understanding them as believing truly or reasonably as you see it: Davidson 1996: 66–​67; 2000: 23–​24; 2001b: 136, n. 16; 2001c: 27). Whether an argument is right has to do with the truth of the premises. Understanding is accomplished when we appreciate whether someone’s argument is valid, whether we agree or disagree. This is enough for us to understand their reasons for their conclusion. Yet, in interpretation, the result of I is just I: employing rS in explanation results in rS. Here, the conclusion and the premises entail each other. Begging the question is a fallacy. The problem here is not that question-​begging arguments are invalid. They are all valid. The problem with it is that we can use this trick of begging questions to change invalid arguments with true premises, into sound arguments by rendering the inferential relationship between the premises and conclusion bidirectional. If you do not know how, just repeat your reason as your conclusion. This is begging the question. If your reason is true, you have a sound argument all of a sudden. That is easy, when all you are doing is describing what you believe—​these descriptions will be true of you. The problem is that you have established nothing objective by begging questions. This is the problem with interpretations: they do not actually contribute to knowledge. They merely repackage what we already believe as the explanation. It is the illusion of reason and objectivity. This sounds strange, as though interpretation is a kind of prejudice or bigotry uninterested in what transcends our minds. But indeed, this is what defenders of interpretation claim (Gadamer 1996: 270). It is to understand others in terms of what one believes is true as determined in advance of the facts (Davidson 1986: 316). Prejudice on this account is unavoidable and an essential part of understanding. This view is the philosophical version of original sin. The sin of prejudice is the coefficient of knowledge, and at best we can be aware of it but we cannot get rid of it. Of course we can get rid of it if we allow for the conclusions of our reasoning to not count as evidence for our reasons. Valid, non-​question-​begging arguments show that the reasons that we employ even when they lead to a conclusion are inessential to the conclusion of research as the conclusion does not entail the reasons. Interpretation is the effort to avoid this risk of criticizing our reasons as part of the project of research by rendering the reasons essential to the conclusion. The fifth problem with interpretation is that it is imperialistic, and its efforts to accommodate secondary perspectives is colonialist. When we think about imperialism, we think about political arrangements where policy and the right opinion are determined by a center of power that has authority over other distal perspectives. Insofar as all explanation has to be in terms of rS, and the result is just

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rS, interpretation imperializes what it attempts to understand. Any perspective P at all has to be explained in terms of rS, on the interpreter’s account, which means that there can be no autonomous perspective from the interpreter’s subjectivity. There are several reasons why these errors are not obvious to interpreters. First, as they can see an issue only from their perspective, they are never aware of imposing their views on autonomous perspectives—​this requires some appreciation of the autonomy of the secondary perspective, which interpretation denies. Second, interpreters can interpret by deference to third parties, and this seems complimentary. Interpretation can present in two ways. In the primary case the interpreting subject S defers to her own reasons rS in explaining perspective P. In the secondary case, the subject S differs to an authority A to interpret a philosophy P: the reasons rA of the authority A are called on to explain P. Those who are alarmed by the apparent narcissism of interpretation might opt for the second variety of interpretation, for it seems to downplay the importance of the interpreter’s opinions. But because the primary interpreter S has reason to defer to authority A, rA become a subset of the primary interpreting subjects S’s reasons rS The difference between the two versions of interpretation is superficial for, ultimately, it is the primary interpreting subject S’s reasons rS that make for an interpretation. On this score, others are allowed to have opinions about what you are interested in interpreting, so long as they are also your opinions. Colonialism is the imperial practice of acquiring control over alien perspectives (countries, peoples, for instance). In this case, the secondary approach to interpretation is not merely imperialistic (like the first case), but is also colonialist, as the authority’s perspective is subsumed under the imperial subject. The sixth problem with interpretation is that it is solipsistic. If all perspectives P have to be explained and subsumed by the reasons of S, then the mental content of S (which consists in part of the reasons of S) have to subsume and explain every other perspective. In the end, no one can have an opinion that is not the opinion of the interpreter—​their mental independence is denied. But more strikingly, there is nothing outside of the subject on the interpretive account—​ nothing objective. Anything intelligible has to be explained by the subjectivity of the interpreter. If interpretation is so irrational, why does it persist? Interpreters like explanations by virtue of truth. The truths in question may be actual truths, or propositions that interpreters believe are true. This is why interpreters take their reasons rS so seriously: these are the claims they take to be true, and hope are true. They want these to figure prominently in explanation. This is a mistake, as truth is neither necessary nor sufficient for good reasoning: witness valid arguments, which are valid independently of the truth of their conclusions or premises. But one reason for wishing for truth to figure prominently in explanation is a confusion about inquiry. The goal of inquiry is certainly truth. Interpreters are apparently so excited about this goal, that they want truth to be the means too. This is wrong, for if truth is the means of inquiry, we will fail to identify new truths, while conservatively sticking to our old ones. This defeats inquiry, ironically, by getting our ends and the means

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mixed up. Yet, this psychologically explains the peculiar tendency of interpreters to value what they take to be true as the primary evidence in inquiry. One other explanation for the persistence of interpretation is that a certain portion of the population are narcissists. Narcissists have an elevated sense of the importance of their own opinions. Explication does not give methodological or epistemic priority to our opinions—​if the reasons we are explicating turn out to be ours because we are explicating our own philosophy, this is an accident and not a necessary part of explication. Interpretation licenses this elevated sense of the importance of one’s own opinions by giving epistemic priority to the interpreter’s opinions in explanation—​even when what is being explained is someone else’s philosophy. Those with narcissistic tendencies will hence prefer interpretation and find explication offensive to their sense of priority—​as though the world needs their opinions for anyone to have an opinion. These folks have a very difficult time with philosophy. They admit not being able to understand alien philosophy (Gadamer 1990) and will deny that others can have a radically different opinion from them (Davidson 2001a). Interpreters often deflect attention from these unpleasant features of interpretation by suggesting that we have to always revise our background stock of reasons in the face of failed attempts at interpretation: interpreters can invoke the image of Neurath’s Boat, which has to be fixed and rearranged while staying afloat. This looks like learning, yet on this account, ironically, learning only happens when we fail at interpretation. When we succeed, we beg questions. The seventh problem with interpretation is that it violates Ockham’s Razor: it multiplies meanings of terms beyond their means, and complicates matters, because of its narcissism. As an interpreter I treat my conceptual frame and perspective as the very content of the thinkable and correlate meanings of your usage of a term such as “morality” (or “dharma”) in accordance with my conceptual scheme. I hence identify a meaning of “morality” (or “dharma”) in correlation with my conceptual distinctions as I see them. Your term “morality” (or “dharma”) hence grows to have many meanings—​one for each correlation with concepts in my outlook. The more your outlook diverges from mine, the more meanings of “morality” (or “dharma”) I will find in your account as your theory drifts from mine and your usage of “morality” (or “dharma”) correlates with many conceptual distinctions from my perspective. (This is the standard approach to the topic of “dharma” in Indology.) As explication is concerned with the objective and what is objective is what we can disagree about, explication allows us to identify the common concept T as what theories of t have in common while they disagree. Hence, the common concept MORALITY is what competing theories of morality have in common while they disagree. In the next chapter I will respond to objections from interpreters to this line of argument. For now I note that my criticisms of interpretation are not discernible from the perspective of the interpreter. Interpreters are like Geocentrists who view their experience of the stars from their perspective as evidence of their place of privilege in the universe. They fail to see the irrational partiality of their position

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from their perspective. But this is immaterial for there is an important difference between understanding a perspective and understanding from a perspective. If we can draw this distinction, we can be objective about perspectives. Interpretation involves conflating the distinction between understanding a perspective and understanding from a perspective as it undermines the distinction between third-​and first-​party reasons: all reasons are reasons of the interpreter. As a result, interpreters are incapable of being objective about their own perspective and hence their responses to criticisms will be equally unobjective. Explicators—​Heliocentrists—​in contrast, do not have to worry about being unobjective for they distinguish between first-​and third-​party perspectives and reasons. This allows them to be objective about the limitations of their explanations. The limitations of their explanations is objectivity—​ how things seem from our perspective is not the same as our perspective, which means our disagreements about what we see are objective. This is where inquiry should start.

2.3.  Why We Should Explicate Interpretation is the wrong account of understanding because it is not understanding at all. The trap of the interpreter is just interpretation: the idea that anything intelligible has to be intelligible by deference to the interpreter’s reasons. Once you believe this you are committed to explaining everything from your perspective, and it is difficult for you to even imagine an alternative, let alone acknowledge that interpretation is just one model of understanding. You will tend to accept the various failures of interpretation (that it is narcissistic and question-​begging) as inescapable. Stranger still, you will be like a salesperson who buys their own sales pitch. But the negative outcomes of interpretation are only inescapable if you buy into interpretation. This is a choice that rests on conflating the distinction between first-​and third-​party reasons. Explication takes us in a differing direction. (If you find detailed analysis difficult, you may jump to the next section—​2.4 The Evidence: Disciplinary Relativity of Objectivity. If that also is too analytical for you, you may skip again to the next section—​3. Philosophical Concepts and the Right to Disagree.) First, the explication of a philosophy P’s theory of t is generated by explicating P’s reasons for t-​claims and for the theory of t—​the reasons from the start are understood not in terms of what we assent to, but objectively as what we can disagree about as constitutive of third-​party reasons. At no point is begging the question required to insulate the explicator from the prospects of dissent. The theory t that explains the usage of “t” will entail t usage, but individual and collective t usage need not entail the theory t—​especially in the case of reasonable, non-​question-​begging philosophers. (P’s theory of morality for instance will explain P’s uses of “morality” but in the case of reasonable philosophers, the uses of “morality” on the whole will not entail the theory of morality.) Reasons rP that entail or go toward the theory of t might collectively entail the theory of t, but the theory of t need not entail the entirety of the reasons of P—​especially in the case of reasonable philosophers. The explicator in turn is not required to rely on her rS in order to arrive at a theory of t,

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and moreover as the result does not entail any of the previous steps, the explicator does not have to beg questions. Indeed, as rS does not play a role in determining the theory of t, the explicating subject is free to criticize the resulting theory of t in accordance with rS. The case of the interpreter who defers to an authority cannot be critical of the authority’s reasons, as these are a subset of her own reasons. The usual stumbling block here is to assume that the explicator’s commitment to explication is one such rS that plays a role in explication. This is interpretation. But to characterize explication this way is to conflate the distinction between first-​and third-​party reasons: the first-​party commitments of the explicator plays no role in the determination of the theory of t: the only reasons that matter for this are those that constitute P or are entailed by P. So, in other words, the explicator is neither deferring to another person to interpret for them nor are they relying on their beliefs including their beliefs about explication to entail a perspective’s theory of t. Put in yet another way, the explicator does not have a reason to defer to P or its author, for the explicator is not endorsing P or its reasons as her reasons. Similarly, the explicator has no reason to defer to her own reasons to figure out P: P is not the object of inquiry. Rather, the theory of t is the object of inquiry. This is not a problem, for the procedure of explication is not evidence in favor of the theory of t of P. Explication is a practice, not a perspective. The evidence is rather the reasons of P. This is why explication is a form of research. To succeed is to learn something new: P’s theory of t. Second, explication allows us to determine the philosophical commitments of a perspective without confusing that with what an author intends. Authorial intentions are superfluous in the explanation of a text: to invoke the idea is to have some prior grasp of what a text is about and hence talk about intentions is downstream (not prior to) a grasp of what a text is about. Moreover, intentions are not objective: authors might intend to write or say something but commit themselves to something else. When we explicate, we look to the propositional commitments of a text—​especially its reasons that explain or entail its use of terms “t” such as “morality.” What this leaves unexplained are mentions of “t.” A mention of “t” is a metalinguistic depiction of “t” as something we can talk about. It might be possible that philosophers mention their views about morality and use the term “morality” in a manner that are at odds with each other, and explication allows us to discern this tension by discerning the theory that explains uses of “t”—​not mentions of “t.” Interpretation, in contrast, has no principled reason for distinguishing between such claims, for the standard is explanation from the interpreter’s perspective. I can also explicate my own P as my interest is objective: my usage of “t,” not my mentions of “t.” This activity of self-​explication allows me to not only converge on my perspective with others, but also entertain my perspective as a third-​party prospect, which I am free to affirm or deny. I might, for instance, come to revise my philosophy P if I believe that my uses of “t” should be brought in line with my mentions of “t.” I can disagree with myself too as my propositional commitments are objective.

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Interpreters will try to understand explication as an elusive version of interpretation because they have difficulty understanding anything that they do not believe—​that is after all their picture of understanding and also a serious intellectual defect. They will mistakenly reason that when the explicator defers to the rp of P, she is really deferring to her own rS, which includes claims such as “I think that P holds rP”. But “P holds rP” is a different proposition than “I think that P holds rP” and hence there are logical differences between the two claims. The explicator’s claim, if true at all, is true of P. The interpreter’s claim is true of herself. One is objective, the other subjective. Evidence that explication is not a version of interpretation is that it is not question-​ begging: you cannot recover E from the resulting theory of t as you can recover an interpretation from the resulting interpretation. Another important difference is that an explicator is under no obligation or pressure to endorse the strategy of domestication: to revise her reasons rS in light of the findings of an explication. Neither is the explicator pressured to endorse the strategy of religification: to define the results of explication as what cannot be derived from her reasons. Third, explication does not rely on truth. This allows the explicator to be critical and even agnostic, as truth is neither necessary nor sufficient for reason. What accounts for this asymmetry that allows interpretation to be question-​ begging and fallacious, but explication to avoid prejudice and bigotry? Interpretation gives explanatory priority to truth (the representational value of descriptions) and it thereby loses a grip on objectivity—​what we can converge on while disagreeing. In contrast, explication gives priority to objectivity. The catch is that we seem to give up a grasp on truth: if objectivity is what we can converge on while we disagree, who is right? Once we voice the question, we are in a position to distinguish between subjective and objective truth, and to uncover the objective truth via inquiry. There are some questions that unrepentant interpreters tend to ask: which of the rP do we defer to in the explanation of t-​claims? Clearly, all of them—​the urge to divide up reasons rP into those that are relevant and those that are not is informed by rS. Do we not need to know what claims of rP are true in order to identify the theory of t? No. They merely need to be objective. Do we not need to know what is true in order to identify an example of rP? No. We need to merely (and nothing more) identify what is objective.

2.4.  The Evidence: Disciplinary Relativity of Objectivity Explication is the cornerstone of the discipline of philosophy. Once we have mastered explication, we as philosophers are in a position to make a contribution to philosophy. Our first contribution is explication itself. But this allows us to be critical of what we explicate. If we can show that the philosophy that we have accurately explicated suffers internal defects or tensions—​inconsistencies—​or that it fails in some way to explain what is at stake in a philosophical debate or to live up to its own stated goals by its own standards—​something that we can also converge on from varying perspectives—​we have discovered objective problems with the philosophy

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in question, and any alternative that avoids these flaws would be thereby shown to be preferable on objective grounds insofar as it avoids objective shortcomings. My argument is a case in point. Interpretation so far has been shown to be a retreat into solipsism and subjectivity, and far from providing an account of understanding that we can apply to objects such as perspectives, reasons, and theories, it reveals to us something about the interpreting subject only. The alternative—​explication—​avoids these problems. Skeptics, relativists, and philosophers of all stripes can only hope to make a case for their position via this very general philosophical methodology of explication, for this allows the putative advance to be grounded on the evidence. Philosophical research, as the two steps of explication and critical appraisal, is in lockstep with philosophical education: to learn philosophy is to cut one’s teeth on these practices of explication and critical appraisal. Standard education in philosophy consists in giving students philosophy to read, and their job is to explicate it and critically respond, in conversation or in writing. We do this not once, but repeatedly. What changes is the philosophy we explicate and perhaps its difficulty. What stays the same is the discipline of explication and critical response. This is something apparent if you take a lot of philosophy courses, and if you pursue philosophy to the doctoral level. The less philosophical perspectives one studies, the less this will be apparent. Philosophical writing has, in many cases, taken on this format of explicating alternatives as a condition of the philosopher making a case for her view. Doctoral research in philosophy involves, invariably, explicating alternatives and making a case for an alternative that is an objective advance—​where the latter is something that we can converge on from differing perspectives and explains our disagreements. In the case of an objective advance, we converge on an explanation of the disagreement that casts the explanation positively, and this is something we can converge on even when we disagree. PhD candidates in philosophy do not hence succeed in doctoral defenses because they convinced all parties, but because they have shown that their contribution is an advance that is knowable while we disagree. Failures at philosophical research are completely subjective, dependent only on the opinion of the candidate and nothing that we can identify as an objective contribution that increases our appreciation of the disagreements of philosophy. The methodology of philosophical research is invariable across topics or the period of the philosophers whom one is interested in. A historian of philosophy, for instance, is not a historian with an interest in philosophy. She is rather a philosopher who takes an interest in explicating philosophies of historical interest, and her research thereby casts the philosophy so explicated as a contribution to philosophical research—​one that can allow her to critically advance a sympathetic or critical alternative. She might require knowledge of historical languages to read the philosophy in question, and some knowledge of the wider literature and history of a philosopher’s context to make sense of allusions and references. But her primary goal is explication, and this allows her to assess whether the texts of the philosopher in question matches with the philosopher’s often secondary claims about such texts. It will also allow us to assess whether commentators on a primary work within a tradition are correct in their assessment of the primary text or mistaken. Explicate each and compare: if they

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endorse differing theories of t, then the secondary material is mistaken. If you prefer truth over objectivity, you might believe that we need to ground our account of a historical philosopher in truths determined by disciplines such as history. But this is to depart from philosophy, and to retreat into the subjectivity of interpretation that prioritizes truth over objectivity. We find the two steps of explication and criticism going back to the very beginning of philosophy in Plato’s depiction of Socrates’s interaction with philosophical interlocutors. Socrates is depicted in the dialogues of Plato as explicating the views of his interlocutors, as a first step toward providing his critical response. In Indian philosophy, for instance, many philosophers would begin their philosophical works by identifying the view of the pūrvapakṣa—​ the opponent’s—​ which would be critically appraised, and consequently abandoned with a putative better alternative—​ that of the author. Good philosophy will invariably make reference to dissenting perspectives, and make a case for itself on the basis of the disagreement—​even if the alternative is anonymous or fictional. One possible objection against philosophy, which is very common among novices and amateur philosophers with little commitment to philosophical research, is that the so-​called advances of philosophical research are all subjective. This would be true if philosophy depended on interpretation. If philosophers rely on interpretation as a substitute for explication, their research can be criticized for being subjective. But this would be a failure of adhering to best practices in philosophy—​not an inevitable outcome of philosophy. The anxiety that in philosophy everything is just a matter of perspective and there is no such thing as objectivity points to a deeper confusion: a conflation between objectivity—​what explains our disagreements while we converge on it—​and agreement on what we take to be true. These are different ideas, and while it seems to be the case that we disagree about what is true in philosophy, this is objective. Research in philosophy is objective, because there is room for disagreement about what is true. This is as it should be: if objectivity transcends our mind—​our perspective, constituted by its reasons, ambitions, and desires—​then the objectivity of philosophy is compatible with differences of opinion. Indeed, in cases where no disagreement is even possible, we should seriously doubt the objectivity of the inquiry or discourse. For if a subjective perspective defines the discourse then, indeed, disagreement would be impossible: everything would have to agree with the subject to be admissible into the discourse. But if the topic is objective, it lies outside of our minds and hence differing minds can disagree about the same topic from their differing perspectives. A final anxiety that students often have is that objectivity as what explains our disagreements is apparently consistent with a kind of nihilism where truth at best describes our perspective, but there is nothing like objective truth. This is unfounded, if truth is the property of fitting representations. For then the possibility of objective truth is made possible by objectivity, which accounts for meaning. But this will be discipline relative, as objectivity—​the room for disagreement—​is discipline relative. In mathematics, objectivity—​what explains mathematical disagreements—​is proof

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and derivability (this is the meaningfulness of mathematical claims), and objective truth represents these matters. Hence, mathematical claims are objectively true insofar as they represent what can be derived from mathematical systems (“2+2=4,” “π”) and objectively false when they fail to represent what can be derived from these considerations (“2+2=5,” “Not π”). It is a worthy question whether there can be mathematical claims that are both derivable and hence objectively meaningful, but representatively inaccurate. Such examples would be reductio ad absurdums, and would spell trouble for the system in question. In logic there are many such examples. Sentences such as “this sentence is underivable” derived from a conjunction of this sentence and a second sentence would be an example of a claim that is derivable but fails to represent what can be derived. On some telling of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, it appears that the problem with Gödel sentences is that they are derivable from a suitably complex mathematical system but contradict their derivability (Tieszen 2011). The possibility of a divergence between objectivity as derivability and truth as representation means that we can do away with paradoxes in a similar manner. Sentences like the liar (“this sentence is false”) seem to be a veritable saṃsāra (whirlpool) of difficulty: its objectivity that is its meaning (treated as its truth) seems to undermine its truth, which in turn seems to undermine its objectivity. To do away with the paradox, we have to first identify the discipline relative to which a proposition appears paradoxical: the discipline will allow us to assess the conditions of its objectivity (which is its meaningfulness). Then we can distinguish its truth from its mere objectivity: its truth is its representative value. This puts an end to the saṃsāra of paradoxes. If it represents what is objective in the discipline, it is objectively true, and if it fails to do so, it is objectively false. Paradoxes seem like intractable mysteries for the two reasons that their objectivity (their meaningfulness) is not relativized to a discipline, and the truth of the proposition is treated as equivalent to its objectivity. Empirical disagreement in the sciences centers around the question of how to characterize experience from all perspectives. Scientific objectivity (what we can converge on while we disagree on empirical matters) is the characterization of experience from all perspectives: natural law. Objective truth in the sciences represents how to characterize experience from all perspectives. Hence testability is an important criterion of empirical truth, as it serves to weed out descriptions of experience that are not fitting in every context. This is a herculean task that is made simpler by dividing the discipline into subdisciplines that tract differing kinds of hypotheses. Natural hypotheses of natural sciences are distinguished from social hypotheses of the social sciences, and these kinds of hypotheses are further distinguished according to subdisciplinary concerns. In each disciplinary case, what is objective has to be understood by research, and hence the possibilities for determining what is true depends on discipline-​relative exploration. Answers and truths in one discipline do not entail findings in another. Answers to empirical or mathematical questions do not directly entail the right answer to philosophical questions. (This means that we cannot answer philosophical questions about what a perspective P claims by historical or philological findings.)

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This is as things should be if the truth is objective, and the objective is our room to disagree. This room to disagree will always be discipline relative. A discipline is the same practice from different perspectives, which means that the possibilities for converging on a common point from differing perspectives (the possibilities of disagreeing) are constrained by the discipline. Change what counts as the discipline and one changes the objects that arise. Yoga—​the discipline—​is the common axis from which different perspectives can be understood as converging on a common object.

3.  PHILOSOPHICAL CONCEPTS AND THE RIGHT TO DISAGREE To recap, what renders philosophical research objective is twofold. First, the philosophies, their theories and reasons, that we explicate are objective. The methodology of explication is also objective, as we can converge on the objects of philosophical research from diverse substantive perspectives. Further objects that we discover via philosophical research are philosophical concepts. The concept is what stands at the heart of philosophical disagreements. To discover the philosophical concept at play in a debate, compare varying theories of t that define differing philosophies P: what the theories of t have in common but disagree about is the concept T. The concept T will not necessarily be the same as the various theories of t. It explains the disagreement across theories of t. As a very simple example, consider the debate between me, who claims P, and you who claims Not-​P. The term that we want to theorize about is “P”—​our theories about P are opposite. What our theories of P have in common is the contradiction: P and Not-​P. The theories do not agree to this claim. Indeed, it cannot be true as it is a contradiction. Yet, the commonality explains our disagreement and in this respect is what the theories of P and Not-​P have in common. This is the concept that we are haggling about: we each make use of it, but to different ends. What would certainly be objectively true in this case is that our debate is about this concept. This would be a representation that conforms to the relevant concept. This example is useful because it is simple. Philosophical disagreements are rarely simple. The basic philosophical concepts of debates are like objects in general: what we can converge on but disagree about. South Asian philosophical traditions present us with excellent analogies for objectivity so understood. The Jain parable of the blind men groping an elephant—​each describing it differently owing to his particular perspective—​is a vivid and famous example.1 In determining what the concept morality is, there is no substitute for extensive philosophical research. To learn about moral philosophy and the concept of “morality” or “ethics” is not to have a passing interest in one’s ethical intuitions or the values shared in your community. It is to explicate many moral theories, and to discern their common object as the concept that the various theories disagree about. In the case of ethics or moral philosophy, when we line up varying dissenting

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positions, we find that what they triangulate and converge on is the concepts of the RIGHT (procedure) or GOOD (outcome). This disjunctive concept is what moral philosophers grapple with when they talk about “ethics,” or “morality,” or perhaps more directly when they talk about the right thing to do or the good outcome. They can similarly address this concept by thicker terms of the vices and virtues—​“cruelty,” “kindness,” and “courage,” for instance. The disjunction of THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD is the substance of the concept of “ethics” or “morality.” As John Rawls notes, “The two main concepts of ethics are those of THE RIGHT and THE GOOD . . . The structure of an ethical theory is . . . largely determined by how it defines and connects these two basic notions” (1971: 24). Every position in moral philosophical debate takes a differing view about what the relationship of THE RIGHT and the good is, and hence the concept THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD is nothing that the various positions agree about. The concept seems different in appearance owing to one’s philosophical perspective. Yet, like the contradiction in our debate of P versus Not-​P, it is something that we have in common and characterizes the bone of our contention in ethics. Each party to the disagreement employs this disagreement differently. Once we have discovered the concept ETHICS via philosophy, we are in a position to discover it in any philosophical tradition, where debates converge on the topic THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. In Indian philosophy, the famous term that tracks this same concept ETHICS or MORALITY is “dharma.” This is what can be discovered by explicating Indian philosophy—​as opposed to interpreting it. To explicate Indian dharma-​philosophy is to treat a philosophical perspective P as specifying its own reasons rP that explain its uses of the term “dharma.” The systematization of the explication is the philosophy P’s theory of dharma. Each such theory provides a unified explanation of all of the philosophy’s employment of “dharma.” If we line up contrasting theories of dharma in the Indian tradition we will discover as a matter of philosophical research that what they have in common is the concept THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD—​the concept explains the disagreements across the various theories of dharma. If we reject explication, we reject the distinction between having a reason for a conclusion and it being your (or my) reason. We hence embrace the interpretive conflation of having a reason and it being our reason. We then would understand everything from our own perspective, for we have no other perspective to rely on. We could treat our reasons as laboratory criteria to categorize uses of “dharma” according to our perspective. Like Geocentrists in astronomy who believe that everything that is real revolves around our perspective, we would hence try to understand everything including “dharma” from our perspective. This is a mistake in astronomy and in scholarship in general. The heavens, from our perspective, display constellations that appeal to our sense of familiarity, but also innumerable phenomena that are inexplicable given our biases. Smartly, uses of “dharma” will seem to fall into familiar constellations, but the mass of uses will seem difficult to reconcile. It is noteworthy that such interpreted data can be objectively explained in exactly the way Geocentric descriptions of the heavens can be explained by a Heliocentric account, which treats our perspective as

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unprivileged and a contributing factor to our experiences by reintroducing the idea of disagreeing perspectives. With respect to the heavens, this allows us to correct for our egocentrism by understanding that we are contributing to our experience of what we see by our movement with the earth. The result is a simplification of data from epicycles and apparent retrograde motion of heavenly bodies, to autonomous orbits that we experience from our dynamic perspective. If we introduce the idea of there being many competing theories of “dharma” at work, then the various uses seem to fall into two categories. Some of the uses pertain to ontological items or principles, things, or states of minds. These are outcomes. The other usages are procedural, pertaining to what we should do or think (cf. Monier-​Williams 1995: 510). The only difference between the concepts the RIGHT and the GOOD, and procedures and outcomes is the positive sheen the right and the good have—​and this is something gained by procedures and outcomes when they are endorsed by a philosophical theory. Here by reintroducing the idea of differing perspectives, we arrive at the simplification of the various uses of “dharma” to moral philosophy. All Indian thinkers were ever doing when they were talking about “dharma” was disagreeing about the concept of “ethics”—​ THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD—​ from their varying perspectives, and its seeming endless uses and meanings is how things look like when we assume that our perspective is privileged. So by explicating Indian uses of “dharma” across perspectives, what we unlock are the reasons that Indian thinkers recommended their account of the RIGHT and the GOOD when they were talking about procedures and outcomes. Just as the heavens seem unordered and capricious when we try to understand them from our perspective only, so too do uses of “dharma” seem disorderly when we interpret it.

4.  MORAL THEORY “Dharma,” “morality,” and “ethics” allow us to invoke the same concept and are hence interchangeable. We should feel comfortable talking about moral philosophy when we see “dharma” being used, just as we should feel comfortable discussing Plato’s and Aristotle’s views on dharma. The methodology that blocks this simplifying insight is interpretation, which typically leads thinkers to both religify and domesticate alien uses of terminology by privileging one’s own perspective. This process of religification and domestication results in the multiplication of concepts relative to a term such as “dharma” beyond their means. Explication simplifies the matter by leading us to an appreciation of the common concept of “ethics/​dharma” philosophy: this is the concept THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. Philosophers need not agree about what this concept amounts to and they do not insofar as it is objective. Indeed, there are at least four ways to resolve the apparent ambiguity of the concept. One might hold that (1) the good is the condition of the right, (2) the good justifies the right, (3) the right justifies the good, and (4) the right is the condition (causes) the good. Call the first two options teleological as they prioritize the good over the right. Call the second two options procedural as they prioritize the right over the good. Here I quickly and generally explain these four moral theories.

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4.1.  Four Moral Theories 4.1.1.  Virtue Ethics: The good (state of mind, or character, organization of society) is a condition of right action.  Virtue Ethics is a view about the priority of the good over the right in bringing about the right. In one formulation, the virtues determine the right action (Nussbaum 1988; Hursthouse 1996, 2013). In a weaker but more popular form, the virtues play a role in inculcating right action but this might be mediated by the role that the virtues play in moral education (Annas 2004). In the Western tradition, we find this theory at the very start, defended by Plato and Aristotle. Both authors hold that the good character of the individual is the proper source of justice and judicious choice, and that ordering of the character is a condition of wise action. A common version of this approach to ethics is to treat the virtuous person as someone to be consulted or emulated, and the right thing to do would be what they counsel. Western Theistic ethics often are versions of this kind of Virtue Ethics. Indeed, Theism is the view that at the very least, God is good (usually, all good, all knowledgeable, and all powerful). This goodness gives God a privileged place in moral practice. If this is the view, then right action should be determined by God. This is Divine Command Theory. But it is also a version of Virtue Ethics. The unique virtue of God places Him or Her in the unrivalled position of determining what to do. This view is so entrenched in some circles that talk of ethics without God seems incomprehensible. In the Chinese tradition, we find it also occupying a primary position in Confucius’s Analects, where the virtue of humanity (jen) and the superior person supports propriety or right action (li). In the Indian tradition, the clearest defenders are the Jains, who argue that virtue (vīrya) is an essential trait of the individual, and action (karma) is mistakenly depicted as primary or essential to who we are—​a depiction that constitutes our own failure to live the good life. Dharma, or morality, is the motion (disposition) that arises from giving primacy to our inherent strengths—​a disposition that takes us away from a life characterized by activity and one grounded in our inherit virtue. Right activity is quite literally a function of virtue on this account. On the Jain account, this prioritization and return to inherent virtue cuts short the pathology of identifying with action. This in turn minimizes harm to ourselves and others. 4.1.2.  Consequentialism: The right (action) is justified by the good (outcome).  Consequentialism, like Virtue Ethics, endorses the primacy of the good over the right. Whereas Virtue Ethics is concerned with providing an account of how right action comes to be and how we can do what is right, Consequentialism concerns the epistemic question of how we can figure out what the right thing to do is. The right thing to do is whatever respects or maximizes some account of the good. The right thing to do is purely instrumental on this account. But the instrumentality is not necessarily productive. If my job is to maximize an outcome, say, your happiness, the right thing to do might be to leave you alone. In this case, I will not do anything to cause you to be happy or to produce your happiness, though my action is justified insofar as it maximizes your happiness. This point is

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worth emphasizing: Consequentialism is not the ethics of endorsing what produces the most good outcomes. This description is popularly endorsed but mistaken. Consequentialists are famous for arguing that commissions and omissions that amount to the same outcome (such as killing and letting die) have the same moral status. This has been called the moral symmetry principle. It is widely regarded as an objective feature of Consequentialism. Productions are a kind of commission: to produce something is to do something. But if an omission can be equivalent to a commission, then the right thing to do can be to produce nothing on Consequentialist grounds. The formulation recommended here avoids this problem: Consequentialism is the idea that the outcomes play the role of justifying procedure: the good justifies the right. An omission can hence be justified by the same end as a corresponding commission. Consequentialism so described underdetermines what could count as the good. When the good is understood in an agent-​neutral fashion (such that the good in question is the good for all) then we call the version of Consequentialism “Utilitarianism.” When the good is thought to be agent relative (that is peculiar to the specific agent in question) we are in the realm of a host of theories that are often merely described as theories of practical rationality. We find this type of theory defended in Hobbes’s account of the State of Nature, where everyone is free to pursue whatever they determine to be good, and to some extent in Hume’s discussion of the instrumental theory of rationality. The agent-​neutral version of Consequentialism by far has had more proponents. In the Western tradition, we find it defended explicitly by not only Bentham and Mill, but also Marx. In the Indian tradition, the famous defenders of agent-​neutral Consequentialism are Buddhists. In his Consequences of Compassion (2009), Charles Goodman identifies Theravāda Buddhism with Rule-​ Consequentialism, and later Mahāyāna Buddhism that moves toward the idea of transcending moral rules with Act-​Consequentialism. As the Four Noble Truths formalize, duḥkha, or suffering, is an end to be minimized, and in minimizing this end, we maximize a good outcome: our own nirvāṇa or freedom from this suffering. Yet, the end is not agent relative, but frequently depicted as agent neutral—​something we all have an interest in, regardless of our perspective. Indeed, desire, or the possibility of agent-​ relative evaluation, is the cause of suffering (which is the same as agent-neutral disvalue), and ridding ourselves of the root of agent relativity allows us to be free of problems. Hence Buddhists argue against the permanence of the self. Right action is hence instrumental to rooting out the cause of suffering, and its justification lies in this good. The various prescriptions of the Eight-​Fold Path, including rules pertaining to our social and mental life, are justified insofar as they lead us away from the possibility of suffering. One of the remarkable features of Buddhist Consequentialism is its identification of the components of our mental life, and in later traditions, reality itself, with dharma, or ethics. Each such outcome that constitutes our reality is an agent-​neutral ethical outcome that justifies the abandonment of agent relativity. Those who are not careful in distinguishing between the right and the good land in trouble for

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some such outcomes are good, but not right. They have a bad reputation. They are unwholesome (akusalā), blameworthy (sāvajjā), and criticized by the wise (viññugarahitā). When we adopt them, they lead to harm and suffering (ahitāya dukhāya). They should be abandoned (pajaheyyātha). They include forces such as greed.2 How can these be ethical? Well, if the ethical outcomes justify an appropriate response, then these too are ethical. What would be unethical is for us to treat them as means to some end, for then we would act in a manner that was unwholesome, blameworthy, and criticized by the wise. To treat these dharmas as means to an end and not as merely ends would be to grasp them. The proper response to these ethical outcomes is mindfulness. So far from being a counterexample to the idea that Buddhist discussions of dharmas are not all ethical, we see that these unusual cases of dharmas that we should be mindful of are evidence of Buddhist Consequentialism. On its account, we do not need to and should not emulate certain kinds of dharmas—​ those, such as anger or jealousy, that seem to be about us. We should treat them as ends that justify the appropriate response of mindfulness. Before continuing, it is worth noting that some philosophers and theorists object to the formulation of Virtue Ethics above. Their view is that Virtue Ethics is better thought of as the interdefinability of the virtuous agent and the right thing to do, and the connecting factor is moral education and development (Annas 2004). Theorists are free to employ they term “Virtue Ethics” as they please. I note, however, that this latter option is really more complex than the simpler idea that the right action is determined by the goodness of virtue. Indeed, insofar as it recommends that we should choose by deference to virtue and not merely because of virtue, it is a hybrid position that mixes elements of both teleological theories: the good justifies the right and the good causes the right. Nothing in the account of the four basic options in moral theory assumes that philosophers cannot make a case for hybrid theories, and hence nothing said so far eliminates their contributions to the discipline. 4.1.3. Deontology: The good is justified by the right.  Deontology is commonly misconstrued as inconsistent. This is in part due to the rhetoric that Deontologists employ. Deontologists often object to justifying duty, or right action, by the good. But closer inspection reveals that virtually all Deontologists define duty, or right procedure, in terms of some good outcome or state of affairs. This has led some, even famous philosophers, to mistakenly claim that Deontologists are Consequentialists too (Hare 2000: 8.9). In efforts to understand Indian ethics, some have attempted to resolve this tension by claiming that Deontologists cannot discuss ends in their justifications (Sreekumar 2012: 282). But this seems troubled, for if Deontologists define duties in terms of ends, then anytime they justify duties, they are talking about ends. The contradiction disappears when we allow that defining duty is not the same as justifying duty. For if duty, or the right thing to do, is defined by some good outcome, then to justify it by appeal to this good state of affairs would be question-​begging. (To beg the question is to appeal to your conclusion as your reason.) This is viciously circular. As noted by the Indian Deontologist Kumārila Bhaṭṭa, this collapsing of the justification and definition of ethics such that defining

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the ethical in terms of good states is to justify it thus is to invent a problem of explanatory priority in ethical theory (Ślokavārttika II.242–​247). To avoid begging questions, duties defined by some good outcome must be justified procedurally. This is Deontology. It is, in some respect, the inverse of Consequentialism. Deontologists regard the good primarily as duty itself, and the justification of duty defers to procedural considerations of how to act. The most famous Deontologist in the Western tradition is Kant, who objects to appealing to empirical considerations in justifying duty (Groundwork 4: 394), and yet defines duty in terms of states of affairs—​outcomes, goods—​that we are willing to endorse on reflection. Indeed, Kant’s Principle of Humanity formulation of the categorical imperative (that we should treat others not merely as a means but also as an end—​Groundwork 4: 429; cf. 4: 436), and the Kingdom of Ends formulation of the categorical imperative (that we should choose rules that connect us as citizens of a kingdom of such ends—​Groundwork 4: 439) appeal to outcomes as defining duty and therefore as part of the justification for duty. Deontology is a popular option in the Indian tradition too. In the Bhagavad Gītā it corresponds to the position that Krishna identifies as karma yoga, or the action of discipline. Such actions are depicted as good, but the justification for these actions cannot rest on outcomes (Gītā 2.38, 47, 18.47). Rather, they rest on appeals to procedural considerations of successful practice in the face of opposition. Philosophers who treat the Bhagavad Gītā as a basic contribution to moral philosophy, such as Vedānta authors, take this Deontology on board. Pūrva Mīmāṃsā, a sister school of philosophy that attempts to understand dharma on the basis of Vedic, ritual practice, is also famously Deontological in all the ways discussed: dharma, or ethics, is distinguished as a command that is bound with welfare (Mīmāṃsā Sūtra I.2). Yet, the justification for practicing ethics appeal to intuition (śruti) and derivatively to tradition (smṛti), which are cashed out procedurally (Mīmāṃsā Sūtra I.i.5, I.iii.1). 4.1.4.  Bhakti/​Yoga: The right (procedure) causes the good.  This last theory of the four noted so far is peculiar to the Indian tradition. According to this moral theory, we bring about a good end via adherence to a procedure. The challenge for this account is to identify the right procedure independently of the good, so that the right procedure can be conceptually and practically prior to the good. What solves this problem is to identify or define right procedure by a regulative ideal. Devotion or adherence to this ideal constitutes right action, and the perfection of this practice results in the good. For this to really work, the regulative ideal cannot be a virtuous person or good—​that would merely be Virtue Ethics. Rather the regulative ideal has to be definable by purely procedural considerations. The definition of right action in terms of adherence to such procedural considerations would allow one to identify the right thing to do as truly prior and productive of the good. The term “bhakti,” commonly used in the Indian tradition as meaning DEVOTION, is a fitting description of this theory as theories of Bhakti often describe devotion to a regulative ideal as productive of good—​freedom from trouble, or the attainment of some positive

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benefic state (mokṣa). For Bhakti philosophies, the regulative ideal is depicted as something active—​a deity (such as Krishna or Vishnu), which is further cashed out in terms of His or Her function (for example, preservation and maintenance of the world). So this idea BHAKTI is commonplace in Indian thought. We find it not only in the epics, but also in academic philosophies of Vedānta. When the perfection of the practice is depicted as the instantiation of the regulative ideal by the practitioner, we have Yoga as set out in the Yoga Sūtra. In Yoga, devotion to the Lord results in our own Lordliness: the perfection of the practice as defined by the regulative ideal is just the good. I am not sure if there could really be a version of Bhakti that was not also a version of Yoga. It would have to claim that devotion to the regulative ideal produces a good, but this is not the same as the perfection of the practice. But then you would have difficulty explaining how the practice causes the good. The Yoga connection solves this problem: the practice causes the good because the good is just the perfection of the practice. Bhakti often gets confused with Rule-​ Consequentialism (Theodor 2010; Sreekumar 2012). The Rule-​Consequentialist takes the right course of action to be a rule that we have reason to believe is justified by good outcomes over time. This looks superficially like Bhakti, as Bhakti recommends an action that brings about the good. But Consequentialism is a view about what justifies action, whereas Bhakti is a view about what causes outcomes. There is important reason to distinguish the two. Superlative ends on reflection may be unlikely given our knowledge of the world, and hence attempting to justify our actions by deference to these unlikely outcomes would be discouraged on a Consequentialist account. This is as though Arjuna’s worry at the start of the Bhagavad Gītā: that the prospects of a good outcome in the war he is about to fight are low and hence they do not justify engaging in the struggle. Krishna’s argument in response is that the practitioner of yoga, in contrast, does not worry about outcomes and focuses on perfecting the practice, and this perfection of the practice becomes the good outcome. The yogi can bring about a superlative outcome that the Consequentialist will be discouraged to pursue. In the recent history of India’s political independence, Bhakti/​Yoga has played a vital role. Gandhi wrote: “They say, ‘means are, after all, means.’ I would say, ‘means are, after all, everything.’ As the means so the end” (Gandhi and Prabhu 1959: 67). This is astounding for what it shows is that a theory of morality peculiar to the Indian tradition has had an important role in India’s struggle against imperialism. But this is not so surprising for those aware of the Yoga Sūtra: the goal is after all kaivalya—​autonomy or isolation, which is the instantiation of our own Lordliness. Yoga is freedom from imperialism. As Bindu Puri has noted, the Yoga Sūtra was widely cited by Gandhi in his writings and instrumental to the development of his moral theory (2015).

4.2.  Observations of Indian Moral Theory In this section I intend to map out certain general observations about Indian Moral Theory. First, it is diverse. The standard options in the Western

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philosophical tradition are often exhausted by the big three: Consequentialism, Deontology, and Virtue Ethics. What these three theories have in common is that they require the good to make sense of right action: the good justifies right action, or it defines right action, or it produces right action. But what about scenarios of the privation of the good? Cases of tyranny or evil? Here none of these three accounts can tell us what we should do, for the right is inextricably connected with the good on these accounts. But the Indian tradition witnesses not only these three options but also a fourth: Bhakti/​Yoga. The differentia of this account of morality is the right that is not defined, justified, or a result of the good: it is rather defined by a regulative ideal of the right. The regulative ideal is not good. It is not an outcome. Rather, it is a procedure itself, cashed out in terms of the defining function of the regulative ideal. The Lord could be the inner controller, the preserver of all, or the destroyer of sin, and antagonistic to all evil (a few descriptions borrowed from the Bhakti philosopher Rāmānuja). So this account provides us a way to think about what we should do in times of evil. The advantage is that on its account we can do the right thing and be bad at it—​which means there is room for improvement. Doing what is right is not inconsistent with evil. But perfecting what is right is a mere species of doing what is right, and this is consistent with evil. But in perfecting what is right, we bring about the good. There is no doubt some tension here, but this tension is dynamic: we restore goodness by doing what is right on this account, and this edges out evil, which is tolerant of the practice of the right as it is consistent with the right. So the fourth moral theory, Bhakti/​Yoga, not only fills a theoretical void in the common account of moral theory that we learn about in the West, and is certainly of relevance to those who regard overcoming the suboptimal status quo an appropriate end of moral action, but also is a unique option worth explicating. Second, our usual attempt to distinguish between philosophy and religion is implausible. All of the so-​ called religions of India are theories of Dharma themselves—​Buddhism and Jainism—​or in the case of something like Hinduism, a wide, open arena for anything that is South Asian with no common founder to make its case. The idea that Hindus are united by a common dharma is a creation of interpretation, which religifies employments of terminology from alien perspectives that it cannot tolerate according to its reasons. The alien uses of “dharma” or “moral” become defined as what cannot be justified by the ethical theory of the interpreter. Given a Eurocentric stock of initial assumptions, Indian accounts of morality will be religified when they depart from European ethical values. The idea that the common point of these departures is the religion of Indians is a way to entrench the definition of Indian uses of dharma as inexplicable by Eurocentric considerations. “Hinduism” is the paramount religification of Indian accounts of dharma as it is a class term that includes any Indian account of dharma that is not obviously traceable to a common founder or text (Ranganathan 2016). Here the usual stereotypes about religion are exposed. Crack open a standard textbook on the philosophy of religion by leading academic publishers, and one

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finds discussions of the philosophy of religion restricted to (or mainly on) problems relating to Theism. But not all “religions” are Theistic. South Asia is filled with examples of Atheistic moral theories called “religion”; Buddhism and Jainism are obvious examples. Even within Hinduism, there are many Atheistic moral theories: Sāṅkhya and Pūrva Mīmāṃsā (the latter the preeminent defender of “Hindu” rituals) come to mind as examples. The problem with the idea that South Asian moral theories are religions is that there is no principled means of distinguishing the religious moral theories from the secular ones—​no principled philosophical means. Certainly there are geographical means: moral theories of non-​European provenance are called religions, while the European theories, whether they are Theistic or not, are secular and explicated by philosophers. In point of fact, the vast majority of Western moral theorists up until Marx are Theistic. God plays an important role in Plato’s and Aristotle’s visions of teleology and in the Divine Command theories of the Medievals. We find almost all the Contractarians who rely on some basic idea of Deontological rights are Theists (Hobbes and Locke come to mind); Kant certainly is and explicitly affirms Jesus as the moral exemplar that is evidence of the practicality and livability of the ideal (Groundwork 4: 409). Third, Theism is unusual in the South Asian tradition. Usually moral theories of Bhakti are equated with Theistic theories. But Theism is a form of Virtue Ethics as the goodness of God is primary in moral explanation for Theists. Bhakti is the opposite: it is the rightness of the Lord that is primary in moral explanation. The question for the bhakta is not who made me (hence, devotion to Brahma is theoretical but not actual), but, rather, what ideal should I worship? This is a question not about an outcome of the world (a virtue-​laden God), but a question of what function I should adopt as primary. An important difference is that for the Theist, the problem of evil looms: how can a good God, especially one in the know and powerful, allow so much evil? This is a logical problem that pits the goodness of God as an outcome of reality against the evil of creation. It seems that both cannot be the case. This question is poorly formulated given Bhakti, for the regulative ideal (the Lord), is not good. Rather, it is right. Hence, the right thing to do—​in its essence, the Lord—​is logically compatible with a lot of evil (bad outcomes), and hence there is no logical problem of evil here. The point of Bhakti is to create goodness from scratch! This is analogous to the logical compatibility of the existence of a cleaner and the existence of dirt. There is no logical problem of dirt given the reality of a cleaner. But the perfection of the practice of cleaning gets rid of dirt. Hence, the Lord is antagonistic to all evil. What is usually called sectarian, in the way of difference among schools of Bhakti, ends up being philosophical disagreements about the relationship of various regulative ideals. The question whether Vishnu (preservation) and Lakṣmī (wealth and benefit) are coequals or unequals is a philosophical difference about how to understand the regulative ideals of moral theory. Similarly, the disagreements between Vaiṣṇavas, Śaivas, and Śāktas are equally disagreements of competing and contrary regulative ideals. The disagreements are frequently nuanced. To endorse Shiva, the

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Lord of destruction, over Vishnu, the Lord of preservation, for instance, is a moral choice of a regulative ideal. These procedural entities play a vital theoretical role in the moral philosophy of the bhakta: they structure the practice to be perfected and the ideal or ideals to be realized. The final observation of note is that Indian ethics is predominantly realist. Moral Realism is the idea that moral claims are objective. In the West, this is the standard view. In the Indian tradition, this is also the standard view. Claims about “dharma” are, except in rare cases, regarded as tracking something that we could be mistaken about. The common employment of “dharma” for seemingly ontological matters is a consequence of the moral realism of Indian ethics. This is obvious when we explicate Indian dharma theories for then every employment of “dharma” relative to a perspective has to be accounted for by the theory of “dharma” and these ontological uses are thereby given a moral elucidation. If we interpret Indian theories of “dharma,” we remove uses of “dharma” from the theoretical perspective that entails them and they seem irrational and disconnected from what we call ethics.

5.  CONCLUSION Objectivity is what we can converge on from disagreeing perspectives. Truth is fitting representation. Objective truth is the representation of objectivity. The essence of objectivity depends on the discipline, for the discipline makes possible the convergence on common points from differing perspectives. In philosophy, the discipline tracks differing theories that characterize differing perspectives, and their common point of convergence is the concept that underlies their disagreement. In the case of moral theory, it is the concept THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. This is the same concept at the heart of disagreements about “dharma.” The identity of this concept means that we can interchange talk of dharma and talk of ethics. Hence, we can talk about Aristotle’s view about dharma, just as we can talk about Śaṅkara’s view about ethics. One of the benefits of the disciplinary approach to objectivity and truth is that it deflates paradoxes. An apparent paradox arises when the objectivity of a claim belies its truth. If truth and objectivity are the same, this is a problem for what results is a contradiction or tension. The distinction of truth and objectivity at the heart of a disciplined approach to knowledge shows that this is a mistake. We get seduced into paradoxes by treating the objectivity of what is said as its truth. But if the truth is its representational fit with what is objective, then an objective claim may fail to be true. What motivates the conflation of truth and objectivity? Interpretation. If we have to make sense of everything from our perspective, then the very act of understanding an object that belies its truth introduces into our beliefs a contradiction. This is interpretation. Interpretation creates mysteries and paradoxes because it tries to understand everything from the egocentric perspective of the interpreter. The stars mysteriously rotate around the Earth and Polaris is its center of rotation. The sun

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inexplicably revolves around the Earth. Geocentrists project what they see from their narrow vantage back on to reality, and the result is bad, armchair science. Those who lobby for a more open-​minded interpretive strategy (Adluri and Bagchee 2014: 420), because all understanding is historical (Adluri and Bagchee 2014: 428), are contributing to the confusion. We need to criticize interpretation because it makes understanding historical by confusing the objectivity of research with the historical contingency of the observer’s position. When I understand objectivity as something knowable from differing perspectives, the historicity of what is true about me—​my perspective—​stops being the topic of investigation or relevant to what is objective. This is the move to Heliocentrism. In moral philosophy and theory this is an important finding: moral theory is objective, and efforts to understand it historically as a question of specific cultural expectations and social arrangements are naive. It is about THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD, which we can disagree on from differing theoretical perspectives.

NOTES 1. Another useful model is the conch, prominently displayed in the hand of Vishnu while he reclines on the cosmic serpent with many perspectives and understands his egocentrism as a mutual imposition of triangulations from differing perspectives (his representation as the disk). Self-​representation so depicted would be true from all perspectives. What is interesting about a conch is that it is asymmetrical—​it looks different depending on one’s perspective. Yet, the appearance of a conch is not explained by the asymmetry of the observer, but the asymmetry of the object itself—​an asymmetry that we converge on. It is hence symbolic of objectivity. The later Buddhist idea that ultimately everything is empty for any determinate description lacks own being and autonomy (svabhāva) is also a way to capture this idea of objectivity, as it relates to truth. If truth is the property of fitting representations, then determinate truth claims can only be perspective dependent. There can be no canonical description of what is objective (like a conch) that is true from all perspectives. The ultimate truth is empty (like a conch). If truth is representation, and if objectivity is what explains our disagreements, then the later Buddhist account about ultimate truth is mistaken: objective truth represents our disagreements. 2. A description of this can be found in the Aṅguttara Nikāya (I.189–​190). My understanding of the passage has benefitted from Jake Davis’s contribution to this book.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Adluri, Vishwa, and Joydeep Bagchee. 2014. The Nay Science: A History of German Indology. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Annas, Julia. “Being Virtuous and Doing the Right Thing.” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 78, no. 2 (2004):  61–​75. Cappelen, Herman. 2012. Philosophy without Intuitions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Davidson, Donald. 1986. “A Coherence Theory of Truth and Knowledge.” In Truth and Interpretation: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson, edited by Ernest Le Pore, 307–​319. Cambridge: Blackwell. Davidson, Donald. 1996. “The Objectivity of Values.” In El Trabajo Filosofico De Hoy En El Continente, edited by C. Gutieirez. Bogata: Editorial ABC. Davidson, Donald. 2000. “Objectivity and Practical Reason.” In Reasoning Practically, edited by Edna Ullmann-​Margalit, 17–​26. New York: Oxford University Press. Davidson, Donald. 2001a. “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.” Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, 183–​198. New York: Oxford University Press. Davidson, Donald. 2001b. “Radical Interpretation.” Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, 125–​140. Oxford: Clarendon Press (Oxford University Press). Davidson, Donald. 2001c. “Truth and Meaning.” Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, 17–​36. Oxford: Clarendon Press (Oxford University Press). Frege, Gottlob. 1980. The Foundations of Arithmetic: A Logico-​Mathematical Enquiry into the Concept of Number. Translated by J. L. Austin, 2nd rev. ed. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Gadamer, Hans-​Georg. 1990. “Culture and the Word.” In Hermeneutics and the Poetic Motion Translation Perspectives, Vol. 5, edited and translated by Dennis J. Schmidt, 11–​24. Binghamton: State University of New York. Gadamer, Hans-​Georg. 1996. Truth and Method. Translated by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall, 2nd rev. English language ed. New York: Continuum. J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Seibeck). Gandhi, M. K., and R. K. Prabhu. 1959. “Sarvodaya.” India of My Dreams, 65–​68. Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House. Goodman, Charles. 2009. Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hare, Richard M. 2000. Sorting Out Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press. Hursthouse, Rosalind. 1996. “Normative Virtue Ethics.” In How Should One Live?, edited by Roger Crisp. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hursthouse, Rosalind. 2013. “Virtue Ethics.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. http://​plato.stanford.edu/​archives/​fall2013/​entries/​ ethics-​virtue/​ Husserl, Edmund. 2001. “Prolegomena to Pure Logic.” In Logical Investigations, translated by J. N. Findlay, 9–​162. London, New York: Routledge. Lilly, Reginald, trans. 1991. “Translator’s Introduction.” (Martin Heidegger’s)—​the Principle of Reason, vii–​xix, of Studies in Continental Thought. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Monier-​Williams, Monier. 1995. A Sanskrit-​English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged, with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-​European Languages, “Greatly enlarged and improved” ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Originally published Oxford University Press 1872, enlarged 1899.

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Nussbaum, Martha C. “Non-​Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach.” Midwest Studies In Philosophy 13, no. 1 (1988): 32–​53. Puri, Bindu. 2015. Tagore-​Gandhi Debate on Matters of Truth and Untruth. Delhi: Springer. Raatikainen, Panu. Spring 2015 Edition. “Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. http://​plato.stanford. edu/​entries/​goedel-​incompleteness/​ Ramberg, Bjørn, and Kristin Gjesdal. Winter 2014. “Hermeneutics.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. http://​plato.stanford.edu/​ archives/​win2014/​entries/​hermeneutics/​ Ranganathan, Shyam. 2007. Translating Evaluative Discourse: The Semantics of Thick and Thin Concepts, Department of Philosophy Dissertation, York University, Toronto. Ranganathan, Shyam. “An Archimedean Point for Philosophy.” Metaphilosophy 42, no. 4 (July 2011): 479–​519. Ranganathan, Shyam. 2016. “Hindu Philosophy.” In Oxford Bibliographies Online, edited by Alf Hiltebeitel. http://​www.oxfordbibliographies.com/​ Rawls, John. 1971. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Sreekumar, Sandeep. “An Analysis of Consequentialism and Deontology in the Normative Ethics of the Bhagavadgītā.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 40, no. 3 (2012): 277–​315. Theodor, Ithamar. 2010. Exploring the Bhagavad Gitā: Philosophy, Structure, and Meaning. Farnham: Ashgate. Weinberg, Jonathan, Shaun Nichols, and Stephen Stich. “Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions.” Philosophical Topics 29 (2001): 429–​460.

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Philosophy, Religion, and Scholarship SHYAM RANGANATHAN

1. INTRODUCTION In the last chapter, I argued that: 1. We can choose either interpretation or explication. 2. If we choose interpretation, we Xbad and misunderstand alien theories as strange approximations to our subjectivity (like geocentric explanations of the heavens where everything is judged by our perspective). 3. If we choose explication, we do not Xbad, and we can understand alien theories objectively as contributions to philosophical debate (much like heliocentric explanations of astronomical phenomena depict what we perceive as a function of differing dynamic perspectives in a public universe). Therefore, we should choose explication. Xbad sounds like street talk, but it is a variable filled in by a set of errors that interpretation mires us in. These errors include the assumption that interpretation is not a formal method, the conflation of having a reason and it being my reason, subjective thinking, begging questions, imperialism, colonialism, narcissism, and the prioritization of truth as a means of inquiry. The last error explains the error of interpretation: it confuses what should really be the end of inquiry (truth) as the means, and hence creates a methodology of prejudice, conservatisms, and insularity, threatened by an outside objective world, which it can only contend with destructively by imperializing, colonizing, and narcissistically begging questions. I am impressed with the ubiquity of interpreters in academia, but especially outside formal disciplinary bounds. Disciplines function as the common axis from which diverse perspectives can converge on objects of research. Within a discipline, serious research abounds as scholars focus on the objects that their disciplines bring into focus. These are the objects that we can disagree about from differing perspectives that share a discipline as the common axis. Discipline-​relative truth represents these objects, while discipline-​ relative error fails to represent these objects. For some peculiar reason, the study of non-​Western philosophy, especially

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Indian philosophy, is treated as a topic for interdisciplinary investigation as though the Indianness of Indian philosophy renders it more than just philosophy. Indian philosophy is typically talked about outside of philosophy departments in the West, and studied by scholars formally trained in social sciences, such as philology, Sanskrit, or the history of religions. Indology is not a discipline (it is an interdiscipline) and hence it provides no common axis for researchers to disagree about their research and hence no common axis to converge on objects of inquiry. In this disciplinary void, interpretation abounds. The interpreter treats what they take to be true as relevant to figuring out what Indian philosophers said. The problem is not that what scholars think is true is actually false, and that they must somehow discern what is objectively true in order to engage in scholarship. The problem is that the accuracy of our first-​party reasons are irrelevant to determining third-​party reasons—​unless we want to deny the capacity of third parties to radically dissent from what we take to be true, which is imperialistic. To deny this freedom to have an autonomous perspective complicates our understanding of the data, like a Geocentrist’s readings of the heavens. It is also Xbad. I have often criticized this approach by pointing out what seems obvious to a philosopher: that basic terms of philosophy are controversial, and you have to understand them as functioning to articulate competing theories relative to different perspectives to find the order in their behavior (Ranganathan 2011). This applies to “dharma” too—​India’s favorite moral term. I fault myself for not clearly distinguishing explication from interpretation in this argument. This failure makes possible the foggy response that any argument, or intellectual endeavor of understanding, is itself a form of interpretation; and any criticism of interpretation is something that everyone has to live with. Interpretation depends on the conflation of first-​and third-​party reasons. Any argument or intellectual endeavor that clearly draws a line between these varieties of reasons—​which allows for a distinction between our perspective and how things are—​is a rejection of interpretation that itself is not an interpretation. Indeed, the very possibility of criticizing interpretation on the basis of explication shows that the explicator is committed to distinguishing between first-​party reasons (their reasons) and third-​party reasons (those of the interpreter). Any methodology that rejects a central contention of interpretation would be an alternative, and interpreters who fail to appreciate this are like salespeople who buy their own pitch. Interpretation is the dogma of humanists in an undisciplined world. Explication rejects the central claim of interpretation that third-​party perspectives have to be explained by first-​party reasons. Explicators understand third-​party perspectives in the way that we assess valid arguments that might not be sound. To explicate perspective P is to treat its reasons rP as explaining its use of the term “t.” The simplified explanation is P’s theory of t. The perspectives entail the reasons that explain their use of the term “t” and hence the t-​claims are the conclusions that follow from the relevant theory of t. The truth of t-​claims and the truth of the reasons rP never come into the picture, and hence we are free to disagree with the theory of t and P’s t-​claims by understanding it as a valid argument. In other words, a perspective P’s reasons that explain its use of “dharma” or “ethics” are like the premises and its claims about dharma or ethics are the

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conclusions. To understand a theory of dharma or ethics does not involve our assent to the reasons, or conclusions, and hence we are always free to disagree with an explicated theory of dharma or ethics. At no point do we have to rely on our own idea about what ethics or dharma amounts to in order to understand the alien perspective’s view on dharma or ethics. Indeed, the entire approach allows us to define the concepts at play in theoretical differences in terms of our controversies. All the reasons at play are also those we understand in terms of controversies. At no point does explication rely on some background agreement or set of uncontroverted assumptions. It is controversy all the way down. The disjunction of the first premise (in the argument above) is really exclusive, for the choice is between failing to distinguish between having a reason and it being my reason (interpretation), and drawing such a distinction (explication). We cannot have it both ways. As explication is essential to philosophy, any time we draw such a distinction between first-​and third-​party reasons we are philosophical. Being philosophical is consistent with research in any academic discipline. Interpretation is not. The second premise excludes interpretation, and the third confirms that the reasons for excluding interpretation do not apply to explication. With explication in hand, we find that the basic concept of “ethics” is THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD: this is what ethical theories have in common but disagree about. Further, with explication in hand, we find that there is no principled means of distinguishing between secular European moral theory, and non-​European religion. All are equally perspectives with theories about THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD, and explicating the theories uncovers the moral philosophy of the theories. Further, we find that there is no principled way to distinguish between differing meanings of “dharma” in the Indian tradition: each perspective is treated as providing reasons for its use of the term “dharma” and the simplified explanation of the perspective’s use of “dharma” is the perspective’s theory of dharma. When we compare these theories, we find that they converge on the concept ETHICS: THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. This is what they have in common and disagree about. In short, treating objectivity as the foundation of inquiry allows us to discover the truth about the rich participation of Indian thinkers in moral philosophy, and that the usual (unparsimonious) distinctions drawn between differing meanings of “dharma” or even between ethics and religion (“dharma” itself often being cast as the Indian word for “religion”) are a function of interpretation.

1.1.  Looking Ahead In this chapter I respond to objections to my argument that we should shift our focus from truth to objectivity, from prejudice to research, and from doctrine to disciplinarity. First I will respond to the following: • • • •

The argument that dharma and ethics are the same concept is too quick. Interpretation is required for the distinction between truth and objectivity. The preceding account of moral theory is unscholarly. Your writing is inelegant, imprecise.

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• The idea that “dharma” means ethics is forced. • You failed to convince me (and you have to convince me in order for your argument to be taken seriously). This first group arises from a failure to appreciate that there is an alternative to interpretation. The second variety of objection concerns the interpreter’s idea of religion as a social kind. The objections are of two sorts: • The criticism of religion is not universally applicable. • Religion is more than ethics. Next follows objections to my characterization of interpretation: • Interpreters can countenance dissent. The fourth group of objections are the “dig in your heals” variety of objections, which try to argue that Indology is doing fine without philosophy (explication): • Philology is the fitting approach to the study of Indian philosophy. • Indologists are in a position to interpret Indian philosophy for they have experience of what they speak of. The fifth kind of objection sums up the bruised feelings of Orthodox Indology (OI) as objections: • You and your criticism are mean. • Explication is a bias. • Your argument is a bias in favor of philosophy. In almost every case, the objection Q is generated by relying or assuming interpretation P as the methodology of understanding. This is the conditional: if P then Q. The problem is that you cannot respond to the objections Q by denying interpretation P: that would be to engage in the fallacy of denying the antecedent. However, one can respond to the objections by showing that Q has no independent ground, aside from interpretation P. Hence, as a matter of fact, the objections Q are not objectively true: they correspond to nothing and are merely the implication of interpretation P. But then we have shown that not only is the complaint Q false, but also interpretation P is by the inference of modus tollens. Obvious examples of this kind of objection include the following: • Explication needs truth, and so it requires interpretation. • Interpretation is necessary for understanding as such. Of course, one might argue that if interpretation P is true, then its material implications should be taken seriously too. The trouble, however, is that interpretation P yields itself as an implication, and the resulting implication has no independent grounding. It is a restatement of the conditions of interpretation. This is enough to show that interpretation is objectively false: it corresponds to no thing, just the attitude of the interpreter. This is to note than an interpretation is merely a subjective account of

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how things seem from the subject’s perspective and nothing more. This also applies to objections against explication generated from interpretation. Explication, in contrast, corresponds to what is objective (for the reasons discussed in the last chapter) and hence has a very different status. When we explicate philosophy, for instance, we arrive at an account of a philosophy P that we can arrive at from any other perspective S, as the perspective S plays no role in justifying P. Our independent perspective S is incidental to our appreciation of P. For any explication of P there is always independent evidence for P: its explication from any S. This is not to say that everyone who attempts to explicate P will be successful, but it is to note why they err: they err insofar as they interpret P when they should be explicating P. Having responded to the objections generated by interpretation, and having familiarized ourselves with explication, we are in a position to be objective about the usual criticisms of Indian Ethics. The usual criticisms operate in a foggy world of interpretation.

2.  OBJECTIONS OF MISUNDERSTANDING A family of objections to explication arise because of a confusion about reason. According to this confusion, truth is central to reason. But really, truth is neither necessary nor sufficient for valid reasoning. Valid reasoning is objective, and its conclusions and considerations may not be true. Failure to distinguish between objectivity and truth, validity and soundness, leads to conflating research with churning out conclusions based on what commentators take to be true. Even when these claims are true, they are irrelevant to research about reasoning—​philosophy—​but in the warped world of the interpreter, truth eclipses objectivity. The result is that the subjective truths of the interpreter make it difficult for him to understand alternatives. Sadly, interpretation makes one less intelligent. Interpretation conflates the derivability of ideas from what one takes to be true with knowledge, research, and logic.

2.1.  The Argument That Dharma and Ethics Are Philosophical Synonyms Is Too Quick Here is an argument: (1) If we interpret “dharma,” we define its meanings in accordance with our subjective criteria, which we might share with others. Dharma will have as many meanings as uses of “dharma” meet with our criteria. (2) Explication leads us to independently identify theories of “dharma” relative to perspectives that explain uses of “dharma” by the perspective, and to do the same with “ethics.” (3) When we compare what theories of dharma and of ethics disagree about, they both disagree about procedures and outcomes. In other words, the disagreement about dharma and about ethics is the concept THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD.

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(4) Interpretation, which multiplies the meaning of “dharma” in accordance with subjective criteria, begs questions as a matter of methodology. (5) Explication is non-​question-​begging, and also objective. Therefore, “dharma” and “ethics” are terms used to talk about the same concept. This argument is valid, but not question-​begging: the conclusion does not entail the premises, but the premises, if true, entail the truth of the conclusion. The interpreter is likely to object that this is too quick. As objectivity is what we converge on from differing perspectives, then each premise is objective. If truth represents the objective, each premise is objectively true. Validity plus truth equals a sound argument. The only reason that I can discern for believing that this is too quick is if you expect the plausibility of each premise to be borne out interpretively, for then it takes time to get accustomed to each premise as something you believe. You will attempt to domesticate these reasons if they are foreign to you, or religify them as a way of resisting their force, which is to define them as un-​derivable from your specific reasons. All this requires some work on the part of the interpreter. Moreover, interpreters will feel that they need the conclusion of an argument to support the premises, otherwise their reasons seem insufficient. Begging questions allows the conclusion to be part of the interpreter’s batch of reasons, which are thereby rendered sufficiently robust to deductively entail the conclusion. Fulfilling this desire to beg questions takes an extra bit of work to reverse the direction of inference. Understanding valid, non-​question-​ begging arguments takes half the time as question-​begging arguments, but no more time than required. Any leftover sense of difficulty in grasping such arguments is the effort of the interpreter to domesticate or religify the argument.

2.2.  Interpretation Is Required for the Distinction of Truth and Objectivity There are several accounts of truth (Wright 1992; Glanzberg 2014 Fall Edition; Dowden and Swartz Accessed 2015), and truth as correspondence is just one, but it is correspondence that one requires in order to explain objective truth as what represents what is controversial—​the objective. This is an assumption that shows that the argument for objective truth provided on disciplinary grounds is an interpretation as it relies on the first-​party reasons of the explicator to explicate third-​party reasons. My response to this criticism has two parts. The first part notes that this criticism conflates two different reasons: first-​and third-​party reasons. It might be the case that explicators have many first-​party reasons and beliefs (we do), but the explicator denies that these reasons determine or inferentially support their account of third-​party reasons. They deny this because they do not understand third-​party reasons in terms of what they (the explicators) think is true. They rather explain third-​party reasons (and all reasons) in terms of what we can disagree about. This relieves pressure to have to understand third-​party reasons as consistent with or derivable from first-​party reasons. Noting that explicators have beliefs, even philosophical beliefs, that aid in their practice of explication does not constitute a refutation explication. To think that it does

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constitute such a refutation is to presume interpretation. This objection is hence not objectively true, but then we should jettison interpretation for giving rise to it. Second, if a philosophical commitment can be shown to be entailed or required in order to distinguish between first-​and third-​party reasons, then explicators should endorse them out of respect for objectivity—​what we can disagree about. But such reasons would thereby be true in one sense: they correspond to what is objective. Truth as correspondence falls naturally out of a respect for objectivity. There are alternatives, such as truth as disquotation (where truth is treated as a metalinguistic device of assertion) and the Peircean idea of truth, as what we converge on at the end of inquiry. My response is that truth as correspondence is based on the idea of objectivity as something different than truth, and to the extent that this distinction is important for appreciating disagreements, we should embrace the former. Insofar as objectivity is what we can discover by abandoning explanation from one perspective only, objectivity is discovered (not assumed) and objective truth is dependent on our discoveries. Alternative accounts arise because of a failure to respect truth and objectivity. As a test, consider a valid argument: if we assert it, it does not become sound. However, if disquotationalism were right, it should. Likewise, if we converge on a valid argument at the end of inquiry (P and Not-​P, therefore P and Not-​P) it does not become sound, though the Peircean account would appear to make it so as convergence at the end of inquiry is truth—​and the only difference between validity and soundness is truth. Similarly, if one wanted to object that the very distinction between valid and sound arguments is also based on assumption and interpretation, we can respond that this is a mistake. Objectivity in reasoning—​what we can converge on while we disagree about truth—​is inferential support for a conclusion. This is validity. We discover this by abandoning just one perspective and considering an argument from all perspectives. Sound arguments are to valid arguments what truth is to objectivity. In the case of sound arguments and true premises, what we have is something that corresponds to what is objective.

2.3.  The Preceding Account of Moral Theory Is Unscholarly The account of moral theory in the previous chapter was high-​level and general. It lacked copious references, and in general my writing has been less documented than what is customary in Indology. Explication is the procedure that directs us to discern reasons rP of a perspective P (stated or entailed) that explain the perspective’s uses of its term “t.” The logically simplified explanation is P’s theory of t. References, citations, and quotations of the original text may be used to support an explication. We can cite textual sources for specific reasons rP, but perhaps not all—​not those that are entailed. As for the resulting theory t, if the theory really does inferentially explain uses of “t” and if the inferences are non-​question-​begging, the uses of “t” as the conclusions of the theory t will not entail the theory t. So citing uses of “t” can at best confirm the theory, but does not prove it, and uses of “t” cannot be brought in as evidence for the explication that results in a theory of t. All of this undermines the urgency

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and motivation for pointing to isolated bits of a text as evidence of an explication. As for evidence of theory t, we have to look to everything else that constitutes rP. This is objective, as it treats rP as evidence of a theory t that explains all uses of “t,” and not rS, which is the reason of the subject explicating a text. So short of reproducing an original text, quoting bits of a text and citing isolated usages are rather post hoc. The real work in determining whether an explication is right is to read philosophy oneself, just as the real evidence of mathematical proof is to do the proof oneself, and just as the real evidence of a scientific test is to reproduce the experiment oneself. Contrast this with interpretation, where the text is to be made intelligible in light of the assumptions and reasons of the subject interpreting the text. Can the interpreter provide scholarly documentation? If the expectation is that scholarly documentation has to refer to the text being discussed, interpreters will never clearly defend or argue for the interpreting criteria for these are not verbatim in the text. (Indeed, if they had to defend these criteria they would notice that they are philosophically controversial and cannot be assumed as the basis of understanding third-​party reasons. “Focusing on the text” is the way that interpreters avoid dealing with the philosophy they assume.) So pressed with having to make a case for their scholarship on the basis of the text, interpreters cannot provide you references for their reasons rS. However, they can certainly quote and refer to small parts of the texts, thoroughly, as they roll out their interpretation. Each quotation, citation, and presentation of the original text can be brought in as proof of the interpretation for the commentator is the one who casts the quotation in light of their interpretation. So interpreters will act as though philological details of a text are central to making a case for a reading. But this is a sham for it is the interpretation that renders the quotations and citations dispositive. But interpretation is not objective. It depends on the first-​ party reasons of the interpreters and not the objective perspective expressed in texts. The obfuscating element in this that keeps this sham alive is the idea that the truth of the interpreter’s assumptions legitimizes their readings. The truth of first-​party reasons are not relevant to determining third-​party reasons if third parties can disagree. As interpretations are plausible only if you buy the interpreter’s substantive commitments, the seemingly meticulous documentation of interpreters is published and is taken seriously insofar as reviewers and readers share the subjectivity of the interpreter. But from this shared vantage, we have an illusion for the findings of interpretation can be seen from no other perspective.

2.4.  Your Writing Is Inelegant, Imprecise Interpreters complain about style when the issue is substance, for reason is the same as their subjectivity. What this excludes is talk of objects and objectivity. Interpreters feel inconvenienced when you talk about things, objects, and items in philosophy, as though their very mention ruins the flow of erudition and abstraction. Is this a serious objection: your writing is inelegant? Since this is an objection that is generated

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by interpretation, it has no independent ground. It is hence not true (it represents nothing independently of its antecedent) and it shows us how interpretation is mistaken: modus tollens. But as for the imprecision of writing that is also something only an interpreter will believe is relevant for accuracy is something that interpretation cannot fathom. Our interpretations (the explanation of a perspective in terms of our first-​party reasons) are not accurate, for there is no thing for them to correspond to. They are at best precise, which means that we can repeat them. Real research tracks objects, and measurements of dynamic objects relative to the status of the dynamic observer will not be repeatable. Hence objectivity is an important factor of research: it allows us to distinguish between mere imprecision and accuracy. In the case of what we can disagree about, our measurements can be accurate though perhaps imprecise if the objects are dynamic relative to our moods. It is the mark of uncareful thinking to confuse precision and accuracy. As researchers assess objects from different vantages, the measurements will appear unrepeatable though what they get at is accuracy. Only interpreters confuse precision with accuracy: for them, precision is as good as it gets.

2.5.  The Idea That “Dharma” Means Ethics Is Forced Several authors have made the claim that the identification of “ethics” and “dharma” is forced. (White 2011; Burley July 2012; 2014: 226; Taylor-​Rugman 2012). The only way to generate this conclusion is via interpretation: if one’s definition of “ethics” is out of step with Indian uses of “dharma” then the application of one’s definition to “dharma” will appear forced. There is no independent grounding for this assessment. Hence, this objection is not objectively true, though it is an implication of interpretation. Modus tollens: interpretation is false. It corresponds to no objective thing.

2.6.  You Failed to Convince Me So what if I did not convince you? This would be a problem if you thought that you have to be convinced in order to take an argument seriously and worthy of scholarly consideration. Explicators certainly do not believe this. Explicators are open to arguments that they disagree with: this is what it is to engage in philosophical research. Only interpreters confuse being persuaded with being presented with an objectively sound argument because they confuse having a reason that leads to further conclusions (validity) with it being their reason that they take to be true (question-​ begging soundness). This is what leads interpreters to deny the reality of Indian ethics: arguments for Indian accounts of dharma are not persuasive to them, so they deny they exist at all. But if the only reason not to buy an argument for explication is a prior commitment to interpretation, then this lack of persuasion has no independent grounds. It is objectively false, and shows interpretation to be mistaken! Could we not make an analogous argument that any criticism of interpretation based on explication is not objective for it is based merely on explication? There

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are two worthy responses to this concern. First, if there are no independent reasons for rejecting interpretation apart from its failure to conform to explication, then objections against interpretation would be apparently objectively false and based only on a prior commitment to explication. But the many problems noted at the start of this chapter, and in the previous chapter, with interpretation, are independent reasons to reject it. Second, unlike interpretation that conflates first-​and third-​ party reasons and is thereby subjective, explication is based on objectivity: it represents understanding what is objective and is hence objectively true. Any implication of an objective truth would be a case of Modus Ponens: affirming the antecedent. The implication should be taken seriously in this case.

3. RELIGION Interpreters tend to take religion very seriously for obvious reasons: in our world it is true that some practices and systems count as religions, while others do not. Religion is a social kind on their account. Explication, in contrast, provides us no reason to take religion seriously as anything distinct from moral theory. Theistic religions along with Jainism, for instance, are versions of Virtue Ethics, Bhakti in the Indian tradition is the explanatorily opposite moral theory, and most other views associated with Indian religions (such as other Hindu views and Buddhism) are versions of Deontology and Consequentialism. There are two objections that defenders of religion-​as-​distinct-​from-​moral-​theory might claim to entrench taking religion seriously as distinct from moral theory.

3.1.  The Criticism of Religion Is Not Universally Applicable The first objection notes that there are facts (true propositions) about religious differences in our world. These differences are legally entrenched: in many jurisdictions one earns rights and privileges and accommodations by deference to religious identity that are not available to mere philosophical allegiance. This shows that religion is more than more moral theory. The explicator’s response is to note that there is no way to make sense of the idea of a religion without deferring to what we or anyone believes is true or what is true. This is interpretation. Explanation by deference to truth is not objective—​ even when the truths in question represent what we can disagree about. The reason that such explanations by way of truth are not objective is that so long as we can disagree with such explanations, they are at best partial. In philosophy we know this as the reality of philosophical disagreement. I realize that this argument will seem Buddhist—​echoes of Nāgārjuna. The argument for objectivity as primary and truth as derivative is South Asian, but it is also at the root of disciplined research. Disciplinarity bypasses the partiality of truth by investigating research topics as what we disagree about. This is synoptic. Truth is at best the explicandum, not the explicans.

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If it is objectively true that there are religious differences in our world, then it follows that we should take those differences seriously. Modus Ponens. But the way to take such differences seriously is to investigate them objectively and all we find when we explicate the options is moral theory. The conventional truth of religious identity is empty—​empty like a conch. When we examine it closely all we find is what we can disagree about from differing perspectives. The questions that arise from this investigating are questions of procedure and outcome.

3.2.  Religion Is More Than Ethics One might further object that if explication can draw no distinction between moral theory and religion—​it is all moral theory on its account—​then religion is reduced to ethics. But religion is more than ethics. The problem with this objection is that it relies on some account of what ethics is, and what religion is, which are interpretive. There is no way to make sense of the distinction between ethical theory and religion without some limiting assumption about what ethics is, as though ethical theory cannot include views about God or devotion. But Theistic theories are versions of Virtue Theories. God as the supreme virtuous agent is logically prior to questions of right action on this account. Devotees endorse the logically opposite view: questions of the paradigmatically right agent—​the regulative ideal—​are prior to questions of good outcomes. The limiting assumptions that attempt to draw a distinction between religion and ethics represent a perspective only. It is subjective. A disciplinary approach to the question of moral theory, in contrast, provides us no grounds for limiting ethical theory to postulates friendly to a specific perspective. An account of the objectivity of ethics allows for disagreement, and this undermines limiting perspectives as definitive of the topic of ethics.

4.  OBJECTION TO THE CHARACTERIZATION OF INTERPRETATION One might claim on behalf of interpretation that interpreters can countenance dissent. For instance, as an interpreter I has the belief about a third person that “she disagrees with me.” Every time the interpreter I sees the person in question, she would interpret that individual as disagreeing with her. This seems to be a case of countenancing dissent that is also interpretation. The problem here is that the proposition P—​“she disagrees with me”—​is in a propositional attitude context, which removes the proposition from the realm of inquiry and places it within the realm of the subject. The advantage of treating a proposition within a propositional attitude context is that a description of the belief state—​which is subjectively true—​can replace the imbedded proposition. So, in one move, we go from the uncertain and possibly false claim “she disagrees with me” to the subjectively true and certain claim “I believe that she disagrees with me.” This is the conflation of the distinction between having a reason and it being my reason, but

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one motivated by a desire for one’s reasons to be true. Now that we are in the realm of subjectively true claims, no one else can dissent, and the interpreter has seen to this. Even if P is false, “I believe that P” continues to be true and incontrovertible. Interpretation, as this conflation of having a reason and it being my reason, protects against the possibility of dissent. The logical property of coextensive propositions embedded in attitude contexts of belief is Frege’s puzzle: “X believes that the morning star is on the horizon but not the evening star.” These are the same planet and not a star: Venus. How do we account for this? We remove the propositions from attitude contexts and investigate. What they converge on, if anything at all, is the common object: Venus. So inquiry takes us away from embedding propositions within attitude contexts. Interpretation takes us toward imbedding propositions in attitude contexts to avoid research. Discipline, yoga, is about removing propositions from propositional attitude contexts: this is our epistemic freedom. Once removed, the propositions are under our control, and we are in a position to investigate their objectivity. We are hence isolated from the content of thought as free. The reward is objectivity: we can know impartially what there is, without confusing this with a description of us.

5.  IN DEFENSE OF ORTHODOX INDOLOGY OI is Indology with Eurocentric interpretation. For the Eurocentrist, the truths of interpretation are culled in large measure from the European experience, and alien moral theory is interpreted bringing about the religification of the differentia. This means that European ethical theories—​especially the theories from Plato on—​are treated as secular moral philosophy and everything else becomes religion—​including the polytheistic theories of its philosophical prehistory to be found in Homer and other sources. I can imagine an Indocentric Indology: Indology with Indocentric interpretation. Accordingly, Indian moral theory would be secular, and everything else would be religion. I am not sure that anyone endorses this. Even critics, such as Right-​Wing Hindus, who object to anything Western, endorse religious identities defined along Eurocentric lines. In response to what often seems to be Indian close-​ mindedness, scholars double down as Orthodox Indologists, determined to unearth the reality of Indian history that runs afoul of Hindutva narratives. My argument for explication implies that Orthodox Indologists and Right-​Wing Hindus have more in common than they care to celebrate: their views about India are a product of Eurocentric Interpretation. Moreover, my argument for the disciplinary foundations of objectivity rejects interpretation. If we follow my recommendations, we should ensure that the discipline that facilitates research is the one that characterizes the object of research. So philosophy, not philology, should be our means of discerning the objects of Indian philosophy. Asking Sanskritists to weigh in on the topic of Indian philosophy makes as much sense as asking PhDs in English or German to weigh in because the topic of conversation is analytic philosophy.

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5.1.  The Philology Project But surely we could imagine the objection that philology plays an important role in philosophical research. I doubt it. If the content of thought is discipline relative, then we would be mistaken in thinking that philology will lead us to anything but thought about philology, or that linguistics will lead us to anything but thought about linguistics. If the objects of research are discipline relative, then so too the thoughts that represent the disciplinary objects. But the case is often made that in the case of texts that are very difficult to understand and very cryptic, we need linguistics and social scientists to intervene. Let us take a look at the case of the Yoga Sūtra, by all accounts a difficult text to read. It is the basic text of the philosophical school of yoga. It forms the basis of subsequent commentaries. Commentaries in the Indian tradition were treated as opportunities for commentators to make a case for their own philosophy. We find this obviously in the case of the commentators on the Vedānta Sūtra. The tradition of interpreting the Yoga Sūtra is old. The first main commentary on the text attributed to Vyāsa (Patañjali 1971 [circa 300 CE]) appears highly influenced by a sister school of thought: Sāṅkhya. But there have been famous commentaries informed by Advaita Vedānta (Śaṅkara 2001 [circa 1400 CE]), yet another school of thought. Given the cultural practices of Indian philosophers to treat commentaries as an opportunity to explicate their own philosophies, we should look at the practice of differing to commentaries to elucidate primary texts dimly. When we look at the work of recent philologists working on the Yoga Sūtra, we find the inexplicable: authors seek to base their account of the Yoga Sūtra on commentaries. One philologist recommends that P: we read the Yoga Sūtra in accordance with Vyāsa because he was the most influential commentator (Bryant 2009: xxxviii). Another argues that P: Vyāsa is the author of the Yoga Sūtra and that we should hence read it according to his commentary, otherwise we cannot “interpret it convincingly” (Maas 2013: 68). Recently, David White Gordon wrote an entire academic tract on the Yoga Sūtra that depicts the diversity of interpretations of the text through the ages and across continents. Yet, White believes that this is all there is to studying the Yoga Sūtra. In his view, P: a “critical scholar” is someone who reads the Yoga Sūtra in light of the commentaries (White 2014: 5), and moreover is apparently of the view that there is no right reading (cf. Ranganathan 2016): it all depends on your premises (White 2014: 234). This is the view of the interpreter. One general observation is that these arguments are invalid: Vyāsa was influential therefore he is right about the Yoga Sūtra. That is not a valid argument. Vyāsa wrote the Yoga Sūtra so we can read his commentary as equivalent to the meaning of the Yoga Sūtra: that is also not a valid inference—​if the content of the Yoga Sūtra is objective. Moreover, if it is the case that all there is to the Yoga Sūtra is interpretation and assumptions, then there is no reason to believe that a critical scholar is one who studies the text on the basis of the commentaries—​ any set of assumptions will do as well as any other set if reading the Yoga Sūtra

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is interpretation. These arguments seem valid only if we rewrite them purely in terms of propositional attitudes: “I think that P therefore P” is valid if we embrace the conclusion as the object of belief. To anyone who does not share the conviction P, the argument falls flat. One more specific observation is that each of these philological interventions involve not reading the Yoga Sūtra, and substituting commentaries instead. It is as though the more difficult a philosophical text is to read, the more our esteemed philologists will want us to find a commentary to replace the original text. Part of what sustains this foggy enterprise is a confusion about what the history of philosophy is interested in. Historians of philosophy are concerned with what we can disagree about in the history of philosophy: these are the conceptual commitments of philosophers. What we are not concerned about are beliefs—​ subjective propositional attitude contexts. These no one can disagree with. What philological interpreters are concerned with, in contrast, is a depiction of what Indians believed and to this end, studying commentaries becomes important in establishing some type of tradition-​wide consensus (Burley 2007: 48). But how this is brought about is by interpretation: it confuses thought with belief (having a reason and it being my or someone’s reason) and it engineers this conversion by differing to truth as the explicans and the truths are often descriptions of Western philosophy (Burley 2007: 56–​71; White 2014: 94–​95). As a follow-​up objection, one might argue that important discoveries are gained by philological research that are relevant to philosophy. For instance, the discovery that terms in the Yoga Sūtra have apparently Buddhist origins suggest that the text might be Buddhist (White 2014: 203). These are not “discoveries”—​they are interpretations. The only reason to believe that words come to texts with theoretical funds that determine the meaning of a text is interpretation. If we explicate, we have to treat the theoretical weight of a philosophically important word in light of the reasons provided by perspectives described in the text, and hence words that bear a certain theory in one text can present a contrary theory in another. This is classically the case of terms such as “morality,” or “dharma”—​the theories they express are perspective relative. The Yoga Sūtra is easy to read if we allow that it provides the reasons that enlighten its uses of its terms, where the reasons and the concepts associated with the terms are objective. The only reason that the Yoga Sūtra is difficult to interpret is that the philosophy of Yoga is as far from interpretation as one can get. Yoga is the prioritization of ahiṃsā (non-​harm of what is real) over satya (truth). The politics of Yoga leads us away from imperialism, to a respect for boundaries, for other people’s property, and away from acquisition (colonialism) as a means of understanding. The goal is our own freedom, autonomy, kaivalya. This vitiates against the prioritization of truth over all else, which is the imperialism of interpretation.

5.2.  Indologists Know Better: Mill’s Liberal Imperialism Against the claim that research in philosophy is discipline bound, surely we can make a case that we have something to gain by the wide experience and knowledge of Indologists, who through their broad exposure to Indian and Western thought are

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in a position to tell us what Indians believed about various topics, such as philosophy. What we gain here is the breadth of experience, which matters—​something denied to us by narrow disciplinary research. The idea that this breadth of experience counts in favor of expertise is mistaken. It understands the perspective of the experience as privileged, and this undermines the objectivity of the topic of inquiry. We can think of a political example that makes clear the trouble with this proposal. Consider the case of John Stuart Mill. Mill is famous for an impassioned defense of free speech and the right to disagree, as well as a defense of free life experiments and secularism in general (like our Orthodox Indologists) and the strange claim that such freedoms are only for the mature and not for races that are in their “non age” such as those who are lucky enough to find an Akbar to rule them (On Liberty I.10). Mill bases his moral theory on an empirical test: Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure (Utilitarianism ch. 2). This test is supposed to fill out the gradation of utility, which is the ultimate value to be maximized on Mill’s account. Hence, only those who are in a position to experience two options are in a position to determine which is better, and whatever they prefer or enjoy is the superior. Of the colonized and the imperialist, clearly the imperialist is the more experienced of the two having an experience of their home and the world of the colonized, whereas the colonized, lacking imperial ambitions, never cared to experience the culture of their colonizers. They rather stay home. Whatever the imperialist prefers is just the superior pleasure to be maximized. Mill does not talk of his imperialism when he speaks of the test, but it follows nonetheless. Mill uses this same test to defend the idea that intellectual pleasures are superior to sensual pleasures, that humans are more important than nonhumans and that it is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied (Mill’s words). The open secret of course is that Mill was an officer of the British India company, in charge of writing “dispatches” (propaganda; Zastoupil 1994; Lal Accessed October 2014). His day job, his source of income, consisted in colonizing India. Mill was not embarrassed about his job as an imperialist, but thought of it as an important function for liberals such as himself (1861 [Accessed Fall 2014]: 573–​579).Well, all us brown colonized folks are clearly on the side of the satisfied fool, and Mill apparently is the dissatisfied Socrates in all of this, stuck with the white man’s burden. After all these years, Mill continues to interest me as a study in contrast, but one that is all too familiar. He is the face of a very Western imperialism: Liberal at home, and paternalist afar. Far from being at tension, both his liberalism and his imperialism have a common source: his experiential criterion of knowledge. It is because we need to experience different alternatives that he argues in On Liberty for freedom at home. But by parity of reasoning, the brown folks who are stuck in their home country do not have experience of Western and Indic options, so they really are not in a position to know better.

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In the case of the study of Indian philosophy, we have the case of authors who are gone. They are like the colonized Indians who are not in a position to experience European options. But this seems to leave the modern Westernized individual with knowledge of both. Does not that make them the authorities of what counts as the right definition of ethics? Mill, in On Liberty, says at least one credible thing: even if we are right in our opinion, we would not be justified in silencing dissent. Aside from the usual fallibility of humanity that gives us pause to consider our own veracity, we are in a position to gain something from reviewing false opinions. So, it would seem that Mill would be open to allowing Indians the freedom to talk about the good in a free and open society. But this was not his view at all: he thought that the historical brown folks should keep their mouths shut, and obey Akbar Where is the error? Mill confuses two issues. One is the question of being in a position to discern what the right option is: certainly having access to alternative is required to judge between alternatives. But this is not the same as the right answer being whatever one prefers when one has access to more than one option. The imperialist confuses these two issues. Why does he do so? The imperialist does not draw a distinction between having a reason and it being their reason. Indologists might very well prefer their Eurocentric ideas of ethics to Indian accounts of dharma. But this does not make their preference the right. Moreover, even if the Indologist is correct about what ethics is, it does not follow that others agree. Even if you are the philosopher king, with a clearest view of THE GOOD alighting the objects of reason, it does not follow that your perspective defines what others can think about ethics. If the point is to study Indian philosophy, then clearly we as researchers are not studying our own opinions. Yet, imperialism confuses the two. What happens if we distinguish between having a reason and it being my reason? I cannot confuse what I prefer with what is right. But also, I would be an explicator as I reject the conflation of having a reason with it being my reason. The imperialism of Mill is the imperialism of Indologists who are interpreters of Indian thought. What if we give up interpretation, which is the prioritization of truth over objectivity in explanation? We have to base research on disciplinary considerations, and the idea of expertise that comes from amassing truth from many overlapping disciplines in an area such as Indology has to take a backseat. It is the discipline, not the interdiscipline, that drives research. The first step toward studying Indian philosophy is not studies in Sanskrit or history, but clarity about the discipline of philosophy. You only learn about that from philosophers.

6.  INTERPRETER’S CRITICISM I can imagine that some scholars who buy into Eurocentric interpretation will find my criticism of interpretation objectionable. Here I consider two versions of this objection.

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6.1.  You Are Mean and Uncharitable I have called attention to the imperialism of interpretation and it would seem that, by extension, I am implying that interpreters are imperialists. Moreover, I can imagine that they would fault me for failing to be charitable. My response to the latter charge is that the principle of charity, the idea that I should understand others in terms of what I think is true or reasonable, is nothing but interpretation so my failure to be charitable in my account of interpretation means that I did not interpret interpretation. That is not criticism. In fact, that is praise, for it shows that I was able to deliver a criticism of interpretation that was not itself an interpretation. As for the imperialism of interpreters, I see no reason why they have to adopt interpretation as a proxy for disciplined-​based research and hence I have in no way essentialized them as individuals who are incapable of anything else. These criticisms are not personal attacks on people capable of good research. The criticism is of interpretation the methodology.

6.2.  Explication Is Bias Interpretation is explanation in terms of bias, and criticizing this would be a bias too! In order for explication to be a bias, it has to be a perspective as bias is the promotion of one’s own perspective. Explication, however, is philosophy—​its basic practice—​and philosophy as a discipline is not a perspective. A discipline is what we can practice from differing perspectives. Philosophy is not a bias, and neither is mathematics or empirical science. These are disciplines that allow us to coordinate disagreements across perspectives. It is by virtue of the discipline that there is anything like objectivity—​what we can converge on from differing perspectives. The conflation of disciplinarity with a mere perspective is not only a category mistake, but also symptomatic of bad reasoning: interpretation. The irrationality that pits science against religion, or philosophy against tradition, is interpretation: it confuses all possible explanations with a perspective, and reduces the great—​discipline—​to the small and partial—​perspective. As for the general advice that we should always be aware of our biases, this is confused. If I remove a thought from my attitudinal context via the practice of yoga, the thought is no longer my bias because I no longer believe it. But if I leave it there, in my attitudinal context, it is a bias, but I thereby do not know it objectively but subjectively. Its truth becomes about me, and no longer about something objective. Interpreters believe they need to be aware of their biases because they employ these in explanation of third-​party perspectives. But no one needs to be aware of a bias that they can be free of. The reason that much of these issues get confused is the interpreter’s fallacy: this is to confuse the proposition P (such as “Plato says that THE GOOD is the Form of the Forms”) with “I believe that P.” These are not the same thought, but if you confuse them, you will count every finding of disciplined research as a belief. Then it will seem that the fruits of explication are a bias. Enter Post Modernism. The cure to this is yoga. Philosophy is the yoga in which we control our reasons and concepts—​our

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citta—​so that we can be autonomous from thoughts and perspectives. Explication is how we make this happen.

7.  STANDARD OBJECTIONS TO INDIAN ETHICS: OI Having reviewed the distinction between interpretation and explication in the previous chapter, and having reviewed objections to the very attempt to draw such a distinction, we are in a position to discern the methodology that gives rise to the standard objections to Indian Ethics in the literature. Here is a clear example of the standard objection from Bimal Matilal: Professional philosophers of India over the last two thousand years have been consistently concerned with the problems of logic and epistemology, metaphysics and soteriology, and sometimes they have made very important contributions to the global heritage of philosophy. But, except some cursory comments and some insightful observations, the professional philosophers of India have very seldom discussed what we call “moral philosophy” today. It is true that the Dharmaśāstra texts were there to supplement the Hindu discussion of ethics; classification of virtues and vices, and enumeration of duties related to the social status of the individual. But morality was never discussed as such in these texts. (Matilal 1989: 5) Claims like this are more common than one thinks. A similar gem: [My] remarks about Indian philosophy are not intended to belittle its achievements in the spheres of logic, epistemology and aesthetics. While these compare well enough with cognate achievements in the European philosophical tradition, . . . it must be admitted that the contributions of Indian thinkers in the fields of ethics and socio-​political philosophy seem to be very poor indeed when viewed against those of the European philosophers, e.g. Plato and Aristotle, Kant and Hegel . . . (Devaraja 1962: v–​vi) Yet another gem: The criticism is often raised against Indian philosophy in general, and Advaita Vedanta in particular, that it turns its back on all theoretical and practical considerations of morality and, if not unethical, is at least “a-​ethical” in character. If by “ethics” one means a rigorous, independent inquiry into problems of, and questions concerning, the meaning of value, the justification of judgments, and the analysis of moral concepts and concrete existential modes of behavior, then this criticism is justified.(Deutsch 1969: 62) Even among submissions for consideration for this book on Indian Ethics, I encountered such claims. It constitutes OI. What is alarming is that this is an expression of the myth of India: Indian thinkers were not so interested in ethics, that they had no word to discuss such issues, and even if they did, it is something we find in Indian literature (such as the epics or law books) and not formal philosophy.

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The essential idea here is that the most erudite of Indians show the least interest in the practical rationality of ethics: sheer Orientalism (cf. Said 1978; Inden 1990). How do you generate the first views that Indian philosophy has no ethics but is religious? Via interpretation. For given any background set of Eurocentric assumptions about what ethics is, the differentia between these assumptions and Indian perspectives of dharma will be religified—​ defined as underivable from European moral theory. It is important to note that this is the reification of the failure of interpretation on to what it cannot tolerate. But on this model, European moral theory is the only kind of moral theory: everything else is measured against this and will fail in its departure. What is astounding to me is that even those sympathetic to the Indian tradition as misunderstood by Eurocentrism do not criticize Eurocentric interpretation. They rather rely on it to valorize the difference: The term “Dharma”, like many other Sanskrit words, has no exact equivalent in English, so its exact translation is rather difficult. It has been variously translated as “religion” (which strictly is incorrect, as described earlier in this section), “law,” “duty,” “religious rite,” “code of conduct”, etc. It can mean one or more or all of the latter, depending upon the context. The reason seems to be that the word itself has been used in various senses throughout the ages, and its meaning, as well as scope, has been expanded. (DANAM Accessed 2016) This statement is from the Dharma Academy of North America, an association of scholars interested in dharma traditions. Remarkably, this account also makes do with Eurocentric interpretation as it reserves “ethics” for European moral theory. By virtue of this identification of ethics with European moral theory, uses of “dharma” are religified, and consequently domesticated. And this domestication by a Western perspective results in the multiplication of meanings of “dharma.” This is worth repeating: the only way you get this multiplication of meanings that reserves “ethics” for European theories and not for Indian dharma theories is by assuming a Eurocentric frame for interpretation. If scholars assumed an Indocentric approach to interpretation they would assume dharma as the basic concept and attempt to understand “ethics” and other terms by their theoretical associations with dharma: this would multiply meanings of “ethics” via a process of religification and domestication, ultimately correlating “ethics” with many Sanskrit terms. No one does this. You would not be able to arrive at such a gloss via explication, where we would have to treat uses of “dharma” or “ethics” relative to a perspective P as explainable by the rP; the simplified explanation is P’s theory of dharma or ethics and the concept of “dharma” or “ethics” as what theories of dharma or ethics converge on while they disagree. But we find the trend throughout the literature. Here is just one relatively recent example from a special volume of the Journal of Indian Philosophy dedicated to the topic of dharma called “The Concept of Dharma in the Rāmāyaṇa”: The concept of DHARMA is an extremely broad one and it has often, therefore, been subject to a degree of misunderstanding, or at least inadequate understanding . . .

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While the majority of the occurrences of “dharma” [in the Rāmāyaṇa] denote broadly morality or propriety, there is a significant emphasis also on caste, family or personal duties and on an element of necessity, as well as on the duties of a king (rājadharma). Particularly interesting are the passages where the term is used in what we might regard as two different senses. (Brockington 2004: 655) What stands out to me in this passage is the assumed definition of morality as propriety, which is then contrasted with normative considerations of a more specific class of events or roles with an Indian flavor (caste, rājadharma). I am not sure what the basis for this distinction is (it is not defended by the author), but it is used as a way to talk about the interesting case of overlap between the moral uses of dharma and those of a more specific kind. This is typical of OI. We could pick almost anything on the topic of “dharma” in the literature—​including other contributions to the same volume of the Indian Journal of Philosophy—​and we would find the following two moves present here that are two sides of the same coin. First, there is the perfunctory conclusion or assumption that “dharma” does not straightforwardly mean “ethics” or “morality”—​it is broad, not easily defined, and has several meanings. This shows up in the banal claim that “dharma” does not always mean “ethics” or “morality” ’ In case you think I am making this up, here are some further examples: • We cannot reduce the meanings of DHARMA to one general principle; nor is there one single translation which would cover all its usages. (Halbfass 1988: 333) • “Dharma” is one of those Sanskrit words that defy all attempts at an exact rendering in English or any other tongue. (Kane 1990: vol. 1, p. 1) • DHARMA is a concept difficult to define because it disowns or transcends distinctions that seem essential to us, and because it is based upon beliefs that are . . . strange to us. (Lingat 1973: 3) • It is difficult to define DHARMA in terms of Western thought. (Buitenen 1957: 36) • Dharma is used in so many senses that it eludes definition. It stands for nature, intrinsic quality, civil and moral law, justice, virtue, merit, duty and morality. (Rangaswami Aiyangar 1952: 63) • The word “dharma” . . . is used in very different senses in the different schools and religious traditions of Indian thought. (Dasgupta 1975: vol. 4, p. 2) • The term “dharma” seems to be one impossible to reduce even to a few basic definitions. It is ubiquitous throughout the texts of the Indian tradition, ancient and modern, and has been used in a bewildering variety of ways. (Larson 1972: 146) • One must avoid identification of “dharma” as directly equivalent to any of the various components of its meaning, such as law, duty, morality, justice, virtue, or religion. All of these are involved, but we should cease looking for an equivalent for translation, inasmuch as premature identification with

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Western concepts tends to blind one to the particular multifaceted structure of meanings in the Hindu dharma. (Creel 1977: 2) • Because the term [“dharma”] has been used in a bewildering variety of ways, it has no single semantic equivalent in English. In various contexts the word may mean law, justice, custom, morality, ethics, religion, duty, nature, or virtue. (Hudson 2013: 36) These comments are guilty of a basic error that philosophy of language should get rid of: it relies on confusing use with meaning (senses, definitions): so many uses of dharma is grounds for concluding so many meanings (senses, definitions), it seems. This is a mistake. Whatever the meaning of an expression, it can be used in a number of ways, if meaning is different than use (Davidson 1996). Even if meaning is defined by use (a view mistakenly attributed to Wittgenstein, who is more careful), we can use the said meaning ironically, which is to say in opposition to its meaning. Just as I can use the same note in a number of ways in music, so too can I use the same term with a fixed meaning in a number of ways (Donnellan 1966; Davidson 1996; Austin 2000). The diversity of uses does not entail a diversity of notes, or concepts, as use is not a semantic concept but a pragmatic concept. Any and all uses of “dharma” are consistent with a single meaning. A little study in philosophy would save a lot of confusion here. Second, there is the bait and switch. The Orthodox Indologist claims to be studying Indian thought. But what happens instead is that the commentator assumes a definition of morality or ethics against which a text and tradition is judged. Even in the case of the most sympathetic of authors on the tradition,1 we find this move to prioritize a Eurocentric worldview in the account of dharma. It is important to note that the bait and switch would be a problem no matter what perspective is invoked. The bait and switch is interpretation. In short, there are two features of accounts of dharma in the literature—​the claim that it has many meanings and the bait and switch—​are related. By substituting their own conception of the ethical for what Indian philosophers talk about, Indologists interpret Indian literature, and the result of this interpretation is the multiplication of meanings of “dharma” relative to their conceptual scheme.

8. CONCLUSION The purpose of this investigation was to field objections to the argument that was presented in the first chapter, which draws an objective distinction between interpretation and explication, which allows us to be objective about standard criticisms of Indian ethics. Interpretation is irrational for a number of reasons. But it is the dominant approach to thinking about non-​ Western philosophy. This approach is simply not part of standard scholarship in philosophy and the fact that it is employed ubiquitously in the study of Indian philosophy should raise larger questions about why the study of non-​Western philosophy has been abandoned by philosophy. Western imperialism is no doubt a minimal part of this explanation. If interpretation is imperialistic, as noted in the first chapter,

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Eurocentric interpretation, responsible for standard treatments of Indian ethics and “dharma,” is Western imperialism. The expectation that you have to agree with this diagnosis for it to be taken seriously is itself a function of interpretation. The idea that we have to prove to satisfaction of the westerner that Indian philosophers engaged in moral philosophy is Eurocentric interpretation, which is to say, Western imperialism.

NOTE 1. Alf Hiltebeitel’s historical survey of dharma, while more exhaustive than previous investigations, might be an unusual contribution (2011). On the topic of dharma (the title of his book), he writes: “I hope it will be fruitful for readers to further open up this South Asian model, which, to put it most simply, is not only about ethics and law but also about inner wisdom concerning unseen things” (Hiltebeitel 2010: 10). While interesting, this study keeps the conceptual framework of Hiltebeitel and the sympathetic reader as the criteria against which Indian uses of “dharma” are measured. An explicatory approach to dharma would treat each perspective as providing the reasons that explain its use of “dharma” and the concept DHARMA as the consilience of varying theories and perspectives on dharma. This would undermotivate the idea that there is anything but a single concept at play in the various uses of “dharma.”

BIBLIOGRAPHY Austin, John Langshaw. 2000. How to Do Things with Words. William James Lectures: 1955, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Brockington, John. “The Concept of Dharma in the Rāmāyana.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 32, no. 5 (2004): 655–​670. Bryant, Edwin F. 2009. The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali: A New Edition, Translation, and Commentary with Insights from the Traditional Commentators 1st ed. New York: North Point Press. Buitenen, J. A. B. van. “Dharma and Mokṣa.” Philosophy East and West 7 (1957): 33–​40. Burley, Mikel. 2007. “Classical Sāṃkhya and Yoga: An Indian Metaphysics of Experience.” Routledge Hindu Studies Series. London, New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis. Burley, Mikel. “A Petrification of One’s Own Humanity? Nonattachment and Ethics in Yoga Traditions.” The Journal of Religion 94, no. 2 (2014): 204–​228. Burley, Mikel. July 2012. “Surprising.” Customer Reviews, Amazon Uk. http://​www. amazon.co.uk/​PATANJALIS-​YOGA-​SUTRA-​Penguin-​Classics-​ebook/​dp/​B008ET4FIC/​ ref=sr_​1_​1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426279077&sr=8-​1&keywords=shyam+ranganathan Creel, Austin B. 1977. Dharma in Hindu Ethics. Calcutta: Firma KLM. DANAM. Accessed 2016. Mission. DANAM. http://​danam-​web.org/​mission/​

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Dasgupta, Surendranath. 1975. A History of Indian Philosophy. 5 vols. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Davidson, Donald. 1996. “What Metaphors Mean.” In The Philosophy of Language, edited by Aloysius Martinich, 415–​426. New York: Oxford University Press. Original edition, Chicago. Deutsch, Eliot. 1969. Advaita Vedanta: A Philosophical Reconstruction, 1st ed. Honolulu: East-​West Center Press. Devaraja, N. K. 1962. An Introduction to Sankara’s Theory of Knowledge. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Donnellan, Keith S. “Reference and Definite Descriptions.” Philosophical Review 75 (1966):  281–​304. Dowden, Bradley, and Norman Swartz. Accessed 2015. “Truth.” In Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by James Fieser. http://​www.iep.utm.edu/​truth/​ Glanzberg, Michael. 2014 Fall Edition. Truth. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward Zalta. http://​plato.stanford.edu/​archives/​fall2014/​entries/​truth/​ Halbfass, Wilhelm. 1988. India and Europe: An Essay in Understanding. Albany: State University of New York Press. Schwabe. Originally published Basel Stuttgart. Hiltebeitel, Alf. 2010. Dharma. Dimensions of Asian Spirituality. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Hiltebeitel, Alf. 2011. “Dharma.” Oxford Bibliographies Online: Hinduism. New York: Oxford University Press. http://​link.library.utoronto.ca/​eir/​EIRdetail.cfm?Resources_​_​ ID=1501042&T=R Hudson, Emily T. 2013. Disorienting Dharma: Ethics and the Aesthetics of Suffering in the Mahābhārata. New York: Oxford University Press. Inden, Ronald B. 1990. Imagining India. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. Kane, Pandurang Vaman. 1990. History of Dharmaśāstra: Ancient and Mediæval Religious and Civil Law in India. Government Oriental Series. Class B. No. 6, 2nd rev. and enlarged ed. 5 vols. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. Lal, Vinay. Accessed October 2014. “Organic Conservatism, Administrative Realism, and the Imperialist Ethos in the ‘Indian Career’ of John Stuart Mill.” https://​www.sscnet. ucla.edu/​southasia/​History/​British/​jsmill.html. Originally published as “John Stuart Mill and India,” a review-​article. New Quest, no. 54 (January–​February 1998):  54–​64. Larson, Gerald James. “The Trimurti of Dharma in Indian Thought: Paradox or Contradiction?” Philosophy East and West 22 (1972): 145–​153. Lingat, Robert. 1973. The Classical Law of India. Translated by J. Duncan M. Derrett. Berkeley: University of California Press. Maas, Philipp A. 2013. “A Concise Historiography of Classical Yoga Philosophy.” In Historiography and Periodization of Indian Philosophy, edited by Eli Franco. Vienna De Nobili Series. Matilal, Bimal Krishna. 1989. “Moral Dilemmas: Insights from the Indian Epics.” In Moral Dilemmas in the Mahābhārata, edited by Bimal Krishna Matilal, 1–​19. Shimla, Delhi: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, in association with Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.

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Mill, John Stuart. 1861 [Accessed Fall 2014]. “Considerations on Representative Government.” In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XIX—​Essays on Politics and Society Part 2, edited by John M. Robson. http://​oll.libertyfund.org/​titles/​ 234 Patañjali. 1971 (circa 300 CE). Patañjali’s Yogasūtra, with Vyāsa’s Bhāṣya, Vācaspati Miśra’s Tattvavaiśāradī, and Vijñānabhikṣu’s Yogavārttika, edited by Ramashankar Bhattacharya. Varanasi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakarana. Ranganathan, Shyam. “An Archimedean Point for Philosophy.” Metaphilosophy 42, no. 4 (July 2011): 479–​519. Ranganathan, Shyam. “Review of The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography by David Gordon White.” Philosophy East and West 66, no. 3 (July 2016): in press. Rangaswami, Aiyangar and Kumbakonam Viraraghava. 1952. Some Aspects of the Hindu View of Life According to Dharmaśāstra. Sayaji Row Memorial Lectures, 1947–​48. Baroda: Director Oriental Institute. Said, Edward W. 1978. Orientalism, 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books. Śaṅkara. 2001. Yogasūtrabhaṣyavivaraṇa. Translated by Trichur Subramanium Rukmani. 2 vols. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal. Taylor-​Rugman, D. C. H. 2012. Dharmamegha Samadhi in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Master of Arts in the Study of Religions: Indian Religions. http://​dspace.trinity-​cm.ac. uk/​dspace/​bitstream/​10412/​282/​1/​CHARLIE%20TAYLOR-​RUGMAN.pdf:  University of Wales Trinity Saint David. White, David Gordon. 2011. “Yoga.” Oxford Bibliographies Online. Oxford University Press. http://​www.oxfordbibliographies.com; accessed Winter 2015. White, David Gordon. 2014. The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography. Lives of Great Religious Books. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Wright, Crispin. 1992. Truth and Objectivity. Cambridge, Ma, London: Harvard University Press. Zastoupil, Lynn. 1994. John Stuart Mill and India. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

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CHAPTER THREE 

The West, the Primacy of Linguistics, and Indology SHYAM RANGANATHAN

1. INTRODUCTION Interpretation gets us to religion but for the wrong reasons. Interpretation will allow the intelligibility of a perspective P that agrees with the subjectivity of the interpreter constituted by the reasons of the subject (rS). The farther a perspective is from the subjectivity of an interpreter, the more mysterious and difficult will perspective P appear to rS. Two strategies are available to the interpreter. One strategy is domestication: bringing the interpreter’s reasons in line with the perspective that is being interpreted. The second strategy is religification: defining the differentia between one’s own subjectivity and the alien perspective as inexplicable relative to your reasons rS. This depicts the differentia as a faith, and not a moral philosophy. Sometimes religified alien theories are also domesticated: this occurs when uses of “dharma” that diverge from the standard European ethical theories are correlated with European distinctions. At other times, the religified differentia is left to stand on its own, and, moreover, political rights are accorded to the religified differentia, which provides an inducement by the colonial context of interpretation, for natives whose moral theories are religified to identify with those theories. The imperial context in which this occurs is nothing but interpretation itself as interpretation is imperialistic. The peculiarity of our practice of distinguishing between religions and moral theory in our world is that it is Eurocentric: moral theory of a European provenance is cast as secular moral theory, and anything alien to Europe in origin becomes religion. As for native European religions that diverge from Europe’s classical consciousness (formalized by post-​Socratic Greek and Western philosophers), those are absorbed into European culture as part of its prehistory, alien even to its classical moments. So, in short, add interpretation to Eurocentrism and one can generate the distinction between religion and ethics that animates the world we live in. Hinduism is a primary example of the process of religification. It is commonly noted by scholars that the minting of “Hindu” as a name for a religion is an artifact of colonialism (Hawley 1991; Frykenberg 1993; King 1999; Lorenzen 1999). The minted religion is the rich diversity of Indian intellectual life, stuffed into the mold

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of a single label. The fact that people identify with a religious identity is hardly evidence against it being a function of imperialism: by tying political rights to religious identity, imperialism coerces identification by religion. As Victoria Harrison argues in her excellent “The Pragmatics of Defining Religion in a Multi-​Cultural World,” the one commonality of religions in a multicultural world is the that they are afforded political rights not available to other kinds of affiliation (Harrison 2006). Substantively, she notes, they have nothing in common. Religification also answers why “western” theistic religions are also religions. They are religions in proportion to their divergence from what counts as ethics, defined by the European tradition. If this is true, then all religions are deviations from the West. This is remarkable for Theism is an example of Virtue Ethics in which the virtue of a primary agent (God) and derivative agents (God’s prophets, for instance) play a role in driving an account of right action. Their religification ensures that we have to understand these theories as faiths and not moral philosophies. Explication, in contrast, cannot generate a distinction between secular moral theory and religion. Indeed, it shows us that the distinctions we often draw between religion and ethics is unprincipled and that the distinction between church and state is cooked up by a process of understanding that is unsecular: interpretation. Interpretation treats the backdrop of explanatory resources as beyond reproach and expects anything intelligible to conform to these resources. This backdrop is then wrongly identified as the batch of “secular reasons” that are uncontroversial (that everyone can endorse) and everything that deviates from it is religion. The strategies of domestication and religification are the twin means of ensuring that one’s own explanatory resources are never the bone of contention and have the illusory sheen of secularity. Explanation is dogmatic if we interpret, and dogma is the antithesis to the freedom of secularism (cf. Holyoake 1896). If we explicate philosophy, we find that theories of ethics or dharma are theories of THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD: none are any more mysterious or faith bound than any other. In each case, the reasons are internal to the perspectives that motivate the particular view on THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD, and the clarity of these theories come to life as contributions to moral philosophy. To understand a perspective—​including one’s own—​is to understand it as the bone of contention. The only reason for regarding some theories of dharma as nonmoral-​philosophical is the expectation that their rationality should be apparent by your reasons. This is to collapse the distinction between first-​and third-​ party reasons: interpretation. Yoga—​ disciplinarity—​ in contrast, is secular all the way down. Yoga—​disciplined research and higher learning—​is an essential part of a vibrant secular society. It is secular all the way down for it is based not on what we take to be true, but on objectivity: what we disagree about. This allows for the compatibility of alternate perspectives in inquiry and public discourse. What sustains the confusion of interpretation is a conflation of claims like “I think/​believe that P” or “P is true” with “P.” These are not the same proposition. The idea that “truth” is just a metalinguistic device of assertion is part of this mess. If that really is what truth is, merely asserting a valid argument would make it sound.

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But it does not. These conflations, however, undermine the ability to contemplate a proposition that you do not believe or take to be true, and the result is interpretation. The question I want to ask and answer in this chapter is why the whole world is saddled with Eurocentric interpretation? As interpretation is imperialistic, and Europe is the heart of the West, we can ask the same question differently: why does the whole world have to contend with Western Imperialism? Remarkably, the West has been uniquely successful in its imperialistic exploits. English, a western language, is now the lingua franca—​a phrase that literally means “the French language” but figuratively expresses the idea of a common language—​the world over. That English can be the French language (cf. Seidlhofer 2011) says something absurd about the role of Western culture as an imperializing force. Answering these questions allows us to draw a distinction between the mere geographical contingency of being small “w” western, and the theoretically capital “W” West (a “West” that leans towards the “est”). I am western but I choose not to be Western. Orthodox Indology is Western, as is most work in contemporary philosophy written in western languages. (1) The argument in this chapter will first trace very broad generalizations about the Western tradition as a backdrop to distinguishing between an interpretive account of thought and an explicatory account of thought. (2) The interpretive account of thought is shown to be the standard model in the Western tradition. This account of thought identifies a perspective as the content of thought. The interpretive account of thought effects this identification by identifying thought with language. The perspective encoded in a language as its literal meaning is treated as the content of thought on this account. It is encapsulated by the Greek idea of logos: the marriage of language, opinion, thought, and reason. This logocentric account of thought is definitive of the Western tradition: historical Indian philosophers simply do not buy the account. (3) The logocentric account generates the impression of a tradition of philosophy that is diverse, but the resulting diversity obfuscates the commonality of the West—​its single model of thought. This interpretive approach to thought generates the standard Eurocentric and interpretive approach to non-​ European theory that leads to the diagnosis that India is the land of no ethics but lots of religion. (4) Before I close, I respond to objections to this account of philosophical history. (5) I summarize the account of the West’s imperialism and close with the observation that Western imperialism constitutes what we have become accustomed to in Indology—​the Indology where the study of language is treated as the means of uncovering what Indians think regardless of the disciplinary topic.

2.  TWO MODELS OF THOUGHT Some clarity about the depth to which Western philosophical theories are tied to interpretation can be gained by turning our attention to the question of thought. What is it? Minimally, thought, or a proposition, is what can be true or false. But there is more than one way to think about the structure of thought. We can think about it in terms of explication, or interpretation.

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2.1.  Thought as Explication Thought on the model of explication depicts thought as what we converge on from differing perspectives, made possible by the common axis of the discipline. Thought so understood is more than just the presentation of objects of inquiry: it is the representation of objects of inquiry from differing perspectives. Because it represents such objects, it can either succeed or fail to represent its objects. Successful thoughts are true, and unsuccessful thoughts are false. I call this account of thought perspective externalism, semiotic externalism, or more simply linguistic externalism. Thought has an intension and extension on this account. The intension of a proposition (something like its definition) is the disciplinary commonality of the various perspectives that comprise a thought. The extension is the set of common perspectives that share a disciplinary purpose. If we were to simplify the discussion by talking about language, and if we further acknowledge that differing languages encode differing perspectives, then the set of sentences from different languages that share a disciplinary purpose express the same thought and constitute the extension of the thought. Hence, if “dharma” and “ethics” have differing linguistic meanings corresponding to differing linguistically encoded theories, sentences about dharma and about ethics can express the same thought so long as they share a disciplinary purpose. Analogously, if a technical term in the vocabulary of a scientist has the same disciplinary usefulness as a term from a folk language, then such sentences can express the same thought—​even though the scientific and folk terms may have differing meanings. As an example, consider the case of a culture L that makes its coffee mugs out of depleted uranium, but has no word for “depleted uranium.” The sentence “depleted uranium is radioactive” in our English and the sentence “coffee cups are radioactive” in the language of L are the same thought given their common disciplinary usage. Both sentences would comprise the extension of the common proposition: the intension is the disciplinary commonality relative to empirical science. Nothing in this account entails that the disciplinary employment of sentences has to be something understood within a linguistic community, or that it has to be part of the semantics of the sentence in order for it to express a discipline-​relative thought. A discipline is external to the language or perspective on this account. This account of thought is not to be found in the Western tradition. I discovered this account of thought as a doctoral student in philosophy while trying to figure out solutions to standard problems in translation in the philosophy of language. The standard problems depict thought as linguistic meaning, which problematizes the case of cross-​cultural communication where the languages are very different. The easy solution to this was to re-​understand thought in terms of disciplinary considerations and the same thought as expressed by diverse semiotic resources employed in accordance with the same disciplinary purposes. The upshot from the perspective of translation theory is that this shows why words and sentences with differing meanings can be translational equivalents—​ they are equivalent relative to disciplinary considerations. It shows also why we tolerate such functional synonyms: Plato’s ideas and forms are the same thing, though “idea” and “form”

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have different meanings in English. Their synonymy here is functional: relative to philosophy only and this synonymy will not arise or be discernible if we change disciplinary considerations. It solves a host of philosophical problems generated by the account of thought to be reviewed next. Most obviously, it provides grounds for criticizing amateurish speculation about translation, as though successful translation is about matching words and sentences on linguistic grounds. That is implausible, merely because languages differ syntactically and hence semantically and the idea of linguistic commonality across languages is inversely correlated with our need for translation. It shows us that thoughts are not culturally relative, nor are they relative to theories. Rather, they are relative to disciplines, which means that each discipline holds the key for not only properly analyzing its propositions, but also determining the grounds for their representational success, which is discipline-​relative objectivity. When I originally made these arguments, I was surprised that people often responded that it was an insignificant finding, unrelated to substantive philosophical questions. However, this was because the standard approach to thinking about theoretical problems in the Western tradition depicts them as what is represented by sentences of specific languages. The disciplinary approach simply dissolves the linguistic foundations of philosophical problems by pointing out that thinking about philosophical problems in terms of language confuses the objectivity of what is meant with a perspective. I also woke up one day and realized that thought on the model of linguistic externalism is yoga as citta-​vṛtti-​nirodha—​the stilling or control of mental representation. The representations that are stilled are the semiotically encoded perspectives that comprise the extension of a thought. At no point did I infer this account of thought from the Yoga Sūtra—​indeed, I would have never discovered why it was worth taking seriously if it was merely a theorem of the philosophy of Yoga. However, we should not be entirely surprised with the confluence: the commonality is the idea of disciplinarity at the basis of thinking. This account of thought was a discovery because it is objective. It is objective for two reasons. First, it depicts the extension of a thought as looking for an object from differing perspectives. Second, it allows us to disagree about the truth or falsity of a thought because truth and falsity do not define a thought. Rather, the common disciplinary purpose of dissenting perspectives defines a thought. A full appreciation of the essence of the thought does not preclude a disagreement about the truth or falsity of the thought. Thought hence plays a role in explaining our disagreements—​ it is the object of our disagreements. We can understand it and continue to disagree about its truth. It is objective, which is to say, it explains our disagreements.

2.2.  Thought as Interpretation If thought were structured by interpretation, then we would have to prioritize truth in our account of thought. This is the standard approach to thought in the Western tradition. There are at least two different approaches to this project of defining thought in terms of truth. One is to treat a thought as a function of objects and

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concepts to truth-​values. This is Frege’s approach (Frege 1988). Then there is the extensional approach that defines the content of thought in terms of what a thought is true of. This is the Millian approach (cf. Putnam 1975; Kripke 1980). These two approaches represent the limits of the possibilities that are seriously considered in the Western tradition.1 The two approaches have much in common. First, on both accounts we can draw a logical distinction between the extension of a thought and its intension. Intensionalists like Frege hold that the intension does the computational work. On Frege’s account, the intensions of concepts and thoughts are their cognitive significance. It is the mode of presentation—​a way of thinking about the substance of a thought. When we put them together (concepts and objects) we drive a truth value that is the extension of the proposition. Extensionalists deny any prominent role to cognitive significance. For instance, an Intensionalist such as Frege distinguishes between a thought about the Evening Star and a thought about the Morning Star on cognitive grounds, though truth functionally such statements are alike. For Extensionalists, the substance of the proposition is the same in both cases, while our psychological associations differ. The psychological associations on this account are not meanings of a proposition. Second, on both accounts, the thought is the meaning of a declarative sentence. Third, on both accounts, truth defines thought. For Fregeans, the extension of a thought is its truth-​value. For the Extensionalist, the meaning of what we say is its truth. Intensionalists identify thought with the room, and Extensionalists with the view. This raises a problem: the problem of accounting for disagreement in the case of full disclosure about the meaning of a thought. If to understand a thought is to understand its truth, as both Frege and Millians hold, then we cannot understand a thought and disagree about it. But then a thought would play no role in explaining our disagreements. Thought so depicted is not objective, as an object is what explains our disagreement. Certain further mysteries remain on this account. One problem for Extensionalists noted by Russell, and widely ignored, is that in accounting for thought in terms of its truth, we have the problem of accounting for false propositions: what are they (1938, §54)? This has been retold as a basic puzzle about belief (Kripke 1988). Intensionalists have a similar problem: how do we account for error when our belief takes a proposition defined by its truth as its object. For instance, if Lane has a belief about Superman’s powers, and Kent’s weakness, how can she reasonably maintain both? This is Frege’s Puzzle. What is strange is that the Intensionalist’s account is as though created to explain how beliefs about the Morning Star and those about the Evening Star can be coextensive though their significance differs. Yet, this does not apparently solve the problem of how we can have differing perspectives on the same thoughts, but entrenches perspective as an irreducible feature of thought. On the account that I argue for, these puzzles of beliefs are merely misdescriptions of differing perspectives we can take on the same thought. Beliefs about the Morning Star and the Evening Star are differing sentential attitudes, but the perspectives of the sentences constitute the extension of the thought. So when our disagreements rely on the sentences, we have not fully appreciated the thought at stake—​we cannot

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see the forest for the trees. The puzzle of belief disappears on my account into a general account of ignorance as a confusion of one’s perspective with thought. The interpretive account creates these problems as it identifies thought with a perspective encoded in a language. My suggestion also depicts thought as objective: even when we fully understand the structure of a thought there is room for disagreement as truth does not define a thought. For interpretive accounts of thought, there is no room for disagreement when we understand.

2.3.  The Historical Roots of Logocentric Accounts of Thought The contemporary version of the linguistic account of thought holds that “propositions are . . . meanings or, to use the more standard terminology, the semantic contents of sentences” (McGrath 2012). Earlier versions were grammatically less demanding: they tended to identify thought with language as such, without restricting them to declarative sentences. The linguistic account of thought is something that one can endorse no matter where one lives or hails from. Confucius (Analects XIII. iii. 4–​7), for instance, seems to endorse this in his famous doctrine of the rectification of names (cf. Hansen 1987; Ames and Rosemont Jr. 2010). On this account, linguistic meaning of a nominal expression is the content of thought. Rectifying names is about living in accordance with reality, but also speaking truthfully. Hence, a son should be a son, as a father should be a father: these claims are not only analytically true on this account, but also normatively instructive. But Chinese philosophers and culture also had Taoism, and more importantly, Lao Tzu, who famously heaped scorn on language and stated (quite rightly at Tao Te Ching 78) that “straight words appear to mean their opposite” (translation by Chan 1963). If languages are our artifacts, they are fictions. To believe linguistic meaning as thought is to take a fiction too seriously. We should rather discourage the political ambitions of citizens to wage war on others (Tao Te Ching 80), empty the mind and feed the belly (Tao Te Ching 3). This is the lesson of the Tao Te Ching. The Confucian and Taoist approaches are philosophical currents that constitute counterweights to each other in Chinese and Asian philosophy. Neither on their own defines the philosophical tradition, and both contribute to its richness.2 If the West is the family of cultural traditions that intellectually hail from the ancient Greeks, then the West is a wide net. It includes not only European traditions, but also Arabic and Islamic traditions, which looked to the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle, and Neoplatonism as philosophical guides and interlocutors (Leaman 2009). If literal meaning is the systematic and basic role of an expression in a language, then linguistic meaning tells us something about the dominant theories and belief systems of the formative culture. Here, the Greek term “logos” is interesting. Greek is unusual for having only one word to range over thought, opinion, reason, and word: logos. The linguistic meaning of “logos” is not only an artifact of a culture that equates language with thought, but also the conflation of “I believe that P” with “P” as it equates opinion and thought. When the Greeks claimed that human beings

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are rational animals, they also meant that human beings are the animals that speak! It comes to the same thing in the ancient Greek worldview. It is not the only western language that conflates language, thought, and reason. We find, for instance, the connection between language and thought continuing on in Arabic. The Arabic verb nataqa means to speak or utter, mantiq is the word for logic, and natiq is often the word used for RATIONAL. (For instance, in Arabic discussions of Plato’s tripartite division of the soul, the rational soul is often referred to as: al-​nafs al-​natiqah).3 In Greek philosophy itself, especially in Plato and Aristotle, we find explicit confirmation of the conflation of thought and language. Plato as the first systematic philosopher of the Greek tradition (regarded as having tried to reconcile the competing tensions of Pre-​Socratic philosophy) was committed to making sense of logos. His argument (in The Republic) is that as language and reason amount to the same thing—​that is, if logos—​then it should be the philosopher who discerns what should be thought and said: logos. Little wonder that censorship figured so prominently in his account: reason, thought, and speech amount to the same thing so controlling thought so that it is reasonable amounts to controlling speech and what is read and said. This is in large measure justice, which has to do with making society mirror logos supreme on Plato’s account. When, for instance, Plato said that knowledge is a true belief with a logos in the Theaetetus—​the famous position that forms the backdrop for the contemporary view that knowledge is justified, true, belief (cf. Gettier 1963)—​his idea is that the logos is a verbal account in support of the belief behind a knowledge claim. Aristotle (in the Ethics) after Plato naturalized the approach: we are raised first in a human social context and then we are in a position to appreciate the logos behind the good that everything tends to. Either way, reason and anthropological matters like language and culture amount to the same thing. This connection between language and thought is a mainstay in Western philosophy. As Jacques Derrida notes, “the history of (the only) metaphysics, . . . has, in spite of all differences, not only from Plato to Hegel (even including Leibniz) but also beyond these apparent limits, from the pre-​Socratics to Heidegger, always assigned the origin of truth in general to the logos” (1974, 3). Derrida is over-​the-​ top here: we can talk about metaphysics without the linguistic account of thought. This tendency to overgeneralize a conceptual point from a narrow cultural vantage is a product of the linguistic account of thought. Yet, as a depiction of the history of Western philosophy, Derrida is correct in noting the pride of place it gives to logos as the locus of truth: analyticity. His own deconstructive project is not an exception to the rule: it is the awkward awareness of the linguistic account of thought while endorsing it (cf. Derrida 1974, 1981). Indeed, Postmodernism is a grudging acceptance of the problems that arise from this model. The connection between language and thought is significant if we endorse interpretation for then the reasonable is conflated with how things seem from a perspective—​the perspective in turn is just the content of linguistic meaning. From the earliest times, Western philosophers from Plato on have idealized reason as something we engage in from a privileged place, and from this place, we are privy

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to the objects of reason. There is no possible distinction between having a reason and it being my reason as reason is unitary: it is the room with a view, whereas everywhere else is illusion. This theme has two forms: nonnatural and natural. The nonnatural version is Platonic: reason is something that takes us away from empirical reality, including society, toward the objects of reason. The naturalistic version is Aristotelian: the privileged position of reason is membership in a society, which we gain by socialization. The idea that the objective is what we would agree to from a special perspective is a mainstay in the history of Western philosophy: it travels through Plato and Aristotle, the medieval—​both in Europe and in the Muslim world that traces its philosophical heritage back to the Greeks, and especially Plato and Aristotle—​through moderns such as Kant who identifies the Categorical Imperative as what we could ideally agree to in a Kingdom of Ends, Hegel’s notion that truth is the dialectical resolution of discord, Mill’s experimental version that claims that we know what is true and superior when we have experience of the alternatives, Peirce’s end of inquiry, Husserl’s phenomenological reduction, Wittgenstein’s forms of life, Quine’s and Davidson’s principle of charity according to which we must understand others as believing what we do, and the Heidegger of Being and Time who believes we need to share a new conceptual scheme that is inclusive of our social peers to think clearly. Gadamer’s Truth and Method is a variant of this approach. Mill’s preferential account of truth (discussed in the previous chapter) is emblematic of the Western tradition: even when more than one alternative is at stake, the reasonable choice is nothing more than what seems preferable in the privileged position of having many experiences. This is the imperialist’s prerogative. In the privileged position, there is no room for disagreement: what is preferable from here is the right choice. This conflation of perspective and thought is characteristic of the interpretive tradition of thought, which marries the ideas of thought, opinion, and reason with language: logos. As language always encodes a historically and culturally contingent perspective as its semantics, accounting for thought in terms of language means that we have to account for the thinkable by a historically contingent perspective. Accounting for the thinkable in terms of a perspective is interpretation. One might be surprised at the idea that logos is the mainstay of Western thought—​the key thesis that connects the contemporary Western scene to its ancient Greek roots. The common story that one hears, especially when being trained in the analytic tradition, is that the “linguistic turn” (the linguistic account of thought) is a recent phenomenon—​something associated with Frege (Dummett 1973: 667–​669). If you dig a little deeper, the same claim is made of the continental tradition (Lafont 1999). The overwhelming sense that one gets from the study of contemporary Western philosophy is that this movement to language as the grounds of thought and reason is a recent thing—​a conceptual innovation. But this is a case of philosophical amnesia created by the linguistic account of thought itself. The linguistic account of thought blocks an insight into how a thought comes about, as it presents our perspective—​the meaning of what we say—​as the sui generis content of thought—​as though it has no history or politics. This identification of thought and language makes it possible that some

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thoughts are true by virtue of what we say—​analyticity—​and are hence truths of reason, and not mere artifacts of the prevailing values of the formative culture that created the language in question. The idea that what our words mean might be a social construct borne from political considerations is blocked. What we have in the place of historical insight is the idea that linguistic meaning—​the substance of thought and reason itself—​is a wall that we cannot penetrate. So it seems: in the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God (John 1:1). There is no going behind it or before it, if you buy the linguistic (or interpretive) account of thought. If you take the theory seriously, you might follow Derrida in calling this occlusion “presence” (Derrida 1974, 12). This is the conflation of truth (representational success) and objectivity (what lies outside our perspective). This is the conflation of first-​party perspectives with third-​party reasons: interpretation.

2.4.  How the Linguistic Account of Thought Hides Itself It is very easy to be skeptical about the fundamental role that the linguistic account of thought plays in Western philosophy. In one respect, it is unbelievable because the linguistic account of thought is patently immature and silly as it conflates an artifact of natural and social selection—​language—​for the very content of thought itself. As the forces that naturally and socially select our artifacts are not necessarily intelligent, there is little reason for us to take the contents of our language very seriously. Yet, this is the basic idea behind the logocentric account of thought. Part of its success is its stealth: the interpretive account of thought, which is the linguistic account of thought, hides itself in two ways. First, the linguistic account of thought identifies thought with a perspective or model of the world—​the semantics of a language. In short, thought is conflated with a theory that underwrites a symbolic system. This makes it seem as though what we have in the Western tradition are many accounts of thought: each outlook that constitutes the semantics of a theory-​laden language is a distinctive account of thought it seems. An idiolect that encodes an atheistic worldview appears to be a different account of thought from a theistic worldview. We might even talk about the difference in their thought! But this is an illusion that arises from conflating the specifics of the perspective with thought, which the linguistic account of thought encourages. The linguistic account of thought claims that whatever the meaning x of a sentence or bit of language L is just thought. It does not matter what the x is on this account. So it matters little whether the x is filled out by sense data or experiences (Husserl 2001, V, §20, p. 589; cf. Hopp 2009) or objects of the world (Putnam 1975; Kripke 1980; Burge 2010). Yet, when we talk about our experiences as the content of thought it seems as though we are transcending language, but this is not the case (Derrida 1973). In short, the linguistic account of thought hides behind what it depicts as the content of thought, and hence the diversity of contents of thought seems like a diversity of accounts of thought. But this is an illusion: it is because of a singular

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account of thought in the West that its various accounts of the content of thought seems like a diversity of accounts of thought. Second, on the basis of an interpretive, linguistic account of thought that identifies thought with a perspective, it is possible to generate the idea of mystical thought—​ thought that transcends language. This is accomplished by trying to interpret an alien perspective by one’s own perspective: the more different the alien perspective, the more the interpretation from our perspective will depict the alien perspective as a mystical perspective. This is religification. This account of thought as mysticism is impossible to generate on a yogic, linguistic externalist account of thought that I am advocating, for it rejects the idea that interpretation has anything to do with thought. Without interpretation, we cannot designate alien perspectives as mysterious.

2.5.  Linguistic Account of Thought Is Not Ubiquitous I have argued that the linguistic account of thought shows up in the Chinese tradition in the philosophy of Confucius, but it is not the default account of thought there and it meets with serious criticism within the same tradition from Taoism. In the Western tradition, in contrast, the linguistic account of thought—​the interpretive account of thought—​is the standard and the only account of thought because it is stealthy and hides behind the contents of thought. What of Indian thinkers? Do they buy the linguistic or interpretive account of thought? No. Jñāna is a term that serves the philosophical function of “thought” or “proposition” in the Western context: like the idea of thought, if we understand jñāna truth conditionally we understand comprehensively. (If you do not like jñāna as the equivalent, consider others such as citta or vicāra.) If Indian philosophers took the linguistic account of thought seriously, we would find that they identified linguistic meaning with jñāna (citta or vicāra). Of course, no Indian philosopher takes this position. There are many Sanskrit correlates for significances of logos but none that captures all of them. While Indians did take thinking and thought seriously (indeed, traditions of meditation seem to be geared toward propositional analysis), they did not regard linguistic meaning as the content of thought. If one interpreted Indian philosophy by assuming a logocentric account of thought, it would seem as though Indians did not believe in thought! Many Indian philosophers (cf. Siderits 1991: 65; Bronkhorst 1999) seemed to hold a position that we often call semantic externalism today (Putnam 1975; Kripke 1980; Burge 2010). This is the view that meaning is just the stuff of the public world. Indeed, in some cases, the claim is made that the meaning of the word is eternal (Śabara, on MS I.i.12–​19: pp. 33–​38). Yet, no one seems to have held the position that this meaning is jñāna. There are, in short, two reasons to doubt that Indian thinkers took the linguistic account of thought seriously. First, there is the observation that Indian thinkers did not understand linguistic meaning truth functionally: “Sanskrit grammarians [early formal philosophers of language] are . . . not concerned with ontological or truth functional values of linguistic expressions. For them the truth

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of an expression and its meaningfulness are not to be equated” (Deshpande Fall 2014 Edition). This is the rejection of analyticity—​the idea that some things we say are true by virtue of the meaning of what is said. This is the trend in Indian philosophy.4 Mark Siderits notes, similarly, that generally Indian philosophers did not recognize anything like analyticity (Siderits 1991: 65)—​the idea that some claims are true by definition. If linguistic meaning is thought, then some claims would have to be true by virtue of the meaning of what is said. No one in the Western tradition seems to reject this claim. Even Quine, popularly known for rejecting the analytic–​synthetic distinction (Quine 1990), does not reject that some claims are true by definition. He denies the sharp cleavage between those and claims of empirical fact (Putnam 2002: 9–​10). Confucius too, in his doctrine of the rectification of names, relies on this intuition that with respect to some linguistic claims, they are true by definition. Analyticity is a core feature of the linguistic account of thought. Second, from the earliest times, Indian philosophers entertained the idea of there being two truths: one for conventional/​worldly claims, and one for the real thing. Worldly truths by convention are made up, but the truth of the real thing is not. Linguistic truths (truths about what our words mean) are of the conventional, or at least, arbitrary variety. They are introduced by stipulation it seems, whereas the ultimate truth is genuine and not mere fancy. This view has acquired the reputation of being peculiar to the Buddhist tradition (Thakchoe Summer 2011 Edition), but it is common in Indian philosophy. We can find this distinction in the Upaniṣads, Jainism, and many Indian philosophical schools insofar as they distinguish the real account of truth from ordinary practice and belief supported by the ordinary form of life. What this distinction entails is that thought is not merely the same as literal linguistic meaning, for if it were, there would be only one kind of truth: the conventional kind. So there is no evidence that Indian philosophers took language seriously as presenting thought. But Indian accounts of thought, jñāna, are not interpretative for the following reason: they are accounts of thought as a synoptic understanding. Here, South Asian models of objectivity as multidimensional, such as the Jain blind men and the elephant, Vishnu’s conch, or Nāgārjuna’s idea of ultimate truth as what lacks autonomy (that is, because everything is perspectival), exemplify the Indian philosophical imagination about what clear thinking amounts to. Clear thinking is multi-​perspectival as thought tracks objectivity—​what we can know from multiple disagreeing perspectives. This is an anti-​interpretive account of thought. We do not have to conclude that Indian philosophers were of one mind on this issue—​indeed, if they were concerned about the objectivity of thought they might have had many ideas about thought. But for sure, interpretation was far from how Indians thought about thought. If interpretation is imperialist, and Indian thinkers were anti-​interpretive, then imperialism would have been difficult for them to maintain. This complements what is widely known about India—​that it is a geography of incredible diversity, which has had a place for peoples of varying outlooks and practices who often

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were persecuted elsewhere. If we want to know why South Asia was this land of incredible diversity we have an answer: Indians did not buy into interpretation as thought. The contemporary context of India presents a philosophical departure from its past, and bears the stamp of models of thought so familiar in the West—​models were a perspective and thought are conflated, such that thinking with one’s compatriots is depicted as sharing a perspective that defines ethnicity and language (cf. King 1994). The India that most scholars find frustrating—​where India is presented as having a unified insider perspective—​would be difficult to explain without Westernization.

3.  IMPLICATIONS OF THE LINGUISTIC ACCOUNT OF THOUGHT The idea that we cannot straightforwardly translate “dharma” and “ethics” is not part of the explicatory account of thought. Indeed, this account of thought encourages us to translate Buddhist talk of dharmas as constituents of reality as “ethicals” or “ethical constituents of reality”—​an outlook friendly to their Consequentialism. What this exercise allows is for our prejudices and beliefs about ethics to pop out. Instead of religifying the alien perspective, we remove our propositions about ethics from our attitudinal contexts and hence thinking about alien ethics provides us a reason to inspect our own conceptual commitments. Understanding alien philosophy is simultaneously understanding our own domestic philosophy: this is the reflexivity of philosophy. The interpretive model of thought tries to shield us from philosophy by disallowing translating “dharma” and “ethics” for fear of a disagreement. The analytic connection between thought and language on the interpretive account of thought introduces peculiar political themes in the thought of those who buy the linguistic account of thought.

3.1.  Anthropocentric Communitarianism First, thought is communitarian on this account, because language defines community membership. To think is not only to think with others, but also to think with those whom one shares a language with. Second, thought is anthropocentric, if thought is the same as the meaning of language and language is a predominantly human capacity. If we put these two elements together, we find that those committed to the linguistic account of thought will tend to be communitarian anthropocentrists. In other words, they will believe not only that humans are really the primary thinking beings, but also that the humans to whom we owe communicative and special consideration are fellow citizens of a common community. As the linguistic account of thought is the basic philosophical doctrine of the West, we find Western ethical theory to be both anthropocentric and communitarian. We see this from the start with Plato and Aristotle, and through subsequent influential moral philosophers such as Kant and Mill who identify moral law with community membership. These thinkers span the major ethical theories of the

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West—​Virtue Ethics (Plato and Aristotle), Deontology (Kant), and Utilitarianism (Mill), and yet despite their theoretical disagreement, they agree to communitarian anthropocentrism. The exceptions to this dominant theme of anthropocentric communitarianism in the West are rare. Bentham was famous for arguing for a hedonic account of moral standing, which puts all animals on equal footing. But this is a very rare and unusual position in the West. Even in this case, Bentham felt compelled to make a case for the inclusion of all sentient beings in moral consideration by appealing to the idea of the community (Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, ch. 1: IX). The yogic ideal of isolation or autonomy (kaivalya) as a basic end of moral practice is far from the Western tradition. There are obvious problems with this approach, which the West ignores at its peril. First, it problematizes our relationship with the nonhuman world, such as other animal species, the Earth, and the environment. As we are part of the wider environment, adopting a narrow, anthropocentric perspective undermines the interests that we share with other animals. This is epitomized in Spinoza’s mistaken view that our natures as humans pit us competitively against other animals, and we must therefore use them at our pleasure (cf. Grey 2013). This is extremely uninsightful, but arises naturally from confusing our perspective as humans with the very content of the thinkable. Second, the communitarianism of the Western tradition problematizes our relationship with humans who are not part of our community. If ethics is just about the rules that relate me to my community, I have no guidance or ability to understand the rights or duties of aliens, except perhaps as an extension of my community. I have to colonize others in order to ethically relate to them, on this approach. My own country is only now digging itself out of its national shame that is its efforts to relate to its indigenous population the only way the West allows—​by imperialism and colonization. The Residential School program of Canada exemplifies the Western attitude toward thought. On the premise that thought is linguistic, we have to share a language in order to think and communicate with natives. Hence the Canadian government initiated a program of removing First Nations children from their homes and raising them in residential schools—​administered by churches of all denominations. The goal was to school the aboriginal out of First Nations peoples, and render them brown versions of colonialists of European descent. Children were punished for speaking their native languages, and were forced to learn English or French. They suffered horrific abuse in these schools—​sexual and physical. This is an unmitigated disaster, which continues to have effects on the indigenous population of Canada and wider Canadian society (Indigenous Foundations Accessed Spring 2015). But it is a very natural outcome of the West’s approach to thought. It is so natural that we find philosophers claiming that the very challenge of translation—​ communicating with others from very different linguistic cultures—​is the challenge to “form a single community where previously there were two” (Lance and O’Leary-​ Hawthorne 1997: 20), or implausibly claim that any time we can translate sentences that we have before us is really a single language at base. These errors are different in

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degree, but not in kind, from the more basic idea that sameness of thought depends on linguistic synonymy—​a very common assumption.

3.2.  Uncritical Naturalism In tying its fortunes to the linguistic account of thought, the West has also had to accept that our natural abilities, including language, are constraints that cannot be transcended. From the Western perspective, it is a hubris to imagine that people at large could be gods. This is because language is a natural ability, which separates us in the natural world, and hence natural limitations constrain what kinds of things can think, and hence what kinds of things should be taken seriously by ethics as thoughtful entities capable of deliberating on THE RIGHT and THE GOOD. Moral discourse, according to the West, does not take natural facts as objects of criticism but as matters to be accommodated. Martha Nussbaum, for instance, notes this in her comment that for the Greeks, and Aristotle, there is always a trade-​off to be accommodated, which demarcates the limited possibilities of human life as opposed to the life of God. On her account, we run up against tragedy if we try to transcend these bounds (Nussbaum 1988). This view is quite common (Williams 1985: 119; Putnam and Conant 1990). It is the corollary of the idea that moral philosophies that dare us to transcend the bounds of natural restrictions are religious. This approach to endorsing natural limitations as normative undermines our interests. There are many natural elements and limitations in life, and many of them are not in our interest. The human immunodeficiency virus, cancer, and ultraviolet rays are all natural, but not good for you. If we were to assume that whatever is natural is normative, we undermine our prospects for a better life. But embracing prospects for a better life means adopting perspectives that are not natural to us. Inquiry allows us this opportunity, and with this opportunity we transcend our natural bounds. This is wholly intelligible given an anti-​ interpretive model of thought, but completely inexplicable if our perspective, informed as it is by natural limitations, is the content of thought.

3.3.  Anti-​Philosophy A tragic implication of the interpretive account of thought is that it is anti-​ philosophical. Philosophy depends on explication, which rejects the conflation of having a reason and it being my reason. However, the conflation of having a reason and it being my reason is interpretation. So we have to choose: either we can endorse philosophy or we have to be interpreters. The interpretive account of thought hence depicts philosophy as a threat to thought itself. Cultures that adopt the linguistic account of thought will hence nurture a dim view of philosophy, and will generally regard intellectuals who have original or different ideas from the status quo as a threat to the public order. In the Indian tradition there are cases of philosophers being persecuted, but these are few and they apparently occur later in the tradition—​when India’s process of Westernization had commenced.5

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Early in the tradition in the West, in contrast, we have a tradition that begins—​ inauspiciously—​ with the execution of prominent intellectuals. Socrates and Jesus are examples. Ironically, after being killed these figures are appropriated by imperial powers as legitimizing authorities. In an ironically Christianized Europe, Socrates’s student Plato and his student Aristotle acquire the status of pagan Gods, defining the scope of what could be entertained in universities, while Jesus himself becomes a figure invoked in the explanation of the divine right of Christian kings—​ a right that Jesus apparently provided in his response to Pontius Pilate (John 19: 10–​11)—​but also imperial campaigns of colonization. In order to make sure that philosophy does not ruin the power structure, we find successive doctrines invented to keep philosophy in its place. In the medieval times, philosophy was to be the “handmaiden to theology” (Henrichs 1968). More recently, we find philosophers arguing that philosophy has nothing to add to knowledge: as a kind of proto linguistic activity, it, at best, just tells us what we already mean by our language, or is like poetry—​an aesthetic diversion (cf. Ayer 1946). The talented philosopher, John Austin, wonders: Is it not possible that the next century may see the birth . . . of a true and comprehensive science of language? Then we shall have rid ourselves of one more part of philosophy (there will be plenty left) in the only way we can ever get rid of philosophy, by kicking it upstairs. (Austin 1979, 232) Austin’s very Western comment is hardly out of place in a tradition that has from the start viewed philosophy as a threat. This impatience with philosophy among philosophers continues not only in the likes of “experimental” philosophers (cf. Cappelen 2012), but also among famous physicists who in recent years (in a notable departure from the groundbreaking physicists and mathematicians of the twentieth century) have taken to heaping scorn on philosophy—​as though it is a threat or in competition with natural science (cf. Stenger, Lindsay, and Boghossian 2015). Part of how the West obfuscates its pathological aversion to philosophy is by depicting itself as the tradition of philosophy: everyone else has religion (Cabezón 2006)! A true interest in philosophy would lead to the critical study of objective differences across perspectives, with a view to isolating basic concepts of debate regardless of cultural origin. This project would treat each perspective worthy of explication in its own right. But what we find in the West is the rather unphilosophical attitude that philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato (Whitehead 1978: 39)—​difficult to deny when the options in the literature focus on solutions to problems he formulated. The corollary of this is that thinkers outside, such as Indian ācāryas, are not philosophers: they are religious teachers. But, as noted, one cannot generate the view that what we have in India is religion without interpreting Indian thought: interpretation creates the appearance of the religiosity of aliens in proportion to their philosophical divergence from the reasons of the interpreter. Explicate Indian thought and all we find is philosophy.

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4. OBJECTIONS One might reject Western imperialism by arguing that the West is biased, and that as an antidote, we should adopt interpretations that are open-​minded (cf. Bilimoria, Prabhu, and Sharma 2007: 20; Adluri and Bagchee 2014). I have argued that the characteristically Western account of thought, responsible for its imperialism, is interpretation. We can only criticize Western imperialism by abandoning the cause: the conflation of first-​party reasons with third-​party reasons. In the previous chapter, I considered many general criticisms to explication based on interpretation. The argument delivered in this chapter is based on the practice of explication—​a practice that treats the artifacts of philosophers as providing the reasons for the use of controversial terms like “thought” or “proposition.” It is on this basis that we can discern that there is a common theory guiding Western accounts of thought that connect contemporary Western philosophy with its ancient roots. Criticisms of this explication on the basis of interpretation can be rejected insofar as arguments against explication via interpretation are unsound.

4.1.  Disciplinary Criticism of the West Is Essentializing I have argued that there is a dominant philosophical tradition of the West that is responsible for Western imperialism. This is the tradition of interpretation, which identifies thought and opinion with linguistic meaning. In one stroke we have the marriage of ethnicity (insofar as language is the marker of ethnicity) with thought, and the further conflation of the thought “P” with the opinion “I think that P.” Western imperialism is hence doubly imperialistic as it encourages an ethnic and geographic identification with thought. As interpretation grows by subsuming everything under its stock of reasons, Eurocentric beliefs about philosophical matters continue with the spread of this Western tradition. Western imperialism as a political reality is nothing but the growth of an imperialistic intellectual tradition with Western origins. As it grows, it changes its religified theories, but what remains constant are European accounts of ethics. One objection is that this account of the West essentializes westerners. Anyone who is European, or hailing from a Western tradition that finds its roots in the Greeks, would apparently be an imperialist. The response to this objection is to note that this would be true if the interpretive account of thought is true of thought, for then insofar as anyone had a thought in this tradition, they would have to buy as basic premises the imperialism of the West. But the interpretive account of thought is false: it does not represent what thinking is. Hence, it is not true that westerners have to buy the premises of Western imperialism. Moreover, in acknowledging that thought is the confluence of perspectives relative to disciplinary matters, we note that we can use whatever language we have at our disposal to engage in disciplinary research and thought so long as we are willing to use our semiotic resources for research. We do not have

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to believe the propaganda that is written into our language if what I have called linguistic externalism is the right account of thought. But if the interpretive account of thought is true, the perspective written into our language is the content of our thought. Hence, a language developed in an imperialistic context would thereby be imperialistic. Essentializing individuals on the basis of ethnic considerations, such as language, is part of the interpretive paradigm: it has no support otherwise.

4.2.  Generalizations Admit of Exceptions The argument against Western imperialism is a generalization of Western theory. We know that generalizations of large traditions cannot be true as there are always exceptions given a large enough sample. So this generalization about the West cannot be true. This kind of argument is what is generated by defenders of orthodoxy who want to shield orthodoxy from criticism. We can use this same argument to shield populations and countries from political criticism for all we need, it would seem, is a counterexample to disprove the generalization. Alarmingly we can use it to stifle news of oppression. Claims about the lives of racialized individuals, women, or caste-​discriminated people are general and there are exceptions. The idea that the only generalizations worth talking about are those without exceptions is politically motivated to keep dissent out of the picture. But it is also fallacious. Generalizations are compatible with exceptions—​that is why we call them “generalizations,” and not (logically) “universal claims.” To confuse a generalization with a universal claim is a logical mistake, with political dimensions. It is worth noting that generalizations produced by interpretation result in universal claims, which simply cannot be true. For instance, India interpreted along Eurocentric lines results in the declaration that Indian philosophers were not interested in moral philosophy: this is a universal claim. The reason we know it is a universal claim is that it creates a model of the world with no exceptions: the only people who do ethics on this account are the westerners, not Asians (cf. Danto 1972). When interpreters are asked to back up such claims, they produce a definition or criteria of ethics that everyone has to agree to in order to have a view about ethics. The most silly example of this is Albert Schweitzer’s famous claim that in order for anyone to have a view on ethics they have to endorse what he calls “world and life affirmation” (Schweitzer 1936). The universality of the resulting “generalization” is bought by the universal definition of ethics. This is silly because any such criterion is not a basic option in moral theory, which concerns THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. Indeed, the concept ETHICS, which we learn about from explication, is open to differing opinions and there are at least four options that resolve the tension between THE RIGHT and THE GOOD. There is no common agreement between them: only a disagreement. Explication, in contrast, allows us to treat a philosophy or tradition as something we can disagree about and hence understanding its place in the world is to understand it among alternatives. To explicate the Western account of thought as interpretation is to be open to alternative accounts of thought, such as linguistic externalism. If we were to interpret thought, we could come up with no alternatives aside from thought as interpretation. We could be assured that interpretation cannot measure

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alternatives for it has to understand all third-​party options in terms of first-​party reasons. Explication also allows an appreciation of how the world is far more complicated than merely the dominance of the West. In contrast to the capital “W” West of Western imperialism, there is a small “w” west that is the world of higher learning and research: disciplinarity, which distinguishes between first-​and third-​ party reasons because it tracks objects of research. Indeed, the cultural and philosophical reality of the small “w” west that is multicultural, diverse, and interested in higher learning is characterizable by philosophical ideas that are not capital “W” Western. Sometimes it seems as though the philosophical ideas of India and the Western world have collided and the result is an uneasy sharing: India has become Western, embracing religious identities based on Eurocentric interpretation, and thereby creating problems for making sense of its pre-​Western dharmic diversity, and the west has become yogic, by embracing diversity, downplaying the importance of traditional beliefs and being open to objectivity before truth –​ahiṃsā before satya. But our Western world is not without its philosophical tension either. The tension between the yogic west and the ancient West rears its head in politics in questions of the role of culture and diversity and how we can relate to others who do not share our values. The interpretive model of thought is bankrupt on this question: the only solution it has is imperialism and the epistemic question on its account is always about who has the right perspective. The yogic options of disciplinarity are always open to new information, new perspectives, and new findings. As it tracks objects, perspectives are a tool of research: not the end. So generalizations based on explication are generalizations among alternatives—​never universal claims without exceptions. As for the West as a philosophical tradition of interpretation there is a salient exception to the generalization. This is the reality of Western philosophers who explicate philosophy as a way to understand the options. Indeed, what is stunning about the West is that its tradition of the practice of philosophy has created a parallel theory, which does not take the practice of philosophy as its object, but rather truth as its object. The result is that we learn from philosophers how to participate in the discipline only by becoming philosophers ourselves, for the literary output of philosophers in the west is typically a continuation and contribution to the West as the tradition of Eurocentric interpretation. This, no doubt, contributes to the very poor quality of research into non-​Western philosophy: if we look to Western philosophers to teach us about philosophy, what they say in their writings is not at all what we need to practice in order to understand philosophy. What they practice is explication. What they defend is a confabulation: interpretation.

4.3.  The West Is Not the Only Intellectual Tradition with Commitments to the Linguistic Account of Thought The argument noted is that the West is the only philosophical tradition where the linguistic account of thought is the account of thought, with no obvious alternatives.

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Yet, the Chinese tradition has a long line of philosophers stretching back to Confucius who endorse this approach to thought. So Western imperialism is not the only variety of imperialism explainable by the linguistic account of thought. Chinese imperialism is also explainable by the same philosophical orientation. But Chinese imperialism has not traversed the world, though Western imperialism has. This shows that the linguistic account of thought cannot be the explanation of why everyone has to contend with Western imperialism, for if it was then the world would have been interpreted on Sinocentrically, and we would have to contend with religification along Sinocentric lines. A virtue of the account, not a fault, is it does explain Chinese imperialism by the same philosophical factor that explains Western imperialism: the linguistic account of thought. (It is also applicable to recent versions of the same phenomena in South Asia, which seek to consolidate political power on the basis of linguistic identity.) The difference between the two cases is that the Chinese have a long tradition of criticizing the linguistic account of thought in the form of Taoism and related schools. There is no formidable alternative to the logocentric tradition in the West. But as imperialism is a lack of political restraint, and a voracious disregard for first-​ and third-​person boundaries, this lack of philosophical alternatives in the Western tradition speaks to the depth to which the West is the tradition of conflating first-​ and third-​person boundaries. The reality of the West is that as it expanded out from Europe, it religified and then appropriated non-​Eurocentric moral theories as its official religions (often blending its own Greek philosophy with the religified theories) and consequently spread this appropriation. Western imperialism convinces everyone else that all they have is religion and no moral philosophy where ethics is defined by European traditions. This allows the West to fill the moral void left by this story with the anthropocentric and communitarian moral values of Western imperialism. In polite circles, this is called “humanism.” What is insidious about the tradition is not its European starting point—​ it is interpretation itself. Interpretation collapses the distinction between third-​and first-​party reasons and thereby renders aliens a threat to the very cannons of reason. The politics of what it is to be a Hindu today, created by the West, makes non-​Hindu perspectives seem threatening to religified Hindus, when the traditional Indian approach would have been quite unfazed and unthreatened by intellectual diversity.

5.  ORTHODOX INDOLOGY AS THE CREATURE OF WESTERN THEORY AND WESTERN IMPERIALISM I have been invoking the idea of Orthodox Indology in my introductory chapters to Indian Ethics. This is the study of India tied to Eurocentric interpretation. Eurocentric interpretation, in turn, is a traditional approach to philosophical questions in the West. It begins with the Greeks who identified thought, opinion,

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and language together in the unifying idea of reason as logos. Here we have not only the characteristic conflation of first-​party opinion (I think that P) with third-​ party objectivity of thought (P), but also the idea of language, which codifies a perspective that is historically contingent. But once this contingency is identified as thought, the world has to be subsumed under the narrow cultural perspective of the westerner. Western imperialism is the output of this approach to thought. As the West is unique in identifying thought with language, unlike the Chinese tradition that constitutes a debate on the topic, and the Indian tradition that simply does not identify thought with language, the West is the ancient philosophical tradition with no internal criticism of imperialism. The Eurocentrism of this approach survives because it is born and raised in Europe and because as a version of the interpretive account of thought, it keeps the batch of truths in place that characterize the subjectivity of the interpreter. Truths about what Europeans think about ethics become part of the subjectivity passed along as the logocentric tradition continues, and alien ethical theories have to be domesticated but typically religified in order to be marginalized. The process is sealed by affording political rights to those who are religified. It is probably worth noting that insofar as the Chinese tradition takes the linguistic and interpretive account of thought seriously, it has clear and ancient imperialist tendencies. The move to conceive Chinese as the universal language of China (if only in terms of an orthography) is part of the logic of imperialism that arises from the linguistic account of thought. Whereas Chinese philosophy has an internal criticism of the linguistic account of thought, we find nothing of the sort in the West. In the West, there is room to disagree in this tradition about what the right perspective amounts to, but the ones that are reasonable are somehow derivable from the truths that characterize the European experience. Everything else is religion, faith, and mysterious. What we know of as Indology typically buys not only into the reality of religions defined along Eurocentric lines, but also the linguistic account of thought. Hence, the standard approach to research in Indology is to assume that research in Indian languages and philology holds the key to understanding Indian thought. But this is to apply the model of thought that is characteristically Western to the study of India, and also to apply the model of thought responsible for Western imperialism to the study of India. In the next chapter, I review how the standard Western models of thought as linguistic meaning lead us astray in a world of radical moral philosophical diversity, and how linguistic externalism saves the day. But for now we have an answer to why the whole world has to contend with Western imperialism: it is the tradition with the inauspicious distinction of being anti-​philosophical and pro-​interpretive from the start, with no internal check. It can be summed up in the conflation of “I think that P” and “P” and the concomitant idea that P is what I say in my language. This is the idea of logos. The representation of India as the land with no moral philosophy but plenty of religion is its outcome. The reality of contemporary India as a place where philosophical disagreements on ethics is eclipsed by religious identity is its legacy.

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NOTES 1. While outdated in some respects, Salmon and Soames’s anthology (1988) is still a useful collection of diverse options within the Western tradition. For a more recent account, see McGrath (2012). 2. Vincent Shen, in more than one article, speaks about the contrasts between these two philosophies as philosophically important aspects of Chinese culture: “In general, Chinese culture cherishes the Life-​world, which is partly constructed by human beings, partly unfolding itself spontaneously in the rhythm of nature. Confucianism puts its emphasis more on the human construction of a meaningful existence; in contrast to it, Taoism emphasizes the spontaneous unfolding of natural rhythm” (Shen 2003: 365; cf. Shen 1996). 3. I have this on the good authority of Muhammad Ali Khalidi. He is the translator and editor of Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings (2005). 4. This is not to say that some Indian philosophers did not come close to adopting the linguistic account of thought. Jonardon Ganeri argues that Nyāya can make sense of Fregean semantics (Ganeri 1999: 153–​165). Mark Siderits, for instance, uses the Fregean backdrop to explicate much Indian philosophy of language (Siderits 1991). The problem for us, however, is to distinguish the semantics from the philosophical account of thought. Frege explicitly argues for this identity (Frege 1988) when he states that the extension of a declarative sentence is a truth-​value. If you accept this, then you accept that some claims are true merely by what is meant. These are analyticity claims. If, as Siderits notes, Indian philosophers did not accept the idea of analyticity, then they could not accept Frege’s account of thought. 5. It is difficult to think of examples of the persecution of intellectuals in the early South Asian tradition. There is the ninth-​century case of Jayanta Bhaṭṭa who was imprisoned (Potter 2015: 342). I am grateful to Purushottama Bilimoria for reminding me of this. Then there is the case of the eleventh-​century persecution of Śrī Vaiṣṇavas by a Chola King (Narasimhacharya and Akademi 2004: 25). In the stories of the Mahāvastu we find passing accounts of kings killing off ascetics for having the wrong views (Mahāvastu, 354–​372). Thanks to Justin Fifield for bringing this to my attention. Of course, if we count literature there are many cases of evil kings whose sin is an intolerance to Brahmins and sages. These discussions often seem like foils or literary devices to display the just king as one who is open to intellectuals. This seems like the more credible thing to do in historical South Asia.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Adluri, Vishwa, and Joydeep Bagchee. 2014. The Nay Science: A History of German Indology. New York: Oxford University Press. Ames, Roger T., and Henry Rosemont Jr. 2010. The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophical Translation. New York: Random House. Austin, J. L. 1979. “Ifs and Cans.” In Philosophical Papers, edited by J. O. Urmson and G. J. Warnock, 204–​232. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Russell, Bertrand. 1938. Principles of Mathematics. New York: W. W. Norton. Śabara. 1933. Śabara Bhāṣya. Translated by Ganganatha Jha. Gaekwad’s Oriental Series. Vol. 66, 70, 73. Baroda: Oriental Institute. Salmon, Nathan U., and Scott Soames. 1988. Propositions and Attitudes, Oxford Readings in Philosophy. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. Schweitzer, Albert. 1936. Indian Thought and Its Development. Translated by Charles E. B. Russell. New York: H. Holt. Seidlhofer, Barbara. 2011. Understanding English as a Lingua Franca. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Shen, Vincent. “Confucianism and Taoism in Response to Constructive Realism.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 23, no. 1 (1996): 59–​78. Shen, Vincent. “Some Thoughts on Intercultural Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 30, nos. 3–​4 (2003): 357–​372 Siderits, Mark. 1991. Indian Philosophy of Language: Studies in Selected Issues, Vol. 46. Dordrecht, Boston: Kluwer Academic. Stenger, Victor J., James A. Lindsay, and Peter Boghossian. 2015. “Physicists Are Philosophers, Too.” Scientific American. http://​www.scientificamerican.com/​article/​ physicists-​are-​philosophers-​too/​ Thakchoe, Sonam. Summer 2011 Edition. “The Theory of Two Truths in India.” In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Uri Nodelman and Edward Zalta. http://​plato.stanford.edu/​entries/​twotruths-​india/​ Whitehead, Alfred North. 1978. Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology. Gifford Lectures; 1927–​28, edited by David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne. Corrected ed. New York: Free Press. Macmillan. Originally published New York. Williams, Bernard. 1985. Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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CHAPTER FOUR 

Beyond Moral Twin Earth: Beyond Indology SHYAM RANGANATHAN

1. INTRODUCTION I have argued that the standard account of India as a land of religion and no ethics is the outcome of Eurocentric interpretation, which I call the “West.” My argument has not been to make a case for an alternative interpretation of Indian thought from an Indian perspective. I have rather argued that the problem is interpretation itself: it is imperial in outlook and it contends with diversity via colonialism—​that is, by treating alien perspectives as though they have no independence. This is because interpretation collapses the distinction between first-​and third-​party reasons. In the face of alien perspectives, interpreters have two strategies: domestication and religification. Religification grants alien perspectives the status of being mysterious and unjustified by the canons of reason of the interpreter. Domestication brings the reasons of the interpreter in line with the interpreted. Both strategies serve to protect the interpreter’s reasons as incontrovertible. Explication treats objectivity, what we can disagree about, as primary in explanation. This allows us to understand diverse perspectives as competing explanations of objects that they converge on from a common disciplinary axis. When the objects in question are philosophical concepts, the competing perspectives are locked in a philosophical disagreement. As the objects are defined as what perspectives can disagree about, explication requires no background consensus or truths to get off the ground: it is disagreement—​objectivity—​all the way down. This is the gift of disciplinarity: it allows us to practice the same endeavor from differing perspectives, which means that we do not have to share a perspective to be engaged in a common discipline. On the interpretive model, thought is the same as a perspective. Philosophers who endorse the interpretive model of thought typically identify thought with language as language encodes a perspective. For the interpreter, the question that philosophy has to contend with is determining what counts as the right perspective. This approach to thought dominates Western philosophy. It is the meta-​perspective of Western philosophy, which connects ancient and modern philosophical speculation in the

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West (to be distinguished from the mere geographical contingency of being western). On the explicatory model, thought is the confluence of perspectives relative to a disciplinary concern. We could call this a perspective if we like, but this would be false as its description of what is involved in understanding a thought is about transcending our perspectives in discipline. As we can practice the same discipline from differing perspectives, transcending our perspective is as easy as distinguishing first-​and third-​party reasons. I have already argued that interpretation as a formal model of understanding is fraught with logical problems. It confuses perspective with thought and thereby conflates distinct propositions such as “I think that P” with “P.” If understanding is about one’s perspective, then whatever we explain becomes swallowed by our perspective, and hence conclusions of explanations entail the explanation. This is saṃsāra—​vicious circularity—​that threatens our autonomy and independence. In this chapter I compare and contrast the two approaches to thought—​the interpretive and the explicatory—​in light of contemporary discussions of moral semantics. The interpretive identifies thought with a perspective. The explicatory understands thought by way of a confluence of perspectives—​the basic concept at play in thoughts themselves are definable by the disagreements of perspectives. To identify thought with a perspective is to conceive of thought as destructive to alternative perspectives. Even elevated perspectives (like the one on Mount Kailash) are destructive to diversity. The alternative grasps objectivity (like a conch) while resting on a bed of alternate perspectives. It preserves. Whereas the destructive variety, like Geocentrism, treats the Earth as a privileged perspective, the preserving model of thought allows us to appreciate that the Earth has her own perspective in a world of multiple perspectives. I noted earlier in chapter two that this transformation from interpretation to explication in astronomy is the move from Geocentrism to what is often called Heliocentrism. We need a similar change in philosophy to appreciate and preserve diversity while respecting the prospects for objective truth. I compare these two models of thought by considering Planet Ethics: a world of radical moral diversity. The standard approach in Indology is to apply the standard Western account of thought in research. Accordingly, thought is the meaning of what we say in our language. This results in colonialism and imperialism on Planet Ethics. In response, I will show that strategies open to interpreters, championed by the philosopher Donald Davidson, are of no help. The strategy Davidson invokes to contend with America’s favorite lovable bigot—​Archie Bunker—​is the Orthodox approach in Indology to understanding Indian ethical discourse. In both cases, the target’s linguistic behavior is treated as mistaken. If we want to understand and respect Indian thinkers, we need to take their moral philosophy seriously—​this will allow us to take them seriously. This means giving up on treating Indian thinkers charitably, in favor of treating them philosophically. Put another way, we have to give up treating our own theoretical frames as constraints on what Indians can and did think. The expectation that Indians have to conform to our theoretical frame in order to be intelligible is just Western imperialism. Giving up on this imperialism means giving up on the idea that what you think is true—​and what might even be

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true—​is relevant to research in disciplines such as philosophy. We have to determine the objectivity of propositions before we can determine their truth, and our objective thoughts may be false. Living like this entails treating others who do not share our perspective with the respectful freedom to disagree.

2.  BEYOND MORAL TWIN EARTH: WILL THE REAL BHŪMI STEP FORWARD? There are at least two versions of the linguistic account of thought. The accounts are Linguistic Particularism and Linguistic Internalism. If you are a Linguistic Particularist, you deny that “it is a good day” in English shares the same meaning as “c’est une bonne journée” in French (cf. Wittgenstein 1958, I, §241; Derrida 1981; Gadamer 1990, 1996; cf. Lance and O’Leary-​ Hawthorne 1997: 20; cf. McDowell 1998a: 128; 1998b: 61–​63) and you thus deny that they express the same thought. If you are a Linguistic Internalist, you are inclined to see “it is a good day” and “c’est une bonne journée” as expressing the same thought because you take them to share a sentential meaning. Linguistic Internalists are hence open to the possibility that speakers of English and French can, via their own languages, engage in a crosslinguistic agreement or disagreement on the goodness of the day (cf. Hare 1952: 146–​149; cf. Boyd 1988: 210; cf. Dreier 1990: 8; cf. Horgan and Timmons 1991, 1992a, 1992b, 1996, 2000; cf. van Roojen 2006; cf. Wedgwood 2006; Henning 2011). My proposal, to add to this mix, is Linguistic Externalism.1 Linguistic Externalism relies on two uncontroversial theses. The first is the idea that there is a distinction to be drawn between the meaning of an expression and its use—​a basic idea in the philosophy of language (Donnellan 1966; Davidson 1996b; Austin 2000). The second is the idea that there are distinct disciplines or inquiries, such as mathematics, empirical science, and philosophy. I take it that this is trivially uncontroversial though objective in so far as disciplines allow for disagreements. These disciplines might overlap but yet they have their own epistemic identity. According to Linguistic Externalism, a thought is the use of a semiotic device, such as a sentence, in service of a disciplined inquiry, such as the empirical sciences, history, mathematics, or philosophy. What counts as a use in service of the discipline is discipline relative, and not reducible to cultural or linguistic considerations. Thoughts have an intension–​extension structure. The intension of a thought is often depicted as its definition or meaning. The extension is the collection of things that it is true of or corresponds to. The intension of a proposition on my account is the common disciplinary use of diverse semiotic resources, while the extension is the collection of semiotic resources that share the use. There may be no linguistic device that encodes the intension of a proposition as its linguistic meaning and none is required, as it is the common disciplinary use that is the intension of the thought. On the linguistic account of thought, a sentence with the meaning “coffee cups are radioactive” is the content of thought. Call this sentence P. Let us contrast this

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with a sentence “depleted uranium is radioactive” in our language. Call this sentence U. We can imagine a language L where the people make their coffee cups out of depleted uranium, and their neighbors with an interintelligible language M who do not. The sentence form P, “coffee cups are radioactive” in L and M express differing thoughts according to the Linguistic Particularists, and the same thought according to Linguistic Internalists. Both will reject that “coffee cups are radioactive” has the same propositional content as “depleted uranium is radioactive.” Linguistic Externalists will, however, identify a thought according to a confluence of disciplinary purposes, or rather the confluence of perspectives relative to a disciplinary purpose. For the Linguistic Externalist, PL and U express the same thought on disciplinary grounds, while PL, PM, and U do not. The former is true, while the latter is false. The difference is that the confluence of perspectives in the former case converges on the disciplinary concern of the physicist, while in the latter case it does not. For the Linguistic Externalists, though PL and PM share a linguistic meaning, they are not translational equivalents given the discipline of physics, but U and PL are. Translation is the preservation of semantic content across semiotic resources and the meaning that is preserved in translation is discipline relative. This approach to translation upsets those with commitments to Linguistic Internalism, but those with a commitment to Linguistic Internalism have a problem. Call this the you can’t have your cake and eat it too problem. The less interintelligible languages, and the more different, the more will be our need for translation. But the less interintelligible different languages are, the greater their semantic divergence—​if nothing else for reasons of syntax that have semantic implications, but often because our words are cultural artifacts and cultures vary. The cases where we need translation are exactly the cases where languages diverge along semantic lines. So success in translation is less likely the more we need it on this account. The point here is not that translation is impossible. It is rather that it is implausible if we buy the Linguistic Internalist’s story. Translation theorists have wrestled with this for some time and most of their recommendations involve compromising their own linguistic standards of semantic accuracy. Linguistic Externalism provides a solution: treat translation as recreating texts with differing semantic resources along disciplinary lines—​the discipline provides the common axis to evaluate the objectivity of the translation. If the source and target texts are the same along disciplinary lines, then translation is successful. This does not compromise accuracy for thought itself is the confluence of perspectives relative to a disciplinary concern. Hence, sentences that encode differing perspectives can express the same thought for disciplinary purposes. (I used to call this “text-​type semantics”; cf. Ranganathan 2007a, 2011; for a response to translation studies and Western philosophers of language, see Ranganathan 2007b).

2.1.  Moral Twin Earth Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons’s now famous Moral Twin Earth experiments (1991, 1992a, 1992b, 1996, 2000) are loosely based on Hilary Putnam’s Twin Earth (1975). Horgan and Timmons ask the question of what moral semantics can account for ethical agreement and disagreement across two languages spoken on two

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differing planets: English (spoken on Earth) and an identical sounding language they call “Twin Moral English” (spoken on Twin Moral Earth). They stipulate that like Putnam’s Twin Earth, different causal mechanisms abound across the two worlds. If we choose an account of moral semantics that identifies the meaning of moral vocabulary with causal mechanisms, then the meaning of what is said via identical sounding moral sentences on the two worlds would not be the same. They interpret this as inconsistent with accounting for moral agreement and disagreement across the two worlds. They rather hold that an assignment of the same meaning to moral vocabulary across the two worlds is required to account for crosslinguistic moral agreement and disagreement (Horgan and Timmons 1991: 460). Their sympathies lie with Expressivism, which holds that the meaning of moral vocabulary consists in its ability to express the speaker’s mind (Timmons and Horgan 2006a, 2006b; Schroeder 2008). Expressivism would fit the facts of Earth and Moral Twin Earth, but so would other possible internalist (attitudinal) semantics (Henning 2011). The Moral Twin Earth thought experiment in its heyday was the gold standard test for moral semantics. Anything that claims to be an account of our moral concepts would have to pass this test. The problem with this thought experiment is that it only works if one assumes Linguistic Internalism. But Linguistic Internalism and the linguistic account of thought on the whole is not put to the test by those who assume it. We shall not assume these accounts of thought, but subject the competing three accounts of thought to the same test of diversity. Our goal will be to discern which accounts of thought allow for successful cross-​cultural communication on ethical matters in cases of radical moral diversity.

2.2.  A World of Diversity In our version of Planet Ethics, the world is divided into the west, and South Asia, for simplicity’s sake. In the west, we find that one culture, Nation Negative Utilitarians, has a word “ethical” that is causally regulated by pain-​reducing properties: this is a known scientific fact. The Negative Utilitarians not only are cognizant of this, but also see no reason to change the linguistic meaning of “ethical.” It is linguistically false to claim that something pain provoking but gratifying is “ethical” in this language. The Positive Utilitarians, their distant cultural cousins, have a word “ethical” that is causally regulated by happy making properties. It is linguistically false in this language to claim that pain reduction without an associated increase of happiness is ethical. Nation Expressivism Utilitarianism neighbors the Positive Utilitarians. Their tendency is to talk like their Utilitarian neighbors except that on their account “ethical” does not have the same literal meaning as “ethical” for the Positive Utilitarians. Rather, for them, it is a device whose systematic and basic role is to allow the speaker to express their mind. They boarder Nation Expressivism Kant. Nation Expressivism Kantians speak the same language as their Nation Expressivism Utilitarianism neighbors except that the former citizens talk like the Kantians next door to them. Nation Kant has a word “ethical,” but in their language “ethical” names a will determined by the categorical imperative regardless of its efficacy. In this language

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it is linguistically false that happiness, or pain reduction, is ethical. Then there are the Republic of Platonists run by a Philosopher King. For them, “ethical” is a second-​order ideal object—​the Form of the forms—​it is beyond being. For the Platonists, something can be ethical insofar as it participates in this ideal object. It is linguistically false in the language of the Platonists to identify any natural property or cluster of properties as the paradigm or defining case of ethicalness. It is also linguistically false for the Platonists that talking about ethicalness does not commit one to sui generis content. In South Asia, we find Nation Early Intellectuals. They are of the view that “ethical” (dhamma) has a meaning that includes outcomes of our mind that we must leave be by cultivating a non-​ desiring (non-​ grasping) psychology called “mindfulness.” In their view, this opens the individual to a compassionate approach to suffering. Nation Great Vehicle Intellectuals, their neighbors, agree with much of this, but identify the Awakened Intellectual as an ideal to emulate in the practice of ethics. One who follows this path is awakened to the requirement of alleviating the suffering of others and thereby overcomes their own failures to properly relate to ethics. The practice defined by this ideal takes one to an appreciation of the interdependence and radical lack of autonomy of all things: emptiness. This further undermines selfishness and cruelty. “Ethics” means all of this, for them. Nation Heroic Conquerors regard virtue (vīrya) as the objective property of the self that gives rise to actions that conform to the unintrusivity of virtue. For them, Ethics is the Movement away from states of the unethical prioritization of action (karma) in self-​understanding—​a prioritization that leads to practical paralysis and unvirtuous (harmful) behavior. Nation Elaboraters of the Former are ritualists who define “ethical” as what results in welfare, but its justification has to do with its conformity to expectations set out in a text they call “Knowledge,” which they say is heard but not remembered. Nation Elaboraters of the Latter, their neighbors, are fractioned. They can agree that “ethical” means following the rules, as set out in this text Knowledge, but they disagree as to its importance for personal freedom. For fun we could add more groups. Somewhere on Planet Ethics, we find the Nation De Sadeans, who idealize Marquis De Sade. For them, “ethical” means shocking their neighbors. Then there are Nation Whither the State—​ Marxists. According to them, “ethical “means the free development of the human individual, and this justifies the right of the worker to control the fruits of their labor. On their account, “religion” is the opiate of the masses. Maybe somewhere in between the west and South Asia we find Nation Jesus, where “ethical” means “what Jesus taught.” Next to them, we find Nation Mohammad: the same kind of thing, but for the them “ethical” means what Mohammad said. Finally, interspersed among these many nations will be descendants of a long-​gone Nation Them. The Thems have their own linguistic identity defined by their own ten commandments, but for centuries they were happy to live in the various other nations, participating in two linguistic cultures: their home culture and their historical culture. They speak the local language of their native Nation, but also retain an extralinguistic affiliation that ties them to the historical Nation Them.

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2.3. Outcomes The linguistic account of thought specifies minimally that two sentences can express the same thought if and only if they share a sentential meaning. The linguistic account of thought does not recognize sentences about ethics across languages on Planet Ethics as articulating the same thought. There are six outcomes on Planet Ethics if we adopt a linguistic account of thought. First, the linguistic accounts of thought cannot account for how people across linguistic lines on Planet Ethics can agree or disagree on ethical issues as their various sentences about ethics express different thoughts on the linguistic account. But to agree or disagree on ethical matters, they must share a common thought that they may assent or dissent to. Linguistic differences on Planet Ethics render cross-​ linguistic communication on the assumption of the linguistic account of thought impossible. When each group talks about ethics, they mean something different. Second, given a linguistic account of thought, one’s culture’s values are analytically true, and their rejection is a contradiction in terms. Conscientious objection to one’s own culture’s values will be impossible, for the values simply are the meaning of the Nation’s moral vocabulary. Here we find that the national views on ethics are true as a matter of analyticity. So to attempt to engage in intra-​cultural criticism would be to say something absurd. Third, the linguistic accounts of thought entail a chauvinism about one’s moral concepts: moral relativism is out of the question. Moral relativism relies on the same moral proposition taking on different truth conditions depending on the cultural context. But assuming a linguistic account of thought, we have across languages not the same proposition but different propositions that seem superficially the same because they use the term “ethical.” But as each person will only have their own language’s moral concepts at their disposal to think about ethics, and since they have no recourse to moral relativism or to understand cross-​cultural disagreements on morals, they will have no choice but to impose their views on morality on others. The inability to even make sense of someone dissenting from the ethical theory of their moral vocabulary all but ensures this chauvinism. Fourth, in order to have a conversation with people in other cultures, someone who buys the linguistic account of thought on Planet Ethics would have to impose their language on others—​or give up theirs for another. But this conversion would be to either impose their own values on others or endorse the values of others. As chauvinism is an outcome of the linguistic account of thought, citizens on Planet Ethics would not think about giving up their moral theory for the sake of communicating with others. Imperialism is hence the likely outcome. Fifth, given a linguistic account of thought, historical disagreements between peoples can be erased if they merely form their own languages and communities. Each community would define their moral vocabulary according to their values, and there would be no way to meaningfully access the substance of the historical controversy. Sixth, any and all national cultures that adopt the linguistic account will have difficulty accepting the Thems as one of them. The Thems, in identifying with an

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alien linguistic culture, underwritten by its own moral theory, will seem like double agents, who are not completely loyal to the home national identity that they live in. On Planet Ethics, language is defined by moral theory, so the Them allegiance to the Them language constitutes their allegiance to a moral theory that is contrary to the national moral character of their adopted homes. The problem here not only is political, but also has to do with the interpretive account of thought. If the Thems employ two differing languages with competing values, then their neighbors could never be clear what linguistic frame they are loyal to. This will create the phenomena of Anti-​Thematism. At the first sign of stress, the Thems will be blamed for undermining the national interests. All of these problems disappear given Linguistic Externalism. According to Linguistic Externalism, the thought is the disciplinary commonality of the various sentences of various languages. The sentence “it is ethical to persecute the Thems” will have a different linguistic meaning in each national language as “ethical” is defined by opposing theories. Yet the common disciplinary purpose of these sentences is to make a claim that the persecution of the Thems falls into the ideal theory of THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD, or more simply that it is right or good to persecute the Thems. So people on Planet Ethics can agree or disagree about this proposition. If thought is the confluence of perspectives relative to a disciplinary purpose, a true thought converges on some common object of inquiry from diverse perspectives while the false ones do not. In this case, as each society forms its own paranoia about the Thems relative to their own cultural identity, the confluence of perspectives about the Thems tracks no common object. Diversity appears like a threat when we judge those who are different from our own perspective only. Dharma only seems like an alien perspective at odds with ethics when we attempt to understand it from our theory-​laden perspective. If we add the language of the Thems to the mix, it would be false linguistically for them to endorse this sentence, but the reason that the Thems are just fine and deserve no extra concern is not because they are somehow friendly or open to the values of their host culture: it is because the dominant perspective in a social context is not thought: it is merely a contribution to a thought, and the unity of the thought is disciplinary. It is the unity of thought on the whole that is either true or false, and cultural revolutions, and changes in language, cannot manufacture truth. Could some languages not fake tolerance? Or, more generously, are there no cultural values that are more open than others? Of course, many cultures that adopt the linguistic account of thought can fake tolerance. The Expressivist cultures, for instance, will seem to be very open-​minded. Millian liberalism of the sort defended in On Liberty seems like the culture of Nation Expressivism Utilitarianism: an Expressivist semantics but with Utilitarian sympathies. Anyone who is a member of this society can say pretty much what they want, but they have to buy the underlying Expressivist semantics—​they could merely talk like a Them, but not really buy the Them values as basic to a cultural orientation. Moreover, with respect to the outside, the Utilitarian Expressivist would be as ruthless as any other cultural orientation

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if the linguistic account of thought is their account of thought. Like Mill, they would have to be chauvinistic and impose their values on others merely to have a conversation with outsiders. Other cultures will be viewed as lucky enough to find an Akbar to rule them (On Liberty I.10). Like Mill, they might try to earn a living by imperialism: from their perspective, they are doing everyone a favor by imposing themselves on others. The only cultures that will be tolerant are those who reject the linguistic account of thought and with it the interpretive approach to thought. There is no linguistic limitation or constraint on such a culture. Any culture can keep their moral vocabulary, defined by their history and national character, but reject the idea that what is encoded in their language is just the content of thought. These cultures will be open to inquiry and disciplinarity as the foundation of thought. They will reject anti-​Thematism because it is silly, and they will be open to criticizing the values that underwrite their culture and language. But this elevates such cultures. They are no longer mere functions of their culture or history. They are free.

3.  FAILED SOLUTIONS Those loyal to interpretation as a model of thought might be upset with our findings on Planet Ethics. It seems that interpretive accounts of thought—​the two linguistic accounts of thought—​stymie our capacity to understand others and even ourselves. In this section I consider two responses from the work of Davidson, the other from what we might think of as a political Hinduism.

3.1.  Davidsonian “Solutions” I have noted that interpreters have two strategies open to them in the face of alien perspectives. They can domesticate the alien perspective, or they can religify it. To domesticate the alien perspective is for the subjectivity of the interpreter to change in some way to accommodate the alien so that it is no longer alien. One version of domestication is conversion where the interpreting subject changes their mind. The other version is internalization where the external view enriches the domestic view. Davidson defends domestication in his famous “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme” (2001). The trouble with domestication is that it does not allow us to understand how and when we disagree with others. If I convert to the alien perspective, I share its view, so I no longer disagree, but I do not understand what my disagreement was with the alien perspective either. If I absorb the language of other cultures into my own, now I have several words that sound like “ethical” in my language. This is unparsimonious, but worse, if all I have done is internalized the diverse languages on Planet Ethics into my own language, I am no closer to understanding cross-​cultural moral disagreement. Religification arises in Davidson’s discussion of malapropisms. Consider Archie Bunker who claims, “We need a few laughs to break up the monogamy” (Davidson 1996a: 465). This is funny. It constitutes a violation of our linguistic expectations.

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What we do not consider in this case is that Bunker has a different theory of monogamy from us. We rather treat Bunker’s use of “monogamy” as underivable from our canons of reason. This is religification. How do we communicate here? According to Davidson, in these cases, we have our own prior theory of what our words mean, and in light of a speaker who resorts to a malapropism, we construct a passing theory that will allow us to define the speakers’ strange linguistic behavior to our prior theory. So in this case, the passing theory will allow us to match Archie Bunker’s utterance with our sentence, “We need a few laughs to break up the monotony” and further allows us to correlate Bunker’s “monogamy” in this and only this context with our prior theory of “monotony.” Now it seems that “monogamy” has two meanings in our passing theory of Archie Bunker’s language: one that correlates to our term and one that corresponds to “monotony.” This is, of course, interpretation where we use our prior theory to explain utterances of Archie Bunker. The passing theory is the conclusion. This is to effectively domesticate Bunker’s religified claims about monogamy. On Planet Ethics if I adopt this approach, I first appreciate the religified essence of all alien talk of “ethics,” and then domesticate these uses relative to distinctions that are meaningful to me in my language. The result is that for any alien language with a distinct moral theory underwriting their vocabulary, I will multiply meanings of “ethics” relative to my scheme. Hence, the alien will appear to say many different things when they talk about ethics. The problem here is that this strategy provides no insight into the moral disagreement across cultures on Planet Ethics. It treats the frame of the interpreter as sacrosanct and expects everyone else’s claims to be apparently rational by this frame. But this frame is just one of many perspectives on morality on Planet Ethics. This should be all too familiar to those who have been paying notice to the strategy of Orthodox Indologists in the study of Indian ethics, which was reviewed in “Philosophy, Religion, and Scholarship” in this book. These Indologist takes their own idiolect as setting out the content of morality and ethics, and on this basis religifies uses of “dharma” relative their idiolect by depicting it as underivable from their reasons. Next, the religified uses are relativized to distinctions that are meaningful to Indologist in their scheme. What is appalling is that this is the strategy that is apparently appropriate to correct malapropisms. So for Orthodox Indologists to treat Indian thinkers as Davidson suggests we should treat Archie Bunker—​ America’s loveable bigot—​is to treat Indians who talk about “dharma” as a bunch of malapropers. In other words, Indian philosophers apparently cannot even speak their own language properly when they use “dharma” in all those ways correlated by distinctions in our western scheme. If treating Indian philosophers like a bunch of malapropers helped us understand our moral disagreements with them then perhaps this would be useful. But it does not. In the case of Archie Bunker, is it appropriate to call him a malaproper? If it is the case that he has no reasons for his strange use of “monogamy” then it seems appropriate. What if he continues to speak like this? What do we say of him? We

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say that he has this tradition and custom of using “monogamy” for “monotony.” We continue to religify. In the case of Indian thinkers we can certainly construct a picture of them as lovable bigots, beholden to custom and tradition, but lacking reason for their strange use of “dharma.” This is the dominant depiction of Indians in Indological sources. On the basis of this depiction it seems appropriate to study Indian thinkers’ views about dharma not philosophically but social-​scientifically—​as religion, not as moral theory. But this is to treat South Asians as a bunch of Archie Bunkers: they do not know how to speak their own language. After all, they use “dharma” in a bewildering variety of ways not reducible to the interpreter’s theory. But here we find that this will be natural for the interpreter. But it would quite obviously be a result of the methodology of interpretation.

3.2.  Right-​Wing Solutions Here is quite a reasonable and accurate criticism. The Orthodox Indologist who interprets Indian thought employs the moral values encoded in his or her idiolect to interpret Indian thought. The result is the depiction of Indians as irrational malapropers who cannot even speak their own language. Moreover, on the basis of this methodology, they disallow identifying “dharma” with “ethics” because that would be to impose our western concepts on Indians as though they are endorsing a scholarly scruple of integrity that prevents a confusion between the researcher and what they study. Of course the opposite is true: as interpreters they have collapsed the distinction between first-​and third-​party reasons and they are the ones imposing their perspectives on Indians. But the Orthodox Indologist’s qualm is a creature of their decision to define morality in terms of their values. As imperialists they have appropriated a concept (THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD) that we can all employ to articulate our moral theory and defined it as proprietary. This is the hubris of the Orthodox Indologist who pretends to be an academic but is an arm of Western imperialism. Moreover, on the basis of this hubris, they construct an Orientalist picture of India filled with malaproping traditionalists who have nothing to contribute to contemporary moral philosophy. Ok, so far, I agree. But the Right-​Wing critic decides the following in response. We should interpret Indian thought from an Indian perspective, to avoid this problem, and we will find that Indians have reasons for their use of “dharma” that constitutes the insider’s perspective. From this insider perspective we find a unity of Indian philosophical thought, which might sometimes be called the sanātana dharma—​ eternal ethics. My response is threefold. First, interpretation confuses two issues: understanding a perspective and understanding from a perspective. It treats the perspective that you occupy as exhausting your explanatory resources and hence elevates the interpreter’s perspective, and alienates others. This is imperialism, and it is an essential part of the Western tradition. As a Hindu nationalist response to Western imperialism, it is confused for it buys a very deep premise of the Western tradition.

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Second, interpretation via its conflation of understanding from a perspective and understanding a perspective undermines the objectivity of research, for if I can only ever understand from where I am, my findings are subjective. Objectivity is the possibility of disagreement from differing perspectives and an objective account of Indian thought should facilitate disagreement. But then we should be able to understand Indian moral philosophy from any perspective. The idea that you have to be an insider to understand something is the West. Third, as an anticolonialist response, endorsing interpretation is a mistake, as it makes disagreement unintelligible. To explain everything by virtue of my perspective is to render dissenting perspectives beyond my understanding because I am committed to understanding everything in terms of what I regard as reasonable. But those of us who are critical of imperialism object to the values that are being imposed on us and others. This criticism of imperialism is only possible if we are free to disagree. Freedom to disagree is kaivalya—​isolation. This arises from the control of mental representations (perspectives) so that we can be free from perspective itself. Fourth, a political response of interpreting from an Indian perspective does not criticize the Eurocentric interpretation of Indian thought. Often it endorses religious identities drawn on Eurocentric lines and merely valorizes what the West religifies. A South Asian Nationalism that does not criticize the religified identity bestowed to South Asia by the West fails to assert its independence. The argument for Linguistic Externalism and for explication is a repudiation of nationalistic politics as a version of imperialism. We can and should be happy with our culture and language as providing us resources to engage in inquiry, but none of this supports interpretation. Indeed, it provides the foundations for criticizing interpretation as the problem. The more Indic thing to do would be to criticize the importance of a right perspective to research and thought. To think that there is a right perspective to study India is to buy the project of Western philosophy. But it is also to buy the project of Orthodox Indology as a repository of truths about India, on the basis of which India is depicted. Indology so understood is the interpretation of India.

4. OBJECTION I have been elucidating the distinction between interpretation and explication in these introductory chapters as it constitutes a fault line in scholarship that is ignored, in part because of the influence of the West, which is interpretation. The Eurocentric starting point is a historical accident, but one that interpretation preserves as it grows. It is like a virus: nothing intelligent, but nevertheless something that spreads and propagates itself by colonization. Those who come within the ambit of Western imperialism find themselves at once religified and domesticated relative to Western perspectives, and if they become sensitive to this threat they typically respond by endorsing interpretation as the strategy of power, while valorizing their religified identities. Hindu Nationalism is an example of this.

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I have argued that the response to these forces of imperialism is yogic: it treats discipline as coordinating perspectives relative to a thought, and allows us to engage in research where we discover via disciplinary means the truth or falsity of the thought. If the thought is true, the confluence of perspectives tracks discipline-​ relative objects. If it is false, there is no common objectivity that looks different from differing perspectives. On the basis of this criticism, we can affirm the freedom of people to transcend their language and culture via disciplined inquiry. Nothing about a person’s cultural background or language they speak determines their thought: rather, clear thinking is always about critically employing cultural resources for disciplinary purposes. I shall consider two objections to my argument. The first objection is that my alternative seems like an alternative, but is nothing other than its own perspective or conceptual scheme. According to this criticism, Linguistic Externalism is not a solution to communication across moral communities on Planet Ethics. It is just another such community—​another such language. In response, let us consider Planet Disagree. Here there are three nations that differ in their theories of disagreement. Here we have Nation Linguistic Internalism, Nation Linguistic Particularism, and Nation Linguistic Externalism. They can all say “I disagree with Linguistic Externalism,” but this means something different in each language; “disagreement” is defined by the national theory of propositional content. Can we have a disagreement about disagreement across these communities distinguished by their account of disagreement? Can speakers across these languages say, “I disagree with the other two culture’s views about disagreement?” In order to have such a disagreement across languages, speakers of the various languages have to have a common thought that they disagree on. Linguistic Particularism denies the possibility of sharing a thought with people who do not share a language so on their account, this sentence cannot be true, no matter what language we are speaking. “I disagree with the other two cultures’ views about disagreement” will be false on the Linguistic Internalist’s view, no matter what language we are speaking for a similar reason: for Linguistic Internalism, for this sentence to be true, it has to be the case that there is a disagreement across languages. But then there must be sentences with the same meaning across languages for speakers to disagree about, according to Linguistic Internalism. Yet, on Planet Disagree, there are no such sentences about disagreement that have the same meaning across the three languages, as “disagree” means something different in each language. According to Linguistic Externalism, the common thought is not the sameness of linguistic meaning, but the commonality of disciplinary purpose. The sentence “I disagree with the other two cultures’ views about disagreement” will be understood as a philosophical claim about the ideal theory of disagreement: no matter what sentence we use, we are making a claim about a disagreement about the ideal theory of disagreement. The common disciplinary purpose will be to voice one’s dissent from the other two cultures’ proposal for what disagreement can consist of. The extension of the thought will contain the three semantically distinct but functionally identical sentences—​each with the form “I disagree with the other two cultures’ views about disagreement”—​and the truth

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of the thought on the whole arises if the three proposals in the extension of the thought converge on something in common. What they converge on is their mutual difference about what dissent amounts to. So yes, this proposition when sincerely endorsed is true by all concerned, no matter what language is spoken. But this shows that Linguistic Externalism is not merely a language. It is the possibility of thought across perspectives. Linguistic Externalism and explication are not truths. They are rather objective, which means that we have to converge on them if we want to disagree. The right way to read the outcome of Planet Ethics and Planet Disagree is not that there is some type of meta-​perspective that we all have to occupy in order to think reasonably about cross-​cultural communication in a world of diversity. Rather, the right way to understand their success is that they are procedures to allow for transcending our first-​party perspective by treating all perspectives as the confluence of thought. All perspectives are in some sense third-​party perspectives: knowing this is our autonomy. The second closely related objection is that Linguistic Externalism cannot account for philosophical disagreements, for it will have to presume some picture of what philosophy is on the basis of which it depicts a proposition. My response is that this is mistaken as the discipline of philosophy is not a picture, but a method of coordinating contrary perspectives within a debate. To make sense of a disagreement about philosophy is to line up the differing perspectives on philosophy as disagreeing. Philosophy is what allows us to understand this disagreement. No right answer to what philosophy is has to be assumed, and any right answer that we do assume will be undefinitive of our appreciation of the debate about what the right perspective is.

5. CONCLUSION The standard approach to understanding Indian ethics in the literature follows an interpretive model, where the “researcher” assumes that their linguistic frame is an absolute conceptual frame that all others must agree to in order to say something intelligible. As we have seen, no good comes of this. On Planet Ethics, this results in not only imperialism, but also internal intolerance to diversity and critical thinking. The solution to cross-​cultural communication does not rest in linguistic interpretation. It rather arises from philosophy. When we treat our theory-​laden claims about THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD as expressing a philosophical thought, we allow ourselves to contemplate propositions that others can affirm or deny by way of their language and culture. This is possible insofar as thought is treated as a creature of the discipline of philosophy and diverse sentences with differing encoded moral theories are identified as the same thought insofar as they share a disciplinary purpose. In other words, people with diverse perspectives can entertain the same thought of contention. This approach to thought is a radical departure from standard theories in Western philosophy. Western philosophy is the perspective of the West. The perspective

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of the West is Eurocentric, but also interpretive. The standard Western model of thought idealizes thought as the right perspective. Disputes in moral semantics to this day revolve around the question of what the right moral perspective is: the right one will allow us to understand ethical debate—​on the assumption that it is universally accepted. Semantic externalists, who identify moral semantics with natural properties, have been criticized by semantic internalists because given natural differences across social contexts, semantic externalism is shown to be obviously relativistic (Horgan and Timmons 1996). But what semantic internalists have not appreciated is that their account of moral semantics is culturally particular: it too relies on the assumption that the meanings of moral terms are invariant across contexts. This is implausible in the case of radical cultural diversity. The entire pretense of the interpretive model of thought that dominates the Western tradition depends on an assumed commonality. This is to adopt a belligerent attitude toward diversity as a premise of philosophical discussions on ethics. In a world of cultural diversity, Linguistic Internalism and Linguistic Particularism are implausible. Our moral perspectives are historical artifacts, and even if we are convinced that our perspective is right, we have no reason to believe that others will agree with us—​unless we confuse thought with the right perspective. So my complaint about the contemporary spread of options in moral semantics is the same as my complaint about the Western tradition. It confuses the question of the right perspective, or having a perspective, with thought itself. This confusion shows up in the idea that thought is language itself. What I have called Orthodox Indology is Indology of Western philosophy. Far from uncovering what Indians have to say on various topics, Orthodox Indology is the application of the Western tradition of philosophy to India itself. While Orthodox Indology is largely an area studies grounded in human sciences, including linguistics and history, its operation within the Western philosophical world leads it to endorse a theory of thought that renders it historically uncritical about its own assumptions. Against the background of assuming that one’s perspective is thought, Orthodox Indologists employ Eurocentric assumptions as a frame to study Indian thought, and Indian philosophers are counted as having ethical views only insofar as they agree with Eurocentric assumptions. Chief among such assumptions is the linguistic account of thought: a common source of Western philosophy. It is the Eurocentric interpreter who objects to the idea that Aristotle and Plato talked about dharma, for instance, for the word “dharma” is not the same as the words that Plato and Aristotle employed in their works, or because the theories associated with “dharma” are not those associated with “ethics” or “morality” in the Western tradition. The basic error here is interpretation that endorses the conflation of a perspective with thought. This approach shows no historical awareness to the conditions that lead to the formation of these Eurocentric assumptions—​assumptions of communitarian anthropocentrism. Mokṣa from this oppression comes about by transcending language, and area studies. It involves adhering to disciplinarity as the foundation of thought. In the case of ethics, the discipline that allows us to understand cross-​cultural agreement and disagreement on values is philosophy.

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Is Indology possible at all if research is grounded in disciplines? Certainly a variety of Indology would be possible: this is a version of the study of India that results from sharing discipline-​based findings. It would prevent the idea that language is our route to Indian thought—​an approach to thought that makes sense only if we embrace the West, and its interpretive approach to thought that identifies linguistic meaning as the content of thought itself. The study of Indian moral philosophy on the approach that is non-​ imperialistic, and discipline based, would render philosophy, and explication, not only the end of research, but also to an important degree the means. Sanskritists and Orthodox Indologists on the whole might object. Clearly it is basic disciplinary knowledge of language made possible by linguistics and philology that is a condition of knowledge of Indian philosophy, which means that there must be some room for interpretation, or explanation by way of what we think is true or is true about Sanskrit. Planet Ethics shows us the problem with this approach. It assumes that linguistic meaning determines what we think. But the way to understand cross-​cultural communication on ethical matters—​what we might loosely call interreligious dialogue—​is made possible only in conditions of radical cultural differences by treating the philosophical use of diverse sentences as the content of thought. But this is to disallow the identity of linguistic meaning with thought. We can indeed be agnostic about what our words mean so long as we understand the philosophical purpose to which they are conscripted. To make linguistic meaning a condition of philosophical research is to put the cart before the horse. What our words mean is a result of a historical process, and this process is the outcome of our philosophical disagreements, which is to say, our differences of perspectives. It is not merely that linguistic knowledge is not sufficient but necessary to understand philosophy. We only come to understand the cultural contingencies of our theory-​ laden terms when we put philosophy first. Knowledge of what words mean in a language is downstream from the more basic critical disagreement of perspectives that gives rise to linguistic and cultural change. What “ethics” means in English is not a conceptual constraint on ETHICS: it is the product of a tradition of moral theorizing and the concept is what we discern when we compare differing theories of the ethical. We can only do this if we explicate moral theory. Explication is the rejection of the primacy of any particular perspective in philosophical explanation. We travel past Moral Twin Earth back to Earth by accepting the reality of radical moral disagreement across cultures. We go beyond Indology the same way. Studying Indian ethics is not about studying India: it is about studying our philosophical disagreements. This is to embrace the position of preservation that lies on a bed of innumerable perspectives. Here we have the good fortune of seeing the Earth for the Goddess she is—​someone with her own perspective. Otherwise, we are like Geocentrists who eclipse the autonomy of the Earth, assume her perspective, and try to take over the world by interpreting everything from our perspective. If we accept a diversity of moral perspectives, we have a chance at peace. By giving each other the room to philosophically disagree, we have to learn to get along with others who do not share our values. This is easy if the way we mediate our disagreements

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is philosophical as an exercise in moral philosophy. Indeed, there is no other way. This is the Heliocentric option. If we insist on understanding everything from our perspective—​even if it is elevated on the highest peaks—​we destroy what we try to understand.

NOTE 1. The position could also be called semiotic externalism. The leading idea is that the semantics of thought is outside the semantics of the devices used to articulate a thought. Thought is accordingly meta-​semiotic. This contrasts with the idea that thought is semiotic: the linguistic account of thought is this.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Austin, John Langshaw. 2000. How to Do Things with Words. William James Lectures: 1955, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Boyd, Richard N. 1988. “How To Be a Moral Realist.” In Essays on Moral Realism, edited by G. Sayre-​McCord, 181–​228. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Davidson, Donald. 1996a. “A Nice Derangements of Epitaphs.” In The Philosophy of Language, edited by Aloysius Martinich, 465–​475. New York: Oxford University Press. Original edition, Oxford. Davidson, Donald. 1996b. “What Metaphors Mean.” In The Philosophy of Language, edited by Aloysius Martinich, 415–​426. New York: Oxford University Press. Original edition, Chicago. Davidson, Donald. 2001. “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.” Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, 183–​198. New York: Oxford University Press. Derrida, Jacques. 1981. “Plato’s Pharmacy.” Dissemination, 61–​172. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Donnellan, Keith S. “Reference and Definite Descriptions.” Philosophical Review 75 (1966):  281–​304. Dreier, James. “Internalism and Speaker Relativism.” Ethics 101 (1990): 6–​26. Gadamer, Hans-​Georg. 1990. “Culture and the Word.” In Hermeneutics and the Poetic Motion Translation Perspectives V, edited by Dennis J. Schmidt, 11–​24. Binghamton: State University of New York. Gadamer, Hans-​Georg. 1996. Truth and Method. Translated by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall. 2nd rev. English language ed. New York: Continuum. Hare, Richard M. The Language of Morals. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952. Henning, Tim. “Moral Realism and Two-​Dimensional Semantics.” Ethics 121, no. 4 (2011):  717–​748. Horgan, Terence, and Mark Timmons. “New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth.” Journal of Philosophical Research 16 (1991): 447–​465. Horgan, Terence, and Mark Timmons. “Troubles for New Wave Moral Semantics: The Open Question Argument Revived.” Philosophical Papers 21, no. 3 (1992a): 153–​175.

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Horgan, Terence, and Mark Timmons. “Troubles on Moral Twin Earth: Moral Queerness Revived.” Synthese 92, no. 2 (1992b): 221–​260. Horgan, Terence, and Mark Timmons. “From Moral Realism to Moral Relativism in One Easy Step.” Critica 28, no. 83 (1996): 3–​39. Horgan, Terence, and Mark Timmons. “Copping Out on Moral Twin Earth.” Synthese 124, no. 1 (2000): 139–​152. Lance, Mark Norris, and John O’Leary-​Hawthorne. The Grammar of Meaning: Normativity and Semantic Discourse. Cambridge Studies in Philosophy. Cambridge (England), New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1997. McDowell, John. 1998a. “Aesthetic Value, Objectivity, and the Fabric of the World.” Mind, Value, and Reality, 112–​130. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. McDowell, John. 1998b. “Virtue and Reason.” Mind, Value, and Reality, 50–​73. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Putnam, Hilary. “The Meaning of Meaning.” Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7 (1975): 131–​193. Ranganathan, Shyam. “Philosophy of Language, Translation Theory and a Third Way in Semantics.” Essays in Philosophy 8, no. 1 (January 2007a): http://​commons.pacificu. edu/​eip/​vol8/​iss1/​1 Ranganathan, Shyam. 2007b. Translating Evaluative Discourse: The Semantics of Thick and Thin Concepts, edited by Robert Myers. PhD Dissertation, Department of Philosophy, York University, Toronto. Ranganathan, Shyam. “An Archimedean Point for Philosophy.” Metaphilosophy 42, no. 4 (July 2011): 479–​519. Schroeder, Mark. “Expression for Expressivists.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76, no. 1 (January 2008): 86–​116. Timmons, Mark, and Terry Horgan. 2006a. “Cognitivist Expressivism.” In Metaethics after Moore, edited by Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons. Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press. Timmons, Mark, and Terry Horgan. 2006b. “Expressivism, Yes! Relativism, No!” In Oxford Studies in Metaethics, edited by Russ Shafer-​Landau, 73–​98. Oxford: Clarendon Press. van Roojen, Mark. 2006. “Knowing Enough to Disagree: A New Response to the Moral Twin Earth Argument.” In Oxford Studies in Metaethics, edited by Russ Shafer-​Landau, 161–​193. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wedgwood, Ralph. 2006. “Meaning of ‘Ought.’” In Oxford Studies in Metaethics, edited by Russ Shafer-​Landau, 127–​160. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1958. Philosophical Investigations. Translated by G. E. M. Anscombe, 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan.

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Interpretation, Explication, and Secondary Sources SHYAM RANGANATHAN

1. INTRODUCTION This chapter serves as a conclusion to the opening part of this book. The topics covered in this opening part traverse the issues involved in the study of philosophy: these pertain to the philosophy of thought, language, translation theory, moral semantics, culture, imperialism, and proper procedure for research. Without addressing these deep and challenging questions, philosophers have very little reason to believe that their approach to studying philosophy is credible. It so happens that philosophers have settled practices of research—​explication—​but oddly, the dominant tradition of philosophy in the West has put its stock for the most part in an alternative methodology—​interpretation. This has an insidious influence on how non-​Western philosophy is studied as it constitutes a philosophical paradigm of imperialism and anti-​philosophy. As interpretation is imperialist, and as its Western origins ensure Eurocentrism, what we have in the dominant philosophical tradition in the West is Western imperialism. The secondary literature on non-​ Western philosophy, especially the philosophy of cultures that have been colonized by the West, is especially compromised by Western imperialism, for it is here that best practices in philosophical research are not historically applied and we find the methodology of imperialism (interpretation) unbridled. The result is secondary literature on Indian philosophy that perpetuates myths about the lack of ethics and marked religiosity of India. The failures of Indian moral theory to meet expectations set out by Western moral theories depicts the Indian theories as religion. It is no part of philosophy to understand one moral theory in terms of another. In this chapter I draw some general observations about the difference between interpretation and explication. This is followed by a more detailed review of contrasts between interpretation and explication. The point here is to make clear how these two methods diverge so that we can avoid the epistemically suboptimal imperialism of interpretation. While the secondary literature on Indian philosophy on the whole is disappointing insofar as it perpetuates the two-​sided myth of India (India as extremely religious but uninterested in ethics), the purpose of this book is to bring

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together secondary material on Indian ethics and further our appreciation of the diversity and depth of Indian ethics. Such a collection would track the objectivity of morality as something Indian thinkers addressed variously. Such a collection would depict Indian philosophy as a contribution to debates within moral philosophy—​ debates about moral theory, within applied ethics, and at the intersection of morality and politics. In the penultimate section, I provide an overview of the articles in this book. Explication is a way to think about the substance of philosophy, which respects the objectivity of philosophical topics. The chapters in this book engage in this project insofar as they eschew reducing the concept MORALITY to any perspective and insofar as they leave room for dissenting perspectives on the topic of ethics. This appears like a trivial achievement, yet the vast majority of research into Indian philosophy assumes interpretive criteria about what ethical beliefs look like. Moreover, many of the chapters relate Indian moral theories to debates of contemporary interest, furthering an appreciation of their contribution to philosophical research. Finally I conclude by reflecting on the importance of research into Indian ethics for wider research into ethics. If thoughts—​ propositions—​ are confluences of perspectives relative to a disciplinary purpose, studying Indian ethics is part of propositional analysis where ethics is concerned.

2.  QUACKERY VS. RESEARCH I have argued that we have a choice, a philosophical choice, at the heart of explanation. Either we can prioritize truth or we can prioritize objectivity in explanation. To prioritize truth in explanation is to engage in interpretation, where we explain everything—​including other people’s perspectives—​in terms of what we believe is true—​whether it is true or not. This is a subjective enterprise because it depends on what the interpreter takes to be true. To prioritize objectivity in explanation is to endorse a discipline-​bound approach to research where the contents of research are what we converge on from differing perspectives relative to a discipline. Objective truth represents what we can disagree about from these differing discipline-​ relative perspectives. Explication is the disciplinary answer to interpretation where understanding differences in perspectives is of concern: explication treats the perspectives themselves as objective insofar as they entail explanations that account for the perspective’s t-​claims. The simplified explanation is the perspective’s theory of t, and what theories of t have in common is the concept T. Explication as the basic practice of philosophy allows us to understand a perspective as entailing an explanation of its use of controversial terms such as “dharma” or “ethics,” and the basic concept of a debate as what competing theories of dharma or ethics converge on. The simplified explanation is the perspective’s theory of dharma or ethics. Explication allows us to discover concepts by way of disagreement, and what we find is that “dharma” and “ethics” are terms that express the same concept: THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. Explication allows us to differentiate perspectives according to their explanations of concepts. When the explanations are

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parsimonious and simple, we call them theories: they entail P’s usage of “t.” With perspectives clearly distinguished, we can understand thought as the confluence of perspectives relative to disciplinary concerns. Philosophy is the discipline that allows us to understand the objectivity of our perspective’s explanations of concepts. But other disciplines are possible, and actual, such as mathematics or science. The true thoughts are those that represent what is objective: in this case, the confluence of perspectives converges on a common object relative to the discipline. The false ones do not converge on anything. Objects of research are discipline relative, and what is true about such objects is something we discover by tracking discipline-​relative objects. Interpretation confuses an explanation of a common concept across theories with the perspective’s explanation of the concept. It thereby swallows what is a common coin and a common resource for participation in research and presses the appropriated object to the service of a perspective. It engages in this act of appropriation by conflating beliefs—​an attitude toward a proposition that can be true or false—​with the thought itself. The proposition “the world is flat” and the proposition “I believe the world is flat” are not distinguished according to the interpreter: they will use “belief ” and “thought” interchangeably. This is a confusion for while the proposition that the world is flat is false, the sincerely held claim “I believe that the world is flat” is not false. Failing to distinguish between first-​and third-​person reasons—​between beliefs and propositions—​is the basic fallacy of interpretation and it is informed by a concern for truth: for while the truth of propositions may not be known, the truth of descriptions of our beliefs is incontrovertible. If we think that truth has to form the basis of explanation, then we will retreat to our first-​person reasons as the foundation of knowledge to ensure that we have a stock of truths to rely on. But this is silly, and contrary to research. The reason that the proposition about the world being flat is false is that it does not represent anything that we can converge on from differing perspectives. The flatness of the earth is how things seem if we take our vantage close to the Earth too seriously. Quackery is of this variety: it attempts to depict a topic from one perspective only as though there is a right perspective from which research is conducted. The reason that good research is good is not because what it says is true can never be revised in light of new evidence that comes from new perspectives. The credibility of research has to do with its objectivity—​that it is based on what we can know from differing perspectives. Quacks who think that truth (in their case, the truth of their beliefs) trumps objectivity will often complain that the revisability of expert research shows that it is not credible. That is because they take truth to be more important than objectivity. The standard view that Indian thinkers were too busy being religious to care about moral philosophy is quackery. In order to generate this claim you have to take your perspective on what ethics amounts to very seriously and interpret Indian thinkers accordingly. As they diverge from what you take to be ethics, you would interpret them religiously as engaging in an activity that is not derivable from your canons of reasons. The objective approach would require that we explicate Indian moral philosophy. Here we have to look to a perspective on dharma or

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other normative terms to provide an explanation of its use of “dharma.” At no point could we rely on our perspective on ethics to adjourn Indian contributions to debate, and at no point would we be at a loss to explain the philosophical rationality of the theories of dharma in question: explication leads us to these reasons that are constitutive of and entailed by the perspectives we are explicating. Their reasons might not be our reasons but explication shows us that Indians had reasons for their views on dharma. To call this religion is under-​motivated for what we have manifest via explication are contributions to philosophy. We would not be able to call this anything but research as Indian theories of dharma are contributions to the question of the objectivity of THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. The point generalizes, however. To interpret an alien normative perspective is to religify it because one counts one’s own beliefs as the canon of reason, and these alien perspectives are not derivable from these beliefs. But that does not mean that viewed objectively, the alien perspective does not have reasons for its claims. There is a political history to treating interpretation as the foundation of thought. I have argued that while this was a controversial idea in China, and not taken seriously in India, it forms the basis for the logocentric tradition of philosophy in the West, which identifies thought with linguistic meaning. As linguistic meaning is cultural and an artifact of formative generations that records their perspective as the meaning of words in a language, the identification of thought with language entrenches interpretation as a requirement of thought. All thought is from a perspective and to understand alien thought on this model is to subsume the alien perspective under the perspective that underwrites one’s own language. Western imperialism is a mere function of a bad account of thought but it is bad nevertheless.

3. CONTRASTS Interpretation is the methodology of squashing disagreement and attempting to pass off one option as the only option. It is helpful to pair failures of interpretation with the success of an alternative so that we can be free of its grip. The contrasts of note are not only between explication and interpretation as methods of understanding, but also how explicators and interpreters will approach challenges given their prior commitment to explication or interpretation. First, interpretation leads to the proliferation of alien concepts relative to your perspective as your perspective diverges from the alien perspective. Interpretation religifies uses of “dharma” as it diverges from the interpreter’s reasons, and then domesticates these uses relative to the interpreter’s scheme. The result is that “dharma” has many meanings. This is unparsimonious. Explication, in contrast, simplifies meanings of dharma as the concept that theories of dharma disagree on. It further allows the discovery that ETHICS, MORALITY, and DHARMA are the same concept because they constitute the same disagreement. Second, interpretation encourages a lack of historical insight into the political origins of the theories that are laden in a language as it treats the theories encoded

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in a language as the very sui generis content of thought. Explication, in contrast, renders theories laden in our language transparent as one among many perspectives on common concepts that define a debate. This allows us to criticize a perspective if it fails to be synoptic. Third, explication prioritizes objectivity and thereby makes truth something that has to be discovered via research. By accepting controversy and disagreement as a starting point, explication allows for the discovery of this objectivity from differing perspectives. Representations of objectivity that are synoptic are objectively true. Interpretation prioritizes truth, and makes objectivity out to be something that has to be recovered from our convictions. But then the search for objectivity is indistinguishable from an exploration of what we already believe to be true, but yet what is objective does not follow from what is true. The flatness of the world does not follow from my belief that the world is flat but the claim “I believe the world is flat” is true of my belief. Fourth, as the explicator treats each perspective as entailing its own theory on a controversial topic, she will treat traditions of philosophy as presenting individual perspectives each worthy of their own explication. Generalizations might arise but they will be discovered and not assumed. So explicators will reject the idea that we should read a primary text such as the Yoga Sūtra in light of its commentary because the commentary was influential. Each is to be read separately and we compare notes after the fact. Interpreters read by deference to what they believe, and hence no matter what they study, the result is an account of a text or a topic that is in conformity to their commitments. The result of interpretation is invariably a homogenization of the alien perspectives as consistent with the interpreter’s beliefs. Interpretation wielded at India creates the view of India as traditional, and of one mind on major axiological questions as this is the only position that is consistent with the values of the interpreter. Fifth, a corollary of the fourth difference is that explicators will insist on studying primary texts on their own. To read a primary text on its own is to treat it as providing the reasons that explain its use of controversial terms. This is consistent with consulting secondary sources—​so long as the secondary source is not a substitute for reading the primary text for its own reasons. Interpreters will feel compelled to read commentaries instead of primary texts while claiming to be a “critical scholar.” Indeed, they will be led to this because they will be unable to interpret dense texts of philosophy by their own beliefs. Differing to commentarial authorities is a way to enrich their beliefs and thereby subsume a primary text in their perspective by way of commentary. Sixth, explication begins with objectivity and arrives at representations of objects. Research is hence controversial on the explicator’s account—​as objectivity is just what we disagree about—​and even the truths that are discovered via research are about controversial matters. Quality research into Indian ethics on this account uncovers controversial claims that clash with our expectations—​the more objective, the more the diversity of perspectives, the more the disagreement. When the research is good, there is no reason to expect it to be compelling. But this is basic

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logic: the validity of an argument is not the same as its soundness, and while validity is objective, we may not buy a valid argument because we dispute the truth of the premises. What is uncovered in objective research in philosophy—​the validity of arguments, or at least attempts at providing valid arguments that might fail—​may not play well to our beliefs. Interpreters, in contrast, begin with what they take to be true, and will assume that publications that are credible are consistent with what they think to be true. As a result they will suppress objective research as they will expect good research to compel them into belief or at least be consistent with what they believe. If they disagree with the philosophy that is explicated, they will take this as evidence that the research is bad. Interpreters cast in the role of peer reviewers will suppress the publication of fresh research because they do not find it interesting. Explicators, in contrast, will appraise research for its objectivity, which may not be compelling. Interpreters will try to shut down research because they disagree with it. Explicators will try to bring to light our disagreements as the cynosure of truth. A further observation is notable. If objective truth is a representation about what we can disagree about, objective truth is compatible with exceptions. Such truths will tend to be generalizations that include perspectives that are in some way incompatible with their truth if we treat the perspective on par with the truth. For instance, the truth of the roundness of the world seems to be contradicted by the apparent flatness of the perceived world, but this incompatibility arises by treating a perspective on the world as on par with the proposition of the roundness of the world (constituted by various perspectives on the world) that is objectively true. Explicators will be fine with endorsing objective truths that appear to have counterexamples for this reason. The apparent contradiction arises from conflating perspectives with the thought that contain them. They will also be careful to distinguish logically universal claims from general truths: the two might diverge. Interpreters, in contrast, treat thought and belief on par, and will hence reject an objective truth because it is not the content of a competing belief that represents a perspective. (They will for instance reject that all Buddhist uses of “dharma” are ethical for some of these uses clash with their perspective on ethics.) Interpreters will tend to draw no important distinction between universal and general claims, and they will object to a generalization because it does not conform to the universality of a belief. Indeed, the truth of “I believe that P” is without exception so long as you believe it, and the adaptation of all thought to belief makes thinking about truth in an objective world with exceptions impossible. Interpretation conflates the precision of one’s beliefs (that is, their repeatability) with their accuracy for, in the case of belief, these amount to the same thing. When objectivity is at stake, they diverge. Seventh, explicators will insist on the freedom of thought as a confluence of perspectives relative to a discipline, but distinguish this from a freedom of belief. They will be secularists open to all manner of perspectives on propositions of interest to research—​they will be open to perspectives that have been cast as religious—​but they will reject the idea that we should be free to believe. A belief takes a proposition as the object of its affirmation and is beyond reproach insofar

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as descriptions of these states are psychologistically true. “I believe that P” is true if I believe P. P, in contrast, could be false. A freedom of thought allows us to exchange error for truth by research: a freedom to believe does not, and rather replaces what is objective (a proposition) with what is subjective (a belief). Interpreters will confuse the two issues of freedom of thought and freedom of belief. On the basis of this confusion, they will misconstrue a dissenting view as a threat to their belief, and will hence work to oppress it for this reason. Worse, they will erroneously believe that their beliefs are relevant to scholarship, as though alien thinkers have to share their beliefs about ethics in order to have opinions on the topic. Eighth, explicators will be open to a diversity of perspectives and hence they will adopt a politics of inclusion that makes room for a diversity of perspectives. They will be committed to an account of thought that renders the perspective of all concerned as the very content of thought. To formulate a thought that affects other perspectives is to include those perspectives in the thought. Interpreters will endorse their own perspective as the content of thought and hence deny that anyone who does not share their perspective has opinions of relevance. If the interpreter is a Westerner, they will deny that non-​Westerners can have views on ethics that depart from them. If the interpreter is a humanist, they will be anthropocentrists. They will hence deny that nonhumans can think, and they will insist that they have no perspectives on how they should be treated, for instance. If they define their perspective in terms of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or race, they will deny that members of contrary sexes, genders, sexual orientations, or races can have an opinion on how they should be treated, and they will categorically deny that the perspective of the marginalized is relevant to propositions about how they are to be marginalized. Interpretation is tyranny as it conflates a perspective with the content of the thinkable. Ninth, interpreters will believe that their perspective is portable: it travels with them. This is because they conflate their attitude to a proposition with the proposition, so wherever they can contemplate a proposition they will also believe it. But there is a certain tension between the belief that P and P and reflection on this tension can result in relativism: the idea that P and belief that P are the same, but whether we can and should believe P has to do with our social context. This manner of resolving the tension is philosophical relativism, which includes moral relativism. According to this conflation of I believe that P and P, the truth of P changes in accordance with the believability conditions of P and these are social and geographic. Explicators will not believe that their perspective is portable: it is a contingent feature of where they are. So they will not be forced to reconcile the tension between P and I believe that P. The only relativism that they acknowledge is the relativism of propositions to disciplines. What is certainly worth noting about this split is that explicators will be very open to diversity and never construe it as reason to doubt objectivity or truth. Rather, diversity will be part of how we explain culture transcendent, objective truth for the explicator. Interpreters will find a diversity of perspectives disturbing as it appears to them like a diversity of beliefs, which they confuse with a proposition, or the thinkable.

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Tenth, explicators who endorse the centrality of a discipline to research expect that there is parity between object and discipline. To study philosophy is to engage in philosophy. One cannot study philosophy by doing philology. But interpreters guided by truth will be compelled to rely on truths no matter what their disciplinary origins. So truths in one discipline (say a historical or philological truth about who wrote a text) is brought in to substitute reading philosophy as philosophers do. In this manner the interpreter historian with no interest in philosophy will pass themselves off as an expert on intellectual history. This is as silly as philosophers calling themselves dentists because they thought philosophically about dentistry. But this is normal in Orthodox Indology. Eleventh, interpreters collapse the distinction between first-​and third-​ party reasons, between beliefs and thoughts, and then infuse texts that they study with their perspective. Any text, insofar as it is intelligible to them, accords with their beliefs. But then they take what they read as proof of their readings. In other words, they will have a very naive idea about the weight of textual evidence and expect that any credible reading has to be “supported by the text”—​which means for them whatever they believe. Hence interpreters will feign a pretentious concern for textual scholarship, but this is only because they interpret texts in light of their beliefs. If a text is interpreted then the text will always say whatever the interpreter believes but a text will also seem to them to be inconsistent with alternative interpretations—​ which is nonsense because the grounds of the interpretation are subjective. In contrast, explicators will downplay the weight of the text because it is evidence and not proof. Texts provide evidence in the form of reasons that entail theories that explain their controversial term usage. The explicator’s reading of a text is the entailed theory, but this may not be the same as the evidence—​what is inscribed in a text—​and it need not be if we allow for logic. But this is why reading philosophy is an exercise in philosophy. Philosophy so respectfully read is not compatible with innumerable readings. The explication is not entailed by the reader’s beliefs: it is what is entailed by the text as its own explanation of controversial term usage. Twelfth, explicators will categorically reject the usefulness of prejudices, bigotry, and preconceptions in research. They will rather promote the freedom of thought as a disciplinary exercise that shows that our beliefs do not entail objectivity or the essence of truth as such. Interpreters will feign a modesty—​that as epistemic agents, they are unable to understand anything without relying on their beliefs. But this modesty is an arrogance for they will thereby insist on judging the whole world by their beliefs, which are psychologically true though perhaps nothing more. At times they will even declare that all thinking is prejudice and that implicit bias is impossible to alleviate. This is a creature of interpretation and a convenient myth in support of imperialism. Finally, and last on this list but not least, explicators will look for diversity of perspectives to account for objectivity. Objective truth is not the same as popular opinion: it represents our disagreements. Interpreters will feign a concern for objectivity by confusing the numerosity of perspectives with the numerosity of believers relative to perspective. They will confuse popular opinion for objective

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truth. They will hence confuse the intersubjective consensus of Indologists on the topic of ‘dharma’ for what is objective about dharma, or they might confuse ‘traditional opinion’ about a research topic (say Yoga) with credible research in the history of philosophy that focuses on specific texts and exemplary philosophers via explication. They will hence criticize serious research concerned with objectivity on the grounds of its divergence from intersubjective opinion. They will hence confuse the social-​scientific review of India (constructed by interpretation) for objective research into philosophy. An explicator’s views might be contingently idiosyncratic in a world of interpreters but nevertheless objective. Interpreters in contrast will tend to regard idiosyncrasy as a failure to get behind what is true, which means what they believe. This last failure of interpretation is notable in publications on Indian philosophy. It turns the discovery of similarities and divergences between Indian philosophy with familiar Western theorists into a belief that has to be treated as the premise of a credible account of Indian thought. This reinforces the idea that the intelligibility of Indian thought depends on its similarity or departure from Western theorists. Historical Indian philosophy is never appreciated in light of its own reasons, but always as a kind of sidekick to Western philosophy—​a cute divergence when we want a break from serious inquiry in (Western) philosophy that is popularly believed. To study Indian ethics on the popular model is to figure out how Indians say things like Westerners, and to discount what they say when it diverges. That “dharma” only sometimes means ETHICS is an outcome of this patronizing imperialism of interpretation.

4.  SUMMARY OF CONTRIBUTIONS In this section I describe the further chapters to our understanding of Indian ethics by the many authors who have contributed to this book. The hope is that they, on the whole, contribute to our appreciation of the controversies that are already seriously discussed in philosophy. In standard presentations of moral philosophy, the inquiry is divided into theoretical and applied ethics. Theoretical ethics divides into normative ethics and metaethics. Normative ethics is a theoretical perspective on THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. Metaethics is an account of the constraints of such theories. Applied ethics accounts for THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD in terms of cases and case types. There are further boundaries to the investigation. We might note that the overlap of politics and ethics is also an important topic, especially because the conflation between community membership and ethics is not a basic commitment in the Indian tradition. Politics and morality are deeply connected in the Western tradition where thought and language are identified. If thought is linguistic, then thought is what I share not only with other humans, but also with those who share my language in my community. This explains why from Plato on, the lines between politics and ethics are difficult to draw in the West. Aristotle, in his Ethics (1094a20), calls knowledge

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of ethics “political science.” The line between the two issues starts to split with the moderns. Hobbes was one of the first to draw a distinction between the ethics of good and bad in the State of Nature and what we gain from civil society, but here too, justice or the right is identified with the sovereign. The distinctions between questions of power and questions of value in recent feminist philosophy help to further separate out questions of morality from politics. One of the upshots of this fusion of the ethical and the political is that the dominant trend in Western philosophy is toward exclusion: those who are not part of our community or species are presumed not to be individuals with standing—​ and a case for their inclusion has to be made if we are to take such individuals seriously. This applies to not only foreign humans, but also nonhuman animals. Very few philosophers in the West take up the cause of foreigners and nonhuman animals, but insofar as the cause is something worth fighting for, it is worth fighting for because the background assumption is that foreigners and nonhuman animals do not count: they are not part of our community. The burden of proof is on the sympathizer with the outsider. Moreover, if ethical interaction is about community membership it seems that the only way that we can relate to others is by imperialism that renders separate communities as one community. Indian thinkers, in contrast, did not operate with a logocentric account of thought, and hence they were not beholden to the same pressures to account for practical questions in terms of community membership or linguistic ability. Moral theory in the Indian context is typically non-​communal and non-​speciesist in more than one way. First, it depicts dharma as something that transcends not only communities, but also species. Against this inclusive backdrop, one has to motivate excluding or treating people differently. The smṛti tradition of dharmaśāstras, as well as Pūrva Mīmāṃsā criticism geared to justifying differential treatment, is an outcome of this backdrop. If we think about ethics as anthropocentric and communitarian, this smṛti tradition seems like the only Indian ethics around. However, this is a very skewed view: the smṛti tradition is a phenomenon at the boundaries of mainline Indian moral theory articulated and debated by Indian philosophers. What is exemplary about this effort at rationalizing exclusion and differential treatment is that it speaks to the idea that the burden of proof is not on the case of inclusion but rather exclusion. No doubt, the confusion of ethics with communitarian and anthropocentric matters has led to the elevation of the case for exclusion from being a boundary phenomena to its representation as the dominant activity of Indian ethics. The native liberating philosophical tendency of Indian ethics founded on its inclusivity is confused with the burden it places on the case for exclusion. Casteism and other discriminatory tendencies in Indian theorizing have their origins in this strange inversion. Another way that the distinction between politics and ethics in the Indian tradition expresses itself is in the identification of political theory as a separate branch of normative theorizing from dharma. This branch of normative theorizing includes discussions of dharma as dharma itself is wide enough in the Indian imagination to include answers to all practical questions, including those pertaining to statecraft. We find this not only in the tradition of nītiśāstra, starting with the realpolitik theory of

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the Arthaśāstra, but also in the idea that politics comes into the picture when moral stability breaks down. Here political philosophy enters into moral discussions of war and strife in the Indian tradition: the epics exemplify this confluence of political and moral reflection. More recently, the confluence of politics and moral theory comes into the Indian consciousness as a result of colonialism.

4.1.  Moral Theory (Metaethics and Normative Ethics) As noted, Indian moral theory is largely what differentiates schools and traditions of Indian philosophy. The contributions on Indian moral theory hence take specific schools or major traditions within schools of thought, as their focus. Jake Davis’s chapter on early Buddhist ethics, “The Scope for Wisdom: Early Buddhism on Reasons and Persons,” addresses a central thesis of the usual presentation of Buddhism: the no-​self or an-​ātman view. The title of his chapter alludes to Derik Parfit’s work (the influential analytic philosopher who argues for a view on personal identity that he also finds in early Buddhist thought) but indirectly to Charles Goodman’s account (in Consequences of Compassion) of the move from no-​self to Utilitarianism that is closely aligned with Parfit’s Reasons and Persons. Davis rejects this characterization of early Buddhist thought. However, he also finds the other dominant interpretation, along the lines of Aristotelian Virtue Ethics, to miss the features of early Buddhist ethics most promising as contributions to contemporary discussions of ethical theory. Davis maintains that the conjunction of the early Buddhist texts’ focus on emotional motivations as the primary unit of ethical evaluation, and their focus on mindfulness as a central means of developing wisdom, offers a principled approach to ethical theory distinct from standard Western ones. On Davis’s gloss, the early Buddhist approach does not ground ethics in terms of what Thomas Nagel calls a “view from nowhere.” To abstract away from our first-​personal experience in the way required by Utilitarian ethical theories, among others, is to go beyond the “scope of wisdom” (paññāvacaraṃ). Davis suggests instead that the early Buddhist proposal is that ethics is to be grounded in the judgments that any of us would come to, to the degree we inhabit more fully our own “world of experience.” It is by feeling more fully what it is like to be motivated by greed, aversion, or delusion that we can come to discern for ourselves which sorts of motivations are “to be cultivated” (bhavitabbaṃ) and which are “to be abandoned” (pahātabbaṃ). The reader might note that Davis’s approach to this topic is different from mine. His account is an interpretation based in large measure on what he thinks is true, and not what we can disagree about. It is insightful however as it focuses relatively closely on the philosophical problems of early Buddhist texts: it approximates very closely an explication of this tradition. I think if we understand that by “Consequentialism,” Davis means “agent-​neutral Consequentialism”—​Utilitarianism—​then much of what he says is accurate. Jayandra Soni’s “Jaina Virtue Ethics: Action and Nonaction” provides a moral theoretical explanation of Jainism’s challenging distinction between action and nonaction. Some moral theories are deontic, concerned with right action, and

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prioritize action and right choice in moral theorizing. While Jain moral theorists recommend many practices and side constraints on actions, they also recommend and valorize nonaction. This apparently goes against the grain of a concern for responsible action. This impression is gained by assuming a deontic approach to moral theory against which inactivity is criticized. However, Jain ethics is based on the metaphysics and ontology of the self, defined by virtue (vīrya). Nonaction is the moral value of our virtues themselves as distinct from our actions (karma), while obligatory actions are those that arise from virtue. Movement as what follows from the dispositions of virtue takes on a theoretical role as the essence of morality in the Jain view: ethics cannot be reduced to action, but it is dispositional. The common point of contact is progress, transition, which it calls Dharma: it is what happens to us when we are ethical. The opposite of Dharma is the status quo and the failure to make progress. Practices that appear to embody virtue are those that are nonactive. The bridge between action and nonaction in Jain moral theory is kāyotsarga—​literally “the abandonment of the body” (for various periods of time). My chapter “Patañjali’s Yoga: Universal Ethics as the Formal Cause of Autonomy” tries to set the record straight about the moral philosophy of the Yoga Sūtra. This chapter begins with a discussion of the foibles of interpretation and the virtues of explication. On the basis of this procedure, which is standard practice in philosophy, I argue that Patañjali’s Yoga is a thoroughgoing version of proceduralism, which identifies the good as the perfection of the practice, and the practice as devotion to an abstract (universal) ideal, which brings about freedom from external factors, understood as nature (prakṛti). This theory of Bhakti is a version of Compatibilism (as opposed to Libertarianism or Hard Determinism). Accordingly, freedom is the result of moral practice, which on the Yoga account removes us from a world of nature and places us in a world of persons. Yoga so understood is a non-​biased ethical theory that identifies moral standing with the needs of those individuals who can benefit from their own freedom. The goal is our own lordliness, which involves the transformation of public space into a world safe for people to claim their own autonomy. This is possible only if we understand our interests as nonproprietary yet personal: this is the Lord. I also note that Yoga avoids common problems associated with standard moral theories in the literature, including Kantianism and Mill’s confliction between his conservativism and his radical politics. I argue that Yoga holds the key to problems of collective action and that it has been influential in M.K. Gandhi’s struggle against imperialism. Kisor Chakrabarti’s chapter, simply called “Nyāya Consequentialism,” sets out the Consequentialist and teleological theory of ethics in the Nyāya tradition, with some mention also of the like-​minded Vaiśeṣika school. The chapter is in three parts. The first part is a short survey of Nyāya ethics based on the original Sanskrit sources. It explains what kind of true awareness is the means to liberation as the highest good. It also explains the crucial role of building a good character through restraint and observances and control of our failings. Further, it explains why liberation is conceived as the state of absolute end of suffering and why it is

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devoid not only of bliss but also of consciousness. Nyāya ethics is Consequentialist and teleological on this account. It is not merely the claim that ethical action leads to good outcomes (widely affirmed by most in the Indian tradition) but also the stronger claim that good outcomes justify ethical choices. The second part is a brief account of the debate over the meaning of injunctions between the Nyāya and the Prabhākara Mīmāṃsā school of Indian philosophy. The third part seeks to bring out the relevance of Nyāya ethics for selected problems in three classical western ethical theories as well as the hotly debated topic of euthanasia and physician-​assisted suicide in current medical ethics. Chakrabarti argues that an implication of Nyāya ethics is that physician-​assisted suicide would be morally acceptable, as the minimization of suffering is given a premium in the teleology of Nyāya—​though this would have to be voluntary to avoid being murder. He responds to the objection that ethics (dharma) leads to freedom (mokṣa) is an empty characterization of Nyāya, true of all Indian philosophy. Nyāya Consequentialists are committed to the stronger claim, that the ends justify the means. This is not a view shared by all Indian moralists. William Edelglass’s chapter “Mindfulness and Moral Transformation: Awakening to Others in Śāntideva’s Ethics” touches upon many themes in Buddhist ethics. It begins with a brief historical introduction to the interdependence of morality, concentration, and insight in Indian Buddhist traditions that is the basis of the bodhisattva ideal. It then turns to Śāntideva’s discussion of the perfections. Each of these perfections, it is argued, involves the cultivation of moral virtues through the development of a stable, attentive, and compassionate mind. This leads to a more explicit discussion of the fundamental role of mindfulness as the condition for morality in Śāntideva’s ethics. What is perhaps unsurprising for those who are familiar with this material is the centrality of the bodhisattva ideal to Śāntideva’s project. This is the ideal of one who is awakened to insight and compassion, and works to alleviate the suffering of others and thereby alleviates their own trouble. And while a concern for acting from the virtues and justifying choices in terms of minimizing suffering play a role in Śāntideva’s account, his account at turns takes on the form of a procedural, Bhakti account of ethics, where the bodhisattva ideal is the regulative ideal of practice that causes the good outcome of liberation. In one respect, we might think this is unsurprising for what seems to characterize meditation—​yoga—​is that it is a practice defined by a regulative ideal. The reason that Edelglass does not go so far as to claim that this is the best characterization of Śāntideva’s ethics is that what motivates things is the suffering of others that leads one to aspire to become a bodhisattva. So while the ideal of the bodhisattva does define the meditative practice of the Buddhist who follows Śāntideva’s advice, it is also true that what gets things going, and keeps them going, on the path, is attention to the suffering other, the other who is best served by becoming a bodhisattva. The argument from Śāntideva is teleological. My chapter “Three Vedāntas: Three Accounts of Character, Freedom, and Responsibility” traces the development of ethics in the Vedānta tradition, starting with the early Mantra and Brāhmaṇa texts, through the Āraṇyakas and Upaniṣads. The standard accounts that dismiss Vedic ethics as mere ritualism are crude. The

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problem is that later Mīmāṃsā authors also recommend dharma as ritual, but they are Deontologists. Yet, when we look at the argument of the early Vedic texts themselves, they are not at all Deontological but Consequentialist. The shift is from teleology to a procedural account of ethics. As related in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad, the reason for this shift is to protect our freedom from the vicissitudes of luck. The Bhagavad Gītā is a recapping and representation of this trend in dialectical form. Central to the Vedānta tradition is the Moral Transition Argument (MTA) that takes us from teleology to proceduralism. It sets the ground for identifying Brahman—​ DEVELOPMENT—​as the central concept of Vedānta ethics. The premise of this transition is that we need to wrest the goodness of freedom from luck and place it in the hands of responsibility. This does not change the rules of Vedic ethics so much as their foundation. But this gives rise to what I call the Paradox of Development: it seems that we require development in order to secure our own freedom as something not left to chance, yet we require freedom to develop ourselves. At least three options are open: affirm the Deontological foundations of ethics but deny that anything more needs to be done for freedom (a kind of moral nihilism), affirm the Deontological foundations of ethics but affirm the Virtue Theoretic requirement for actualizing freedom, or affirm that we have to be devoted to the freedom we wish to secure as the means of actualizing it in which case we transition past Deontology to Bhakti. The arguments here are largely metaethical. They are three positions on character, freedom, and responsibility and they correspond to Śaṅkara’s, Madhva’s, and Rāmānuja’s positions. They are also solutions to the logical problem of the Paradox of Development. One sees this by understanding these figures as philosophers responding to a philosophical problem set before them by the MTA. One misses this by philological research that treats these figures as philologists interpreting the Vedānta Sūtra. In summary, the views on moral theory in the Indian tradition are diverse, and span important differences in metaethics and normative ethics. Indeed, it is wider than the basic Western options as it includes Bhakti/​Yoga, in addition to Deontology, Consequentialism, and Virtue Ethics. Everything from questions of freedom and determinism to the basic relationship of THE GOOD and THE RIGHT are addressed in formal Indian philosophy, and the differences on these options in philosophy characterize the unique contributions of Indian moral philosophers.

4.2.  Applied Ethics Applied ethics concerns the case-​based resolution of questions of THE RIGHT OR THE Indian philosophy is not without its contributions to this avenue of moral philosophical research. Dagmar Wujastyk’s chapter, “Medical Ethics in the Sanskrit Medical Tradition,” explores the ethical guidelines and moral discourses on the practice of medicine as described in the foundational texts of the classical Indian medical tradition of Ayurveda. The classical Indian medical compendia contain many guidelines on the ethics and etiquette for the practice of medicine. Their advice on right professional GOOD.

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conduct is two-​tiered. At one level, physicians were supposed to conform to social norms that maintain a public image acceptable to society. At another, physicians’ professional success was based on their ability to treat their patients successfully, and this meant that several public ethical values had to be broken or circumvented. This led to the formulation of a secondary set of practical guidelines, which are in tension with the more formalized public presentation of professional, medical ethics. Translating and discussing a selection of Sanskrit texts of the core Ayurvedic treatises, Wujastyk surveys the tension between these two levels of Ayurvedic, medical ethics. Francis X. Clooney’s chapter “Toward a Complete and Integral Mīmāṃsā Ethics: Learning with Mādhava’s Garland of Jaimini’s Reasons” tracks a little-​ studied contribution to Mīmāṃsā Ethics—​Mādhava’s Garland. In this text, we find a legalistic account of Hindu ethics, and of the 900 ritual cases comprising Jaimini’s earlier, second-​ century BCE Sūtras. Through these cases, we attain a ritually distinguished ethics rich in schemes, evaluations, and judgments, both like and unlike seeming Western counterparts. In turn, comprehending Mīmāṃsā is made possible by Mādhavācārya’s Jaiminīya Nyāya Mālā. This mālā (garland) of nyāyas (reasons) shows us in manageable form the practices of Mīmāṃsā reasoning, and thus a point of entrance into distinctive features of a Hindu ethics. What I found interesting in Clooney’s depiction of this tradition is that moral reasoning takes on the form of context-​sensitive identification of reasons for duties. The duties are themselves outcomes or goods of the scenario. The justification is procedural and distinct from the identified good. This is classic Deontology: duty defined by a good, but justified procedurally. But on Clooney’s account, nothing like a moral principle emerges. I poked Clooney to note that this account resembles Jonathan Dancy’s account of Moral Particularism (2004), and the idea of the holism of reasons, where the reasons hang together within a context, and what counts as a reason is itself contextual. (I even came to wonder whether the “Garland of Reasons” in the title of the text was a way for the author to talk about the holism of reasons!) This is a discovery of explication—​not an interpretation that guides the presentation of the material. Including this chapter within the applied ethics section is fitting, as applied ethics attempts to sort out answers to the right and the good by way of cases. But here we have a system of ethical reasoning that seems to be case based itself. It is hence doubly applied.

4.3.  Ethics and Politics Politics has to do with the legitimate use of force, and hence political questions are continuous with moral questions. In the Western tradition, from the start, political affiliation in a community is the account of moral standing. As noted, this is a function of the Western account of thought, which identifies thought with language—​what we share with other humans in a community. This was not endorsed in the Indian tradition and hence Indian thinkers did not feel the pressure to understand ethics as a communal matter. It is real, cosmic, and transcendent of class membership. Morality

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can address and subsume questions of politics on this account, but then our politics has to be geared toward defending the moral fabric of reality. Traditional sources for the exploration of politics in relationship to the deterioration of the moral fabric are the epics, such as the Mahābhārata, where protagonists have to mediate the requirements of personal liberty, protected in large measure by Indian ideas of ethics as connected with yoga and devotion, and associated values of personal rights and freedoms, with political questions of the just use of force. The contrast between the values of personal morality—​the kinds that we need to mediate our relationships between persons—​and the values and responsibility of those in charge of power—​ such as leaders—​presents unusual dilemmas, and these dilemmas are what the epics in their ways explore. More recently, the Indian effort to free itself from foreign colonial and imperial pressures leads to a reevaluation of these themes. In some cases, we find thinkers, such as Gandhi, going back to the philosophical roots of the values associated with Yoga—​values of freedom, austerities, self-​governance, and isolation from external influence. In other cases, we find a reinvention of old monistic philosophies that, in their classical forms, were critical of the role of ethics in personal freedom. Edeltraud Harzer’s chapter “A Study in the Narrative Ethics of the Mahābhārata” brings together many of the ethical themes that we find in the theoretical chapters, as they play out in the Mahābhārata—​the famous Indian epic charting the fratricidal war between the Pāṇḍavas and Kauravas. We find here, for instance, an exploration of the themes of the conflict of teleological ethical concerns, with Deontology. But, more importantly, we find that the plot, as it pertains to the Pāṇḍavas and Kauravas, turns into a dramatic exploration of devotion to a regulative ideal, as a means of dealing with the politics of injustice. Krishna, the mutual cousin of the warring cousins, turns out to counsel the Pāṇḍavas to forget about dharma in their epic battle with the unjust Kauravas. His reason? In times of injustice, the virtuous respect of ethics, understood in terms of the Golden Rule, only serves the interest of tyranny, which seeks to undermine self-​governance and autonomy. Krishna hence makes good on the promise of being the God who defines and restores dharma age after age. Arjuna and the Pāṇḍavas devotion to the moral ideal comes at the cost of the status quo, and the ethical rules that support it. Perhaps what is most engaging about Harzer’s account, is that the characters of the Pāṇḍavas seem as characters (or perhaps caricatures) of Virtue Ethics itself, in need of guidance from the teacher of Bhakti, when virtuous action, and Virtue Ethics itself, appears to be complicit in injustice. The chapter ends with the transformation of Yudhiṣṭhira, one of the Pāṇḍavas, who finally learns how to be a leader, by embracing the ethics of Bhakti and rejecting conventional moral wisdom. It is easy to regard the main lesson of these investigations that bhakti is transgressive. While the ethics of Bhakti does transgress moral norms in times of injustice—​moral norms that appear to entrench the power of the cruel—​it is also depicted as restoring moral norms, and hence it cannot be reduced to a mere transgression of accepted norms. The devotee of the regulative ideal participates in the restoration of the moral order.

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This book was meant to have a separate chapter on the Rāmāyaṇa—​the other major epic from the Indian tradition. The first author who agreed to contribute, an expert on the topic, stopped responding to my emails when I started corresponding about due dates. The second author, who seemed to save the day, submitted an excellent draft. That author agreed that I should edit the paper, which I did. I sent it back for review and once again, received a kind word of thanks, and I never heard back despite my efforts to contact the author. It is as though I was exiled to the forest for 14 years. One of the claims made by the second author was that Vālmīki, the author of the Sanskrit Rāmāyaṇa, does not present us with an ethical system. I found this to be incorrect. The various characters of the Rāmāyaṇa (like the characters of the Mahābhārata) appear to personify moral theories (that is, the draft that I edited convinced me of this), and the valorization of Rāma in the Rāmāyaṇa was a dramatic vindication of Rāma’s ethical orientation. With Rāma, the protagonist of the epic, there are timeless, context-​transcendent ethical rules about duties and rights defined by occupation and station but these being general and prima facie in conflict must be applied in context with due diligence to the virtues that are instantiated. Rāma is a kind of Generalist (cf. McKeever and Ridge 2006). Rāma’s Generalism appears, however, to be devotional: it is by understanding the right action, in context, as defined by the ideal, that Rāma proceeds. On the devotional approach, goods, and their desirability, are secondary considerations that are caused only by acting in deference to the ideal. The good outcome can hence be deferred and is not the same as the performance of the duty. At no point does the mere desirability or goodness of the outcome count as its sole or crucial justification for Rāma. Yet, by identifying right action via the ideal (whether truth or compassion), Rāma acts so as to bring about the good, not of specific contexts, but larger frames. Daśaratha, his father, too is a devotee, but of Kaikeyī, which causes an undesirable outcome. This, along with his privileged position, generates a dilemma that he cannot extricate himself from. He seems to be proof that we should be careful who and what we commit ourselves to. Lakṣmaṇa (Rāma’s brother and shadow) is a devotee of Rāma, but is always one step removed from the ideal. Bharata (Rāma’s other brother), in turn, while ever loyal, and well conversant with customs, seems to be devoted to avoiding suffering and sad outcomes. This renders him a kind of Negative Utilitarian, attempting to minimize the harm caused by bad decisions by marshaling customary considerations. Eventually he can be persuaded by Rāma, suggesting perhaps that this negative Consequentialism is a dialectical sibling of Rāma’s idealism, but one that requires criticism to be amended. Kaikeyī, like her son, appears to be a Consequentialist. For her, like her son, the ends justify the means. But Kaikeyī’s ends are selfish and agent relative, while Bharata’s are not. Daśaratha, in being devoted to Kaikeyī, imports her selfish goals into his moral paradigm causing a toxic mix with his loving and filial commitments to Rāma. Sītā (Rāma’s wife) is the silent or perhaps salient moral element in much of this. As the victim (kidnapped by a demonic king while Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa, and Sītā live in exile due to Kaikeyī’s machinations and Daśaratha’s foolish commitments to Kaikeyī), she is deprived of the opportunity to be responsible for her own fate.

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In this respect, she is innocent. But as she is deprived of responsibility, she strikes a strange contrast to Rāma, ever concerned with responsibility. This tension plays out in the conflicts that arise between Rāma and Sītā. Vālmīki’s inclusion of these elements speak to a philosophical puzzle of responsibility’s (Rāma’s) shortcomings in the face of victimhood (Sītā). Our dissatisfaction with Rāma’s response to Sītā is our dissatisfaction with ideals and responsibility in the face of the victim. The ideals and responsibility seem to be at fault, as victims certainly are not (as when Rāma sends Sītā to the forest in the end for no fault of hers). Our sympathy for Rāma, in turn, is our sympathy for one who maintains responsibility, with dignity but perhaps, at all or terrible costs, in cases where others (such as Kaikeyī or the rumormongers) try to take it away. These observations of mine, along with those we find in Harzer’s chapter, suggest to me that there was a practice of literature-​as-​moral-​philosophy in the Indian tradition, where the characters were themselves the moral theories and motifs at stake. Further research along these lines would be beneficial. Raghuramaraju’s chapter “Ethics of M. K. Gandhi: Nonviolence and Truth” tracks Gandhi’s place in the Indian philosophical field. He notes that while Gandhi is not a systematic academic author like Śaṅkara or Nāgārjuna but an activist, he made use of philosophy for political purposes. This political employment of philosophy shows four distinct traits: (a) roots in premodern Indian philosophy; (b) some influence from western authors who he encountered; (c) a popular connection; and (d) the accommodation of the coexistence of the modern and the premodern, which characterizes India and sets it apart from the West, which has and had left the premodern behind. Thus, the tradition, West, common people, and the unique relationship between the premodern and modern surround and form the context of Gandhi. Within these broad parameters, Gandhi effectively articulated philosophical ideas of nonviolence and truth to a diverse crowd. Gandhi’s role as a leader hence is cast against the backdrop of largely traditional philosophies that he does not refashion so much as represent for the independence movement. Ashwani Peetush’s “The Ethics of Radical Equality: Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan’s Neo-​Hinduism as a Form of Spiritual Liberalism” defends Neo-​ Vedānta from recent criticisms as part of a post-​Rawlsian project of liberalism founded on a comprehensive doctrine. He argues that Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan both conceive of the “spirit” of Neo-​Hinduism as a radical form of equality that lies at the heart of an Advaitic interpretation of the Upaniṣads. This metaphysical monism of consciousness of self and other in Advaita paves a conceptual road to an ethic of radical equality in both the personal and the political spheres. He argues that Advaita for Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan grounds a profound critique of caste hierarchy. Furthermore, he contends that Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan conceive of what they understand to be the spirit of Hinduism as a form of what he calls “Spiritual Liberalism.” This view of Hinduism is based on the equal individual freedom and opportunity for each member of a community to pursue whichever conception of the spiritual good she chooses and with which she most resonates, thus grounding a strong form of recognition of diversity, pluralism, and tolerance. What I find

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valuable in this contribution is that Peetush has managed to philosophically discuss the philosophy of Neo-​Hindus. It has become increasingly tolerable to depict the Neo-​Hindus as intellectual hacks, who fudge facts of the history of ideas in order to get their projects going. Peetush shows that if we are open to Neo-​Hindus making a contribution to philosophy, we leave aside the expectation that their views are traditional, and allow ourselves to evaluate their arguments as they stand.

5.  CONCLUSION: WHY MORE INDIAN ETHICS IS A GOOD THING I want to close this chapter by reflecting on the case for studying Indian ethics. There are three prominent reasons that make the case for studying Indian ethics. First, on the interpretive model of thought, the content of thought is merely one’s perspective. The study of the thought of alien perspectives is a chore, and at best a diversion. This is the standard attitude to the study of non-​Western ethics in the academy, and part of the explanation for why its study is off-​loaded to scholars outside of philosophy—​scholars in linguistics and history. However, if thought is the confluence of perspectives relative to a disciplinary concern, we cannot engage in disciplinary research without taking diverse perspectives into account. The study of Indian ethics is hence part of what it is to study moral propositions, and this is the fitting topic of philosophical investigation. The Aristotelian idea that ethics is what we learn about by being socialized in our society is mistaken. What we learn about at most by socialization is just one perspective on the moral life, and this is far from even a grasp on the propositions at play in moral discourse. Second, if we see the destruction and mindless suffering of Western imperialism as something to be criticized, then the values of a colonized and imperialized culture are worthy of philosophical inquiry, for these values play no role in a Westernized world. The values of the colonized and imperialized—​especially what sets them apart from the common Western values—​are worthy of explication for these values hold the key to a world that looks different from the troubled world that we live in. It is certainly possible for colonized and imperialized societies to become Westernized. I think this is the best explanation for the phenomenon of political Hinduism that tries to explain India from some mythical insider perspective of a sanātana dharma. This is Western for it buys not only interpretation but also the communitarianism of the Western tradition. But the values that are interesting from India are those that give us grounds for criticizing the anthropocentrism and communitarianism of the West. These Western values arise from logocentrism that identifies and conflates thought, opinion, reason, and language. If all of these amount to the same thing, then we can only have reasonable relationships with those we share a community and language with: this not only narrows down our moral relationships to average humans with language, but also further narrows it to our ethnic group with whom we can speak. This is how the Western tradition of ethics begins with Plato and Aristotle and the model of community is frequently invoked through this tradition

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by all the major moral philosophers of the West to make sense of our duty. But what is marginalized here is autonomy—​kaivalya—​that we arrive at via discipline. The interests that distinguish me as a person are those I share with persons on the whole, and language and community membership are not necessary for me to be a person: if it was, I would stop being a person when I spent time with myself in silence. Third, the mythology of India propagated by the cherry-​picking ways of Orthodox Indology is largely a creation of interpretation. It is by virtue of interpretation that India is depicted as a land of religion, and no ethics. It is by virtue of interpretation that the intellectual contributions of Indian philosophers are marginalized in a world constructed by interpretation. By prioritizing truth in the explanation of India, Indology has depicted India according to what it takes to be true. This makes India out to be a land of tradition and inexplicable linguistic behavior where terms such as “dharma” have no common meaning. Explicating India takes us away from a unified picture of India to the contributions that Indian philosophers and others have made to inquiry, and this variegated and controversial interaction with India is what we need to correct the propaganda. “Traditional” India is radical, diverse and critical by contemporary standards, but we would not know that if we had to interpret India, for then India could be nothing but what is consistent with what we think is true. That says volumes about us, and nothing about India.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Dancy, Jonathan. 2004. Ethics Without Principles. Oxford, New York: Clarendon Press. McKeever, Sean D., and Michael R. Ridge. 2006. Principled Ethics: Generalism as a Regulative Ideal. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Moral Theory (Metaethics and Normative Ethics) Philosophy proceeds in the first instance by explication. Explicating moral philosophies leads to theories of ethics, morality, or dharma that explain the philosophy’s use of terms such as “ethics,” “morality,” and “dharma.” If we compare these theories we find that they are competing theories of THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. The philosophical inquiry into the concepts of moral philosophy as what we can disagree about is normative ethics. The standard moral theories (Virtue Ethics, Consequentialism, Deontology and Bhakti/​ Yoga) are normative moral theories. Each provides a perspective on the concept ETHICS. The question of (the concept) ETHICS as what constrains the possibility of truth (and moral theory) in ethics is metaethics. Metaphysical and epistemic questions relating to ethics are entailed by this exploration. It is supposed to be a second order account of ethics that is normatively neutral, but in recent years, this view has fallen out of favor as it is generally observed that metaethical and normative questions are interrelated. The better part of Indian philosophy is a sustained inquiry into moral theory. The emphasis is often on metaethical issues, though normative ethics is also front and center and is often depicted as the “religious” differences of Indian thought. There are at least four normative options. (1) We could prioritize the good in an account of how to bring about right action. (2) We could justify right action by deference to some good end. Accordingly, the ends justify the means. (3) We could define right action by a good state of affairs, and justify right action without reference to the good. Accordingly, the means justify the ends. (4) We could prioritize the right (by deference to an ideal) in an explanation of how to bring about good outcomes. These options are often known as (1) Virtue Ethics, (2) Consequentialism (when the ends are agent neutral, we call this Utilitarianism), (3) Deontology, and (4) Bhakti/​ Yoga.

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The first two options are teleological, and standard versions of theories in this camp often blend Virtue Theoretic and Consequentialist considerations. The received view in the literature is that Buddhist ethics is an Indian presentation of Consequentialism and Utilitarianism. Both authors contributing to Buddhist ethics in this book, Jake Davis and William Edelglass, emphasize the role of meditation in Buddhist ethics, within a teleology that allows for the “common tension between other-​oriented and self-​interested motivations [to be] dissolved” (Edelglass) and for personal awareness of psychological motivations via meditation to discern which attitudes are “to be cultivated” and which are “to be abandoned” (Davis). Consequentialism is not restricted to the Buddhist tradition. Kisor Chakrabarti argues that the Nyāya tradition of “Hindu” philosophy, known for its emphasis on logic, realism, and Theism, is also squarely in the Consequentialist camp—​not because it claims ambiguously that ethics (dharma) leads to freedom (mokṣa), but because it justifies right action by ends. Jain ethical theory, as Jayandra Soni’s chapter shows, is teleological too, but decidedly Virtue Theoretic. If ever there was a theory that claims that virtue causes or produces right action, it is Jainism. Like all Virtue Ethics, it places the virtuous agent—​in this case the Heroic figures of Jainism, the Jinas—​at the center: right action is what they show and teach. They are hence Ford makers. Action on such an account is to be encouraged insofar as it flows from our intrinsic virtue, and our intrinsic virtue that is logically prior to action, is benign. Dharma is movement from the status quo characterized by past choices and actions, made possible by virtue. Ethical nonaction, as a characterization of virtue, has a logical priority in the explanation of ethical action on the Jain account. The latter two options are procedural. I explore these options in my two chapters. Deontology in the Indian tradition is clearly defended in the smṛti texts, including the epics and the Bhagavad Gītā in its account of karma yoga, the Mīmāṃsā Sūtra (the founding text of the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā tradition), and earlier in the Upaniṣads in a dialectical transition from an old Vedic, Hedonic Utilitarianism. What is interesting in the Indian move toward Deontology is that it largely keeps the edifice of a rule-​based Consequentialism geared toward maximizing hedonic ends—​the early rituals and customs of a Vedic world—​but switches the theoretical justification. In the end, the rules stop being justified by the ends, and become the ends, and the justification becomes procedural. This historical dialectic that moves from teleology to procedural theories constitutes the substance of Vedānta Ethics. This dialectic moves past Deontology to Bhakti. Whereas Deontology identifies right action by good states of affairs (generically described as doing one’s duty), Bhakti defines right action as the approximation or worship of a regulative ideal. Of the four theories noted, Bhakti alone does not elucidate right action by the good. Via the perfection of this practice of approximating the ideal, we bring about goodness and change the moral landscape. Vedānta philosophers do not agree about the metaethical status of ethics—​that is, they disagree about the conceptual foundations of morality relative to other values, such as freedom—​ but they accept this dialectic as accounting for the substance of moral theory and it constitutes the reality of the existential condition that they call “Brahman,”

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or “development,” “growth,” or “expansion.” Their competing theories about Brahman are competing accounts of how to resolve the remaining tension in this dialectic, a tension that pits the requirements of freedom (mokṣa) to explain our moral responsibility (dharma), with the need of moral responsibility (dharma) to protect freedom (mokṣa) from luck. While it is common to identify this tradition of thought and its devotional elements with Theism, this is uncareful. Theism, which treats goodness as a defining trait of God, is Virtue Ethical. Devotion is procedural and the very opposite of Virtue Ethics. The Lord on this account is not essentially good, though the Lord is essentially right. The clearest and most sophisticated development of Bhakti as a moral theory is to be found in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra, which identifies the moral ideal as the Lord characterizable as unconservative and self-​governing. Approximating the Lord is about realizing our own lordliness in a personal world. The essential rightness of the Lord is required to explain how we can bootstrap morality from scratch, and how we can bring about the good even in contexts of tyranny and oppression when virtues, duties, and good ends are punished.

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The Scope for Wisdom: Early Buddhism on Reasons and Persons JAKE H. DAVIS To this extent, Ānanda, one is born and ages and dies and passes away and takes birth again. To this extent there is a path for designations, a path for expressions, a path for concepts. To this extent there is scope for wisdom. To this extent the cycle continues for being here to be conceived. That is, to the extent that name-​and-​form together with consciousness continue through dependence on one another. (Mahānidāna Sutta, DN II 63–​64)1

1. INTRODUCTION The denial that persons exist, in some ultimate sense, is widely understood to be a central Buddhist doctrine. In Consequences of Compassion, Charles Goodman (2009) suggests that in a range of classical Buddhist sources some version of this metaphysical thesis about persons helps to underwrite an ethical thesis, that we ought to minimize the total amount of suffering there is in the world. There is a compelling connection between these two ideas: since we all agree that our own suffering is to be avoided, if there are ultimately no distinctions between persons, then perhaps one ought to act or live in whatever way will most effectively reduce all of the suffering there is in the world, regardless of whose it is. Nonetheless, as a characterization of early Buddhist thought this proposal is doubly mistaken. The Buddha, as he is portrayed in the early Buddhist discourses, endorses neither the metaphysical claim, that persons on some ultimate level do not exist, nor the ethical claim, that we ought to live in whatever way will minimize the total amount of suffering there is in the world. Instead, early Buddhism has a different, and more novel, contribution to make to contemporary ethical thought. Or so I will argue.2 Damien Keown, in his seminal work The Nature of Buddhist Ethics (1992), argues that Buddhist ethics cannot be understood within a Consequentialist framework, one that bases ethical claims about how we ought to live on considerations about the consequences for aggregate happiness or suffering in the

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world. Keown suggests instead that Buddhist ethics has more in common with the teleological approach to Virtue Ethics characteristic of Aristotle’s ethical thought. While I will also point out in passing some problems with Keown’s Aristotelian interpretation, Goodman offers a much more extensive argument against Keown’s reading. It is difficult to find decisive evidence either for a teleological or for a Consequentialist reading, however, for at least two reasons. First, the structural similarities between the two approaches can make them seem indistinguishable in practice; Goodman highlights the especially close similarities between Aristotelian versions of Virtue Ethics and a theory that focuses on the consequences for aggregate welfare of having certain character traits (2009: 41ff.). Second, in part because the Buddhist sources are mainly focused on practical ethical questions rather than on ethical theory, they are relatively amenable to multiple different lines of theoretical interpretation. One strategy Goodman employs to tip the balance in favor of his Consequentialist reading is to appeal to a connection between reductionism about persons and Consequentialism in ethics that has been brought to light by Derek Parfit in his influential Reasons and Persons. Goodman suggests that just such a connection is present, at least implicitly, in a range of classical Buddhist sources. Parfit, in turn, explicitly claims that “Buddha would have agreed” with his reductionist view about persons (1984: 273, emphasis in original). Both Parfit and Goodman suggest that the reductionist view about persons helps to lend credence to ethically demanding Welfare-​ Consequentialist ethical theories, approaches that determine whether an action is right by appealing to its consequences for total happiness or suffering in the world. This approach suggests an important connection between two central aspects of Buddhist thought: the universal characteristic of nonself (Pāli anattā) and the nature of what is ethically wholesome (Pāli kusala). And this, in turn, suggests one way in which Buddhist meditation could lead to ethical insight. A common theme across contemporary Buddhist traditions is the suggestion that meditation practices offer a means for individuals to realize the metaphysical truth that there is no self. Perhaps Buddhist meditation offers access, of a kind that has been relatively absent from Western thought, to the grounds for believing that we ought to act so as to minimize suffering for all beings. If so, this would be an important contribution to contemporary ethical thought and practice. While there is a kernel of truth in this suggestion, I think that the distinctive contribution of Buddhist approaches to ethics lies elsewhere. In a discourse in the Saṃyutta Nikāya (SN), the Buddha says, “It is in just this fathom-​long carcass with perception and mind that I make known the world, the cause of the world, the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world” (SN I 144). Commenting on this discourse, Bhikkhu Bodhi explains: The world with which the Buddha’s teaching is principally concerned is “the world of experience,” and even the objective world is of interest only to the extent that it serves as the necessary external condition for experience. (Bodhi 2000: 394)

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This is not to say that the Buddha’s ethical teachings are not concerned with the effects of one’s actions on other persons in the external world; as we will see, they are. However, I will suggest that early Buddhist ethics is concerned with the external consequences of one’s actions in virtue of the fact that one ought to have the sort of motivations that would make us concerned about such things. And this is a fact that each of us can experience for ourselves. It is something that one can know and see from within, and only from within, one’s world of experience. The line of thought that I draw out from the early Buddhist discourses does not ground its claims, metaphysical or ethical, in a perspective that abstracts away from one’s particular experience of the world in order to adopt the sort of objectivity that Thomas Nagel (1986) calls “the view from nowhere.” On the contrary, the suggestion is instead to inhabit more fully one’s own subjective experience of the world. The point is to watch how experience comes to be and how it ceases to be, so as to see and know the nature of experience and the conditions under which one comes to have experience of the world at all. Indeed, this is an ethical claim: the characterization of the world of experience, its cause, its cessation, and the path to its cessation that is given in the Saṃyutta passage above is a variant of the four noble truths; thus the unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) inherent in the world of experience is to be comprehended (pariññeyya), its cause is to be abandoned (pahātabbaṃ), its cessation is to be directly experienced (sacchikātabbaṃ), and the path to that cessation is to be cultivated (bhāvetabbaṃ) (as at SN V 422). Two recent evaluations of the early Buddhist doctrine of anattā (nonself) by Sue Hamilton (2000) and Alexander Wynne (2010) appeal centrally to this emphasis on understanding the conditional nature of the world of experience. Both authors argue that the kind of reductionism about persons appealed to by Goodman, while very much present in later developments of Buddhist thought, nonetheless stands in opposition to a more subtle and profound approach to persons and subjectivity found in earlier layers of Buddhist thought. These historical claims, and the methodologies employed by Hamilton and Wynne, are not without controversy. For one, the arguments of both Hamilton and Wynne are based primarily on the Pāli Nikāyas. This body of texts has been preserved in the Theravāda Buddhist traditions of Southeast Asia, with only minor variations between different recensions. Though the Nikāyas have often been assumed by Western scholars to be the earliest and most authoritative record available of what the historical Buddha taught, this is problematic as a general assumption. For one, research into parallel versions of the early Buddhist discourses translated in the Chinese Āgamas as well as in Tibetan versions and some Sanskrit fragments has suggested a means of identifying earlier and later elements of crucial discourses. This approach is important because it offers a means for historical analysis that specifically does not privilege the Theravāda tradition as having preserved in all cases the earliest or most authoritative version of a teaching (Anālayo 2011, 2012a). Nonetheless, the emphasis on the world of experience that Bodhi, Hamilton, Wynne, and others find evident in the Pāli Nikāyas, as an independent philosophical proposal, has novel and important contributions to make to contemporary ethical theory (Davis 2014). Moreover,

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the implications of this emphasis on subjective experience for understanding the structure of ethical thought within the Pāli Nikāyas are largely yet to be drawn out. Finally, these implications may well apply to understanding the structure of early Buddhist ethics more generally, if further comparative research offers evidence from other recensions of the early Buddhist discourses for a similar approach to the world of experience and to the doctrine of nonself in particular. I cannot attempt here a comprehensive survey of scholarship on Buddhist ethics, or even that focused on the early Buddhist discourses.3 Instead, my aim here is to bring out one distinctive and philosophically promising aspect of the approach to ethics found in these texts. In Section Two I survey some evidence for the nature of ethical reasoning in early Buddhist thought. Section Three turns to the nature of persons, developing an approach to understanding nonself as a characteristic of one’s subjective experience of the world. Section Four extends this same approach to understand the nature of objectivity in early Buddhist ethics. Briefly sketching an account that I have defended in more detail elsewhere (Davis 2014), I propose that the connection drawn between mindfulness and wisdom in the early Buddhist discourses offers a distinctive and promising approach to grounding ethical claims.

2.  ETHICAL REASONING IN EARLY BUDDHISM In the well-​ known discourse to the Kālāmas, the Buddha rejects certain kinds of epistemic principles in ethics. He advises the Kālāmas not to rely only on the authority of a tradition or hearsay or texts or a teacher, and also not to rely only on the basis of logical reasoning or inference or probability or acceptance of a view. The Buddha’s positive advice begins as follows: When you know for yourselves “these qualities (dhammā) are unwholesome (akusalā), these qualities are blameworthy (sāvajjā), these qualities are criticized by the wise (viññugarahitā), these qualities when taken on and adopted lead to harm and suffering (ahitāya dukhāya), then you should abandon them (pajaheyyātha) . . .” When you know for yourselves “these qualities are wholesome (kusalā), these qualities are blameless (anavajjā), these qualities are praised by the wise (viññuppasatthā), these qualities when taken on and adopted lead to welfare and happiness (hitāya sukhāya), then you should enter and remain in them (upasampajja vihareyyātha).” (AN I 189–​190) Both in the case of the unwholesome and in the case of the qualities (dhammā) he characterizes as ethically unwholesome, and also in the case of the qualities that he characterizes as ethically wholesome, immediately after giving this advice, the Buddha runs through some examples. The Kālāmas agree that when greed (lobha), hatred (dosa), or delusion (moha) arise inside a person, they lead to harm and suffering. The Buddha points out that someone overcome by such qualities violates the ethical principles known in Buddhism as the five precepts, that is, he kills, steals, commits adultery, lies, and encourages others to do those things,

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all of which is for long-​term harm and suffering. When the opposites of these qualities arise in a person, he does not kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or encourage others to do those things, all of which is for long-​term welfare and happiness.4 Having thought through such consequences for suffering and happiness, the Kālāmas become clear as to which of these qualities of heart are unwholesome, blameworthy, criticized by the wise, leading to harm and suffering, and which of these qualities of heart are wholesome, praiseworthy, praised by the wise, leading to welfare and happiness. For our purposes here there are two especially notable features of this passage. For Western philosophers, it will be notable that the focus in this discussion about what is praiseworthy and what blameworthy is not focused in the first case on the evaluation of actions, nor the evaluation of long-​term character traits. It does take motivational states, including what might be called a goodwill, as the central focus for the purpose of evaluating praise-​and blame-​worthiness. But the early Buddhist approach is not then to evaluate the goodness of a goodwill in terms of its conformance with rational principles such as universalizability. In short, the proposal offered here for how to go about evaluating praise-​and blame-​worthiness is distinct from any of the major theories of Western ethics, a point that makes it worthy of notice by philosophers used to operating mainly with those paradigms. As Goodman notes, “The Buddhist technical terms we might be inclined to translate as ‘virtuous’ (such as Pāli kusala, Skt. kuśala, Tib. dge ba) are, in the first instance, applied to occurrent mental states” (2009: 195). The foundational focus, in this discourse with the Kālāmas, and more generally in the early Buddhist discourses, is on greed (lobha), hatred (dosa), delusion (moha), and their opposites. Elsewhere, I have called such states “qualities of heart” (Davis 2014). Among all the possible states (dhammā) a person might experience, it is these occurrent emotional, conative, and cognitive states that the early Buddhist texts take as the foundational focus of ethical discussion.5 In one well-​known line from the Aṅguttara Nikāya (AN), the Buddha says, “It is cetanā (intention or motivation) that I call kamma” (AN III 415). Scholars such as Richard Gombrich (2006: 51) have argued that in the broader Indian context this suggestion was revolutionary, turning the notion of morally valenced action inward, focusing ethics on one’s psychological states rather than the consequences of one’s outer actions. This emphasis on internal motivations suggests to Keown that Buddhist ethics cannot be Consequentialist: It is the preceding motivation (cetanā) that determines the moral quality of the act and not its consequences. In Buddhism acts have bad consequences because they are bad acts—​they are not bad acts because they have bad consequences. (Keown 1992: 178) Keown offers an extended comparison of cetanā with Aristotle’s conception of prohairesis, and sees a broader parallel as well between the structure of Buddhist and Aristotelian approaches to ethics. He points, for instance, to another passage from the Aṅguttara Nikāya where wholesome conduct (kusala sīla) is said ultimately to

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have knowledge and vision of release as its purpose (attha) and benefit (ānisaṃsa) (AN V 2). The discourse immediately following describes this as a natural process, saying that for someone with wholesome conduct there is no need to form the intention (cetanā) for freedom from regret to arise. Likewise for each progressive stage in the series, For one with freedom from regret . . . joy . . . tranquility . . . ease . . . concentration . . . knowledge and vision of things as they are . . . disenchantment . . . dispassion . . . there is no need to form the intention “may I realize knowledge and vision of release.” It is just the nature of things (dhammatā) that one disenchanted and dispassionate will realize knowledge and vision of release . . . Thus, bhikkhus, one state flows into the next state, one state fills up the next state for the sake of going from the near shore to the far shore. (AN V 2–​4) Just as Aristotelian ethics is grounded in a particular notion of flourishing (eudaimonia), Keown argues, so too Buddhist thought grounds ethical valence in the goal of nibbāna. He takes both these systems to be teleological in the sense of providing a “framework for personal cultivation and accomplishment . . . structured in accordance with a specific connection of human nature and its telos” (Keown 1992: 203). Since in this Aṅguttara discourse wholesome conduct is said to have nibbāna as its ultimate purpose and benefit, one might take Keown’s (1992) proposal to be that the reason intentions motivated by states such as compassion are worthy of cultivation is just that such states (and not others) are conducive to realizing nibbāna. If this is the reading that Keown is proposing, however, it goes beyond what is found in the discourses themselves. Recall that in the discourse to the Kālāmas, having made wholesome and unwholesome qualities of heart the focus of ethical evaluation, the Buddha does not appeal to considerations about which of these qualities are conducive to nibbāna, but rather gives examples that distinguish between wholesome and unwholesome qualities by appealing to their consequences for welfare. In the approach to ethical reasoning on display in the discourse to the Kālamās it is not clear precisely whose welfare is to be taken into account. However, in a discourse in the Majjhima Nikāya, it is made explicit that one should consider both one’s own welfare and that of others. In that discourse, the Buddha starts up a conversation with his young son Rāhula on the subject of telling lies in jest; it seems that according to multiple commentarial traditions Rāhula was prone to just this vice (Anālayo 2011: 342). “For one who feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie,” the Buddha says, “there is no evil he would not do. Therefore, one should train oneself thus: I will not lie even in jest” (MN I 415). Presumably as a way of elaborating and generalizing the point, the Buddha suggests that one ought to reflect before, during, and after actions of body, speech, and mind: Did this action of body . . . speech . . . mind lead to my own affliction, to the affliction of others, to the affliction of both, was it an unwholesome action

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of body . . . speech . . . mind, resulting in suffering, bearing fruit in suffering? (MN I 415) When a monastic knows on reflection that his action was unwholesome, with unhappy results, he ought to confess it and refrain in the future. When he knows that his action was wholesome with happy results, he ought to joyously continue to train himself in wholesome qualities. It is interesting philosophically that the appeal to consequences here comes as an elaboration on the point that one ought never to lie. Act-​Consequentialist approaches will typically deliver the result that one ought to lie under circumstances where that act of lying would lead to overall benefit. However, this is not the case for Consequentialist approaches that take rules as the primary focus of ethical evaluation. Although Keown ultimately rejects the hypothesis that Buddhist ethics is Consequentialist, he concedes that among Consequentialist theories a form of negative rule Consequentialism would be the “closest approximation” (1992: 230). The general idea of such an approach would be that Buddhist ethics applies the precepts against killing, stealing, lying, and so on inflexibly, and that these rules are, in turn, justified in virtue of the fact that these are the rules that, when followed inflexibly, result in an overall reduction in suffering (Keown 1992: 177). Goodman takes up the proposal that Keown ultimately rejects, and argues for a Rule-​ Consequentialist interpretation of early Buddhism and/​or the modern Theravāda—​ it is not quite clear which, since neither Keown nor Goodman distinguishes carefully between the two. I doubt that Rule-​Consequentialism is the correct characterization either of early Buddhist ethics or of how modern Theravāda Buddhists reason. In both cases, my suggestion is that the central thrust of these approaches is instead to take occurrent states of mind as the primary unit of ethical evaluation. The analysis of mercy killings offered in the Theravāda Abhidhamma and commentaries makes clear that the reason such killings are wrong is that even in such cases it is not psychologically possible for a person to intentionally take life unless the state of dosa (hatred or aversion) has arisen in the agent’s mind (Gethin 2004). Rupert Gethin notes here the commentary’s suggestion that the painful, unwholesome states that actually motivate intentional killing are not easy for those who are not wise to notice (dujjānam etaṃ puthujjanehī), because these states are fleeting and occur close in time to wholesome states such as compassion; this traditional analysis is repeated by modern Theravāda teachers both in Thailand and in Burma.6 We have seen that the Buddha’s advice to the Kālāmas similarly focuses on qualities (dhammā) such as greed (loba), hatred (dosa), and delusion (moha), as well as their opposites. On an approach that takes qualities of heart as the central focus of ethical evaluation in this way, conclusions about which actions are wholesome and unwholesome that follow from this may well vary widely depending on particular circumstances. Certain kinds of actions, those that cannot be performed without involving unwholesome states, may never be wholesome. However, since the ethically charged situations we find ourselves in are complex, it is not always

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clear ahead of time what a person motivated by wholesome qualities of heart would do. This helps to accommodate the sense that Buddhist ethics is “Particularist,” as Charles Hallisey (1996) puts it.7 The idea here, echoed by other recent interpreters (Heim 2014; Garfield in press) is that Buddhist ethical texts are not in the business of offering a general system from which to derive decision procedures for how to act or how to be. Rather, the right thing to do will vary in ways that are not codifiable—​ in some cases even breaking the precepts may be the virtuous thing to do—and Buddhist ethical texts are instead in the business of inculcating the right sorts of emotional responses to the complex situations that human beings have to navigate. One might wish to insist that even about emotional responses, the Buddhist ethical texts offer no principled general means of determining which are to be to be cultivated and which are to be abandoned. One aim of this chapter is to argue that such a wholesale Particularist reading would be mistaken. The kind of context sensitivity about right action that is rightly recognized by interpreters such as Hallisey can follow even from an ethical theory that offers a different, principled foundation. By generalizing the structure of the Kālāma Sutta, for instance, a Welfare-​Consequentialist theory could take emotional responses as the primary focus of ethical evaluation, rather than acts or rules or character traits.8 On this approach, if greed or hatred or delusion as a type of occurrent mental state leads in general to maximizing the total suffering in the world, then when it arises internally in us, we ought to abandon it and not act out of it. Likewise, if their opposites typically lead to minimizing the total suffering in the world, then when such qualities of heart arises internally in us, we ought to cultivate them in our thoughts, speech, and actions. This “Quality-​Consequentialism” can, I think, offer a close approximation of early Buddhist ethical conclusions. Though I suggest in Section Four how it fails to get right the structure of early Buddhist ethics at a more foundational level, it nonetheless would offer justification for many of the same ethical claims to which early Buddhist thought is committed. Perhaps the strongest evidence for thinking the foundational structure of early Buddhist ethics is Consequentialist comes from the Bāhitika Sutta and its parallel in the Chinese Madhyama-​āgama. In this discourse, the Venerable Ānanda answers a series of questions asked by King Pesanadi: Now, Venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour is censured by wise recluses and Brahmins? Any bodily behaviour that is unwholesome, great king . . . what kind of bodily behaviour is unwholesome? Any bodily behaviour that is blameworthy . . . what kind of bodily behaviour is blameworthy? Any bodily behaviour that brings affliction . . . what kind of bodily behaviour brings affliction? Any bodily behaviour that brings that has painful results . . . Now, Venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour has painful results? Any bodily behaviour, great king, that leads to one’s own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both, and on account of which unwholesome states increase and wholesome states diminish. Such bodily behaviour is censured by wise recluses and Brahmins, great king. (MN II 114)

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In the parallel to this discourse preserved in the Chinese Madhyama-​āgama, Ānanda describes the behavior that “the wise detest” as actions that harm oneself and others and both, that “destroy wisdom and foster evil,” and that does not lead to awakening and nibbāna (Anālayo 2007: 159ff.). He goes on to say that those who undertake such conduct “do not know according to reality” what things should and should not be eliminated, what things should and should not be accomplished. He concludes that because of this ignorance, “wholesome things decrease and unwholesome things increase.” The discussions with the Kālāmas and with Rāhula above point to consequences for welfare as ethically relevant. Not only do both the Pāli and Chinese versions of the Bāhitika Sutta repeat this point, but the structure of the discourse also lends further support to a Consequentialist interpretation. Quoting the Pāli version, Goodman (2009: 62) points out that “it is natural to interpret the passage as defining the earlier expressions successively in terms of the later ones,” as giving successively more foundational accounts of what it is for a behavior to be something one ought not to do.9 On this reading of the Pāli version, Ānanda is saying that what makes it the case that certain bodily behaviors are unwholesome is the fact that those behaviors are blameworthy; what makes it the case those bodily behaviors are blameworthy is that they bring affliction; what makes it the case that those bodily behaviors bring affliction is that they have painful results. The final stage of this series of definitions proposes that what makes it the case those bodily behaviors have painful results is the fact they that have negative consequences for the agent’s welfare and the welfare of others, but also the fact that such behaviors increase unwholesome states and diminish wholesome states, and (in the Madhyama-​āgama version) that such behaviors are not conducive to realizing nibbāna. Maximizing Consequentialist theories define what is right as what maximizes the good. The good can then be defined in various ways, yielding different forms of Consequentialism. An objective list theory of the good simply gives a list of the goods there are, denying that further noncircular explanation can be offered for why these are the goods to maximize. Goodman suggests that the Pāli version of the Bāhitika Sutta might articulate just this sort of structure: The series of definitions terminates with reference to two aspects of the consequences of the action: its tendency to promote “affliction”, that is, painful feelings, and its tendency to cause bad states of character to increase and good ones to diminish. If this final formulation represents the most fundamental account of what makes an action wrong, then the moral theory of the Bāhitika Sutta is a consequentialist theory with a two-​part objective list theory of the good. (Goodman 2009: 62) Earlier in his book, Goodman (2009: 41) describes a “universalist consequentialism based on an objective list theory, such that the list of intrinsic goods includes character traits,” and identifies this with what Thomas Hurka calls “Perfectionist Consequentialism.” Goodman argues that despite their similarities, perfectionist

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Consequentialism can be distinguished from Aristotelian Virtue Ethics. His central suggestion is that whereas Virtue Theories are agent-​ relative, Consequentialist theories are agent-​neutral. This agent-​neutrality leads Consequentialist theories to be radically revisionary and make ethical demands on us far beyond the demands made by most conventional moral systems. According to a Virtue Theoretic approach, an agent ought to do what cultivates her own virtuous character traits. In contrast, perfectionist Consequentialism will hold that an agent ought to do whatever maximizes virtue for all beings, even if it were to decrease her own virtuous character traits. “That means that a character Consequentialist would be willing to make himself worse in order to make others better, so long as the total amount of virtue in the universe increased” (Goodman 2009: 43). Likewise, a Welfare-​Consequentialist approach that focused on actions, instead of character traits, may suggest that those of us living in wealthy countries ought to be willing to reduce our wealth and well-​being dramatically in order to save the lives of people we have never met. Peter Singer (1972) famously argues that if it would be wrong to let a child drown in front of us to save our expensive shoes from getting ruined, it is equally wrong to allow a child to die from preventable diseases when we could save her by giving up an amount of wealth comparable to (or less than) the costs of an expensive pair of shoes. And there are many such children. The crux this argument turns on an agent-​neutral conception of value: the lives of those distant from us have no less value than the lives of those we come into contact with. Goodman refers to Parfit in tying the high ethical demands required by Consequentialist approaches directly to a reductionist metaphysics of persons: Because of its commitment to agent-​ neutrality, consequentialism regards the divisions between the lives of different individuals as no more significant than the differences between different periods of a particular individual’s life. Actions that benefit the agent, or the agent’s family and friends, at the expense of beings in general are just as irrational as actions that benefit me in the short run but do much greater harm to my long-​term interests. (Goodman 2009: 44) Goodman suggests that in order to test whether a Virtue Theoretic or a Consequentialist framework can be attributed to a particular school of Buddhist thought we can look for “characteristics that are distinctive to, or at least indicative of, Consequentialism, such as agent-​neutrality, extreme demands, injunctions to promote the welfare of others, and the ability to draw support from critiques of personal identity” (2009: 45). The last of these would seem low-​hanging fruit. After all, the Buddhist tradition is full of metaphysical critiques of personal identity. Moreover, the other considerations may be more equivocal. We have seen that the ethical reasoning evident in the early Buddhist texts does emphasize consequences as an important factor. And I have suggested that one can construct a Consequentialist account focused on the evaluation of types of occurrent mental states that would approximate many of the ethical claims made in the early Buddhist discourses. However, many of the instances that we have seen

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so far of early Buddhist ethical reasoning could also be interpreted along virtue-​ theoretical lines. This is so in part because the formal feature of Consequentialism, the maximization of the total good in the external world as determining what is right, is not evident in the texts. Even if a maximizing procedure were evident, moreover, we might agree that one ought to do what one thinks will maximize welfare for oneself and for others, but suggest that one ought to act in this way just in virtue of the fact that that is what a compassionate person would do. For instance, the Vinaya texts portray the Buddha as laying down rules not only in order to decrease unwholesome mental states and increase wholesome ones in individual monastics, but also for the good of the whole monastic community, for the sake of nurturing the public’s faith in the teachings, and for the sustaining of the teachings and the discipline (as at Vin. III 21). Since these texts are arguably one of the primary sources for understanding early Buddhist ethics, one might take this as evidence that early Buddhist ethics does not evaluate acts solely on the basis of the qualities of heart they involve. However, we can equally wonder why it is the case that one ought to be motivated to lay down rules that serve the welfare of the many in this way. And here, a plausible answer is that one ought to be motivated in such a way because that is just what a compassionate person would do. On such an approach, claims about which character traits or mental states are wholesome would again serve as the foundational justification for which acts and rules are wholesome. One could offer a similar Virtue Theoretic basis for some extreme ethical demands. Thus it might be that someone who has the trait of being contented with little, or the state of non-​greed, would be motivated naturally to give up much of their wealth so as to better serve others; we might see Buddhist monasticism as one example of this. I return to these points below. For now, it is enough to note that it is not easy to distinguish a Virtue Theoretic approach from a perfectionist Consequentialist approach on grounds such as extreme demands and injunctions to promote welfare. However, Goodman suggests that the different “metaphysical bases” supporting the two theories can help here. It is possible to combine reductionism about persons with a Virtue Ethics. Nonetheless, Parfit’s reductionism about persons offers argumentative support for Consequentialism. And, on the other hand, Aristotle’s ethics is grounded in his philosophical biology, in particular its conception of human beings as having a natural function. Goodman suggests, then, that if we find in Buddhism a claim that persons can be reduced to psychophysical processes and do not have an essential nature that can be appealed to as the ground of ethics, this should be taken as indirect evidence in favor of a Consequentialist reading of Buddhist ethics.

3.  THE CHARACTERISTIC OF NONSELF The Discourse on the Characteristic of Nonself, the Anatta-​lakkhaṇa Sutta, presents the Buddha telling his audience in no uncertain terms that physical form, feeling, perception, conditioned volitions, and consciousness itself are not to be regarded as

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self. These five are the khandhas, often interpreted as “aggregates” (but see note 9). The discourse presents the same injunction in regard to each of the five, beginning with physical form. “Any physical form whatever, past, present or future, internal or external, gross or subtle, base or refined, far or near, is to be viewed as it is with right understanding, ‘this is not mine, I am not this, this is not myself ’’’ (SN III 66). The discourse goes on to say that viewing physical form, feeling, perception, conditioned volitions, and consciousness in this way leads to the goal of release from suffering. Many later Buddhist expositions have understood this central teaching as a claim that in some ultimate sense persons do not exist. Thus in the Questions of Milinda, the Elder Buddhist monk Nāgasena explains that although he is known as “Nāgasena,” this is just a concept, “In the ultimate sense there is no person to be found here” (Miln. 28). Parfit (1984: 273, 502) cites this line from Nāgasena as evidence that the Buddha would agree with the reductionist view. Nāgasena, in turn, cites as support a poem attributed to the nun Vajirā, found in the Saṃyutta Nikāya: Just as, with an assemblage of parts, The word “chariot” is used, So, when the aggregates are present, There’s the convention “a being.” It’s only suffering that comes to be, Suffering that stands and falls away. Nothing but suffering comes to be, Nothing but suffering ceases. (SN I 135 in Bodhi 2000: 230) Nāgasena explicates Vajirā’s chariot analogy by distinguishing between the concept (paññatti) of a person and what is “found” in the ultimate sense (paramattho). There are various parts of a chariot: the pole, the axle, the wheels, the body, and so on. Dependent on the pole, and the axle, and the wheels, and the body and so on, there is the concept CHARIOT. In the same way, dependent on hair, nails, blood, and other aspects of material form, dependent on feeling, and on perception, and on conditioned volitions, and on consciousness, there is the concept NĀGASENA, “but in the ultimate sense there is no person to be found here” (Miln. 28). Nāgasena holds that the concept of a person arises in a certain kind of dependence on mental and physical events, but it is not clear exactly how he conceives of this relation, since he denies that a person is (just) these mental and physical events. Thus it is not clear that Nāgasena and Parfit are advancing exactly the same position. There are, nonetheless, important similarities between the two. For Parfit, to hold a reductionist thesis about nations or persons is not to deny that either exist, but rather to deny that they are “separately, or independently, real.” To hold a reductionist thesis about nations is to hold that the existence of nations “just involves the existence of citizens, living together in certain ways”; correspondingly, to hold a reductionist thesis about persons is to hold that existence of persons involves “nothing more than the occurrence of interrelated mental and physical events” (Parfit 1984: 340–​ 341). Nāgasena explicitly agrees with Parfit that a person is not something other than these mental and physical events. This is, of course, what makes both of them opposed to the metaphysical claim that the self is some substantial thing over and above interrelated mental and physical events; this far Nāgasena and Parfit are in

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agreement with the early Buddhist texts. For my purposes here, however, it is also important to notice a further parallel between these two theorists, in the perspective implicit in the analogies that they each adopt. We look at a chariot and its parts from outside. There is no such thing as taking the chariot’s perspective, imagining what it must be like for the chariot to ride over a rough surface or to be the king’s own favorite vehicle. We do not perceive chariots as having an experiential perspective on the world. Similarly, when Parfit imagines a nation as constituted by its citizens and their relations, he seems to adopt a viewpoint that regards its citizens and their relations from above, as it were. The situation with persons is quite different. We can and do (if not always enough) relate to other people by imaginatively taking their perspective, imagining what it must be like to inhabit their experience of the world. Nāgasena and Parfit invite us to take up not the perspective of persons from the inside, but rather a perspective on persons from outside. By employing the analogies they offer, we regard pleasure and pain, perceptions and consciousness as objects in the world in the way that the parts of a chariot are objects in the world. On my reading, the early Buddhist approach doctrine of nonself is not based on taking up such a perspective on experience from outside the world of experience. We can see this by turning back to the Anatta-​lakkhaṇa Sutta. The Buddha offers here an abridged argument for the conclusion that physical form, feeling, perception, conditioned volitions, and consciousness are not self: If the body were self, bhikkhus, it would not bring affliction, and we would get [our wish] that the body be like this and not like that. But because the body is non-​self, bhikkhus, it does bring affliction, and we don’t get [our wish] that the body be like this and not like that. (SN III 66) Martin Adam’s (2010) presentation of the formal structure of the Buddha’s argument here is instructive: If there were a Self, he asserts, it would be that aspect of the person over which one has control. We do not have control over any of the five aggregates. The five aggregates are all that a person is. The implication is clear: there is no self. (Adam 2010:  246–​247) As Adam notes, the third premise in this argument—​that the five aggregates are all that a person is—​is both necessary for the argument to go through and is also not evident in the text. He assures us nonetheless that “this is a safe enough assumption from the Buddhist perspective” (Adam 2010: 247, n. 14). However, this is not a safe assumption. Gethin puts it well: The five khandhas, as treated in the nikāyas and early abhidhamma, do not exactly take on the character of a formal theory of the nature of man. The concern is not so much the presentation of an analysis of man as object, but rather the understanding of the nature of conditioned existence from the point of view of the experiencing subject. Thus at the most general level rūpa, vedanā, saññā,

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saṃkhāras, and viññāṇa are presented as five aspects of an individual being’s experience of the world. (Gethin 1986: 49) Here, the point is not that early Buddhist sources see there being something to a person in addition to or apart from the khandhas. Rather the point is that the khandha analysis is not an analysis of what a person is, it does not take the person as its object nor as an object. It is instead an analysis of the lived experience of a subject, from within. For this reason it could not, in principle, tell us whether or not there is something to a person in addition to or apart from the khandhas. In order to determine that a chariot is nothing more than its parts in a certain kind of functional relation, we adopt a perspective on these parts from outside of them. Similarly, in order to determine that the khandhas are all that a person is, we would have to examine physical form, feeling, perception, conditioned volitions, and consciousness from outside of the person’s subjective perspective. However, the Anatta-​lakkhaṇa Sutta is not committed to adopting this external, objective perspective on a world of experience because it does not assert the idea that the five khandhas are all that a person is. Moreover, that premise is not necessary because the conclusion that Adam draws from that premise, that there is no self, is also not drawn in the discourse. Of course, Adam’s reconstructed argument merely recapitulates a dominant understanding of the argument in the Anatta-​lakkhaṇa Sutta. Nonetheless, the fact that the final two out of the four steps in this dominant interpretation are not evident in the text should give us pause. Perhaps a better reading is available. Recent work by Hamilton and Wynne goes a long way in this direction. Some scholars have argued that the Buddhist discourses fail to explicitly deny the existence of a self because these texts are instead implicitly committed to the existence of some subtle kind of self (for a recent example, see Albahari 2011). It is important to note, however, that denial and assertion are not the only two possible responses to the metaphysical question of whether there is a self. Neither asserting nor denying that there is a self, one can also reject the question, as the Buddha of the early discourses does with the set of metaphysical questions left unexplained (avyākata).10 Indeed, the Sabbāsava Sutta characterizes both the view that there is a self and also the view that there is no self as “a thicket of views” (MN I 8). Hamilton and Wynne each in effect offer a textual rationale for why, within an early Buddhist framework, the question of whether there is a self ought to be rejected. Both build on the insight noted above from Gethin, that the khandhas are offered as a kind of phenomenological analysis of human experience from within. And both come to the conclusion that the dominant understanding of early Buddhism as taking a reductionist stance toward the self misses the point of at least some central Nikāya discourses. For Hamilton (2000: 129), “selfhood is neither the question nor in question.” Instead, the essential project for the early Buddhist texts is to understand the cognitive processes that make possible the experience of objects in the external world. By understanding how we come to experience things in the world, we understand also the limits of what we can know through experience. In particular, “understanding dependent origination, in the sense that subjectivity and objectivity

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are mutually conditioned, one will no longer ask questions about existence” (Hamilton 2000: 184, emphasis in the original). The structures we perceive in the world, the parts of a chariot or the parts of human body, appear to us as objects existing in space and time independent of us because of the constructive nature of cognitive processes. But precisely because objects are constructed in this way through our subjective processes, it is not appropriate to ask about what reality these objects have independent of these subjective processes; that is beyond the limits of experience. For this reason, it is not appropriate to ask whether the self exists or not, as an object in the world; Hamilton points especially to the kinds of questions about existence of the self that are dismissed in the Paccaya Sutta (SN II 27), such as “am I?” and “am I not?” Here, and also more generally in the Pāli and other recensions of the early Buddhist discourses, personal insight into dependent co-​arising is related to going beyond speculation about the self in the past and future (cf. Anālayo 2011: 253). Wynne (2010) arrives at an interpretation very close to Hamilton’s, referring to the approach he sees in the early Buddhist texts as doctrine of “epistemic conditioning.” Although Wynne’s textual argument draws on an array of sources from the Nikāyas, as well the larger Indic historical context, he says that “the most crucial evidence is provided by” the Mahānidāna Sutta, a portion of which is quoted in the epilogue above (Wynne 2010: 138). The central points of the Mahānidāna’s critique are threefold, on Wynne’s reading. First, it is possible to conceive of one’s own existence when conditioned experiences arise; however, it is not appropriate to identify oneself with conditioned experiences, since these are changing. But, second, it is not appropriate to identify oneself as something apart from these experiences. It might be suggested that one can identify not with changing experiences, but with just the subjective sense of experiencing. Wynne shows convincingly the Mahānidāna targets just such a suggestion from the Chāndogya Upaniṣad. The Buddha rejects this suggestion on the grounds that when experience ceases entirely, it is not possible to conceive of one’s own existence as an experiencing subject. For the same reason, however, it is not appropriate to identify with something apart from experiences and apart from the subjective sense of experiencing itself; it is not possible to have the notion “I am” (asmī ti) when there is no experience whatsoever (sabbaso vedayitaṃ n’ atthi). In brief, only within a world of experience are there the conditions “for being here to be conceived” at all, and every aspect within this conditioned world of experience is fleeting, and therefore inappropriate to identify with as self. If the argument goes through, there is no legitimate basis from which to assert the existence of a self. On my reading, this line of early Buddhist thought is committed to rejecting any claim for the existence of a self. However, it is not committed to the assertion that there is no self. The move is instead to reject the question of whether there is a self, and therefore also all answers to that question, negative as well as positive. The central reason for this, brought out nicely by Hamilton and Wynne, is that on this early Buddhist approach one cannot assume that any objects exist independent of our experience of them. For this reason, the early Buddhist approach cannot be reconciled with reductive realism, the idea that persons do not ultimately exist, but

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are conditioned by, or constructed of, mental and physical processes that themselves do ultimately exist. By the same token, however, the approach equally cannot be reconciled with an (empirical) idealism that claims that the existence of objects consists only in their being experienced; the point is rather that to ask questions of what exists (or not) beyond our experience of them is to go beyond the conditions under which anything at all can be known.11 Early Buddhism does, of course, assume the sort of mundane knowledge of things and persons in the external world that we all have. However, the idea there could be some more ultimate perspective that sees how things in the external world are really constituted, while clearly present in some later Buddhist developments, seems much less evident in the early Buddhist discourses. Indeed, the early discourses do not use the term paramatthato to distinguish a class of things that exist in the external world (e.g., mental and physical processes) in a more ultimate sense than other things (e.g., persons).12 The Mahānidāna claims that as long as there are the conditions for a world of experience, to this same extent there is also a path for concepts (paññatti), a path for terms (vohāra), and scope for wisdom (paññā). In contrast, Nāgasena seems to appeal to an ideal perspective that goes beyond concepts and yet still could give us knowledge of things in the world, and how they are constituted. Thus he claims that his name is merely a name (nāmamattaṃ), a designation (saṅkhā), a convention (samaññā), a concept (paññatti), a term (vohāro), for in the ultimate sense (paramatthato) there is no person to be found here. We saw in the introduction to this chapter some evidence that the early discourses are committed to the notion of a type of wisdom that sees not only the arising of the world of experience, but also its cessation. Nothing about this, however, suggests that the discourses are committed a type of ideal perspective that sees how things in the external world are constituted on some ultimate level. I see little, if any, evidence that the early Buddhist discourses take such an ultimate perspective on things in the external world to be possible, much less that these discourses take such a perspective to be necessary in order to justify metaphysical claims. Even if they did, the discourses do not seem to draw inferences from the metaphysical claim that there is ultimately no self to ethical claims. And yet, clearly these same discourses are shot through and through with ethical claims, about how one ought to live, how one ought to act, and how one ought to cultivate one’s mind. How are these claims to be justified?

4.  MINDFULNESS AND WISDOM It has been observed that despite the sophisticated developments of metaphysical and epistemological theory in various traditions of Buddhist philosophy, there is comparatively little in the way of the kind of ethical theorizing found in the Western tradition. Damein Keown has more recently argued that “although Buddhism has normative teachings, it does not have normative ethics” (2006: 50). He notes:

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The Five Precepts and the rules of the Vinaya . . . are typically presented as injunctions, rather than as conclusions logically deduced from explicitly stated values and principles. In other words, the Precepts are simply announced, and one is left to figure out the invisible superstructure from which they are derived. (Keown 2006: 50) In response, Anālayo suggests that there is an identifiable principle underlying the Vinaya rules for monastics and more generally the ethical injunctions found in early Buddhist discourses. Based on a survey of sources from the Chinese Āgamas as well as from the Pāli Nikāyas, Anālayo suggests that “the early Buddhist counterpart to normative ethics—​as distinct from applied ethics on the one hand and meta-​ethics on the other—​could be found precisely in the notion of purification of the mind from the influxes” (Anālayo 2012a: 83). “Influx” here is a translation of the Pāli āsava, which Anālayo notes (2012b: 81–​ 12) is used in the sense of dangers, disturbances, and hardships that can “flow in” to the mind. By guarding the sense doors, eating and living moderately, as well as by purifying body, speech, and mind, more generally, one prevents unwholesome dhammas from flowing into the mind. In the pursuit of sense pleasures, the pleasures gained are mixed with the hardship and disturbances in the mind due to states such as lust. By purifying the mind through sense-​restraint, in contrast, one “experiences internally an unmixed ease (sukha)” (as at MN I 181). Anālayo’s identification of the principle underlying early Buddhist ethical thought is, to my mind, precisely correct, so far as it goes. Nonetheless, a further question can be asked. Why is it that one ought to purify oneself of those states identified as āsavas by the early Buddhist teachings? Put another way, why is it that the wise purify their minds of these states and not other states? I think the answer is implicit already in the identification of āsavas as dangers and disturbances. We can experience for ourselves, internally, both the disturbance of unwholesome states and the unmixed ease of wholesome ones. Here, the tight connection between the establishment of mindfulness (satipaṭṭhāna) and the development of wisdom (paññā) is crucial. I can only briefly summarize here an approach to this connection that I develop and defend in detail elsewhere (Davis 2014). According to the Vipallāsa Sutta, perceptions, thoughts, and views can be distorted (vipallāsa) (AN II 52). In the Māgandiya Sutta (MN I 501ff) and its parallel version in the Madhyama-​āgama, the Buddha illustrates this with an analogy: one with distorted perceptions due to leprosy might want to burn his flesh over hot coals, but on being cured he could not be induced to touch the coals by any means (Anālayo 2011: 410). In the same way, to those with perceptions distorted by craving, aversion, and delusion, the pursuit of sensual pleasure will appear enjoyable. But such distortions can be corrected. My suggestion, in brief, is that we establish mindfulness so as to gain a full and balanced awareness of all aspects of our experience of the world (cf. Anālayo 2014: 243), we purify ourselves of distorted perceptions (saññā-​vipallāsa), and thereby know and see our world of experience as it is. Feeling fully the holistic bodily, affective, mental, and perceptual

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aspects of being in states such as greed, hatred, or delusion, we just could not bear to encourage ourselves or others to cultivate such states—​they simply involve too much internal agitation, disturbance, and hardship. Conversely, feeling fully the relative internal ease of states such as generosity, compassion, and clear seeing itself, we will naturally be moved to encourage others and ourselves to cultivate these states. In this way, I suggest, to the degree human beings from any cultural background develop a full and balanced awareness, their ethical judgments will tend to converge. In particular, to the degree individuals come to know and see as it is the experience of being motivated by various qualities of heart, they will converge in judging that we all ought to cultivate certain of these qualities and to purify ourselves of other qualities. On my reading, whatever degree of objectivity early Buddhist ethics aspires to, this objectivity is to be grounded in these judgments of the wise. It will be noticed that this approach features a strongly Virtue Theoretic appeal to the judgments of the wise; nonetheless, two important points distinguish this early Buddhist approach from the approaches articulated by Aristotle and other Western virtue theorists. Aristotle’s approach in the Nicomachean Ethics is sometimes charged with circularity, in that it simply appeals to the virtues generally accepted in his social environment without offering a justification for taking these character traits as the virtues. Philippa Foot (2003) attempts to adapt Aristotle’s approach so as to underwrite a “species-​wide notion of human good,” by appealing to an objective, empirical conception of what counts as flourishing for a particular form of life. Suggesting that Foot’s variety of naturalism is not Aristotle’s, on the other hand, John McDowell (1998: 167ff.) instead seems to embrace an interpretation of Aristotle and an independent philosophical position on which there is no position from outside a cultural perspective from which to evaluate the relative merits of any picture of flourishing or of virtue. The early Buddhist approach helps to chart a path between these extremes, agreeing with McDowell that there is no view from nowhere from which to objectively determine flourishing or virtue, and yet insisting that a sufficient level of convergence in ethical judgment would emerge across human cultures, from the first-​personal perspective, among individuals who develop mindfulness of their own emotional motivations for action. One might challenge this contention by arguing that the perceptual experience of some states as internally disturbing and others as internally pleasurable will be culturally shaped, such that no amount of developing a full and balanced awareness would lead all human beings to agree on which states are wholesome and unwholesome. Indeed, one version of this worry can be developed in Buddhist terms, by pointing out that all the factors of the Eightfold Noble Path are required to develop the kind of full and balanced awareness that knows and sees the world of experience as it is. If so, perhaps, these eight factors form a holistic evaluative framework such that there is no way to specify independent of these other factors what it is to know and see the world of experience as it is, and so no reason to expect that individuals from different cultures, even to the degree they were knowing and seeing the world of experience as it is, would converge in their judgments of which qualities of heart are wholesome and unwholesome. And if so, then early Buddhism

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might be able to offer techniques (including the Eightfold Noble Path) to cultivate qualities of heart that some of us already agree ought to be cultivated, but it offers no novel reason for individuals from very different human cultures to agree that certain qualities of heart ought to be cultivated. Perhaps. While we have seen above that some of the best evidence for reading the early Buddhist texts as Consequentialist comes from the Bāhitika Sutta, the structure that Goodman finds in that discourse may be subject to a similar charge of circularity. We noted above that ethically normative terms, such as kusala, appear in the Bāhitika Sutta (and its Chinese parallel) both as one of the terms being defined and in the final definition.13 Keown takes such points as counting against reading early Buddhist ethics as a form of Welfare-​Consequentialism such as utilitarianism: Unlike utilitarian theories Buddhism does not define the right independently from the good. There exists a clear conceptual relationship between the two, and they cannot be defined independently. (Keown 1992: 177) Unfortunately, to the degree Keown is right in his reading of early Buddhist ethics, the framework may cease to be of interest to those who do not antecedently have faith in the Buddhist value framework as a whole. A Consequentialist reading of Buddhist ethics might do better at providing an objective means for justifying a Buddhist framework of values over an Aristotelian one, say. This is precisely because a Consequentialist framework, if it is cogent, delivers an objective view of ethical reasons from outside any particular subjective or evaluative perspective on the world. In order to conceive of the amount of aggregate suffering in the world, and also in order to reduce persons to streams of mental and physical process, one abstracts away from any particular experience of the world, in order to adopt an objective perspective on experience itself. Nagel (1986: 162) describes this appeal to agent-​neutral reasons as “the essence of traditional consequentialism.” Consequentialism needs to appeal to reasons for action that are agent-​neutral in the sense that they do not depend on occupying any particular experience of the world. In this sense, modern Consequentialist theories depend implicitly on a God’s-​eye perspective, what Nagel call’s “the view from nowhere.” And this is perhaps not surprising given that, as Julia Driver (2009) notes, Consequentialist theories of ethics arose in the West against the background of an explicitly theistic and monotheistic metaphysical framework. But this is not the background assumed in the early Buddhist texts. Recall Goodman’s suggestion above, that if we can locate in a system of thought a reductionist approach to persons, of the sort that would underwrite an agent-​ neutral conception of ethical reasons, this can serve as evidence in favor of reading that system of thought as adopting a Consequentialist ethical framework. There is evidence for a reductionist approach to persons in later Theravāda texts such as the Milindapañha. However, the line of thought that Hamilton and Wynne reconstruct in the early Buddhist discourses is philosophically opposed to the sort of reductionism that Goodman appeals to, and so cannot offer support for a Consequentialist

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interpretation of early Buddhist ethics. But the implications for the Consequentialist reading of early Buddhist ethics are worse than just that. The early Buddhist discourses reject and leave “unexplained” (avyākata) a set of metaphysical questions concerning whether the world is eternal or not, finite or not, whether the soul or life-​faculty is different from the body or not, and whether a Buddha exists or not after death (cf. at MN I. 431 and its parallels, see Anālayo 2011: 353ff). As Hamilton points out, these questions presuppose that one can adopt a perspective on the world as an object independent of one’s experience of it, and the existence of lives and bodies as objects in such a mind-​independent world. On her reading, early Buddhism rejects this presupposition. According to Hamilton, if it is the case that space and time are part of the structural characteristics of the experiential world, and that that is cognitively dependent, then one can see that the presupposition of the transcendental reality of time and space is false, and that the fundamental premises on which the questions rest are therefore also false. (Hamilton 2000: 174) Note that in order to have a conception of what will maximize happiness or minimize suffering in the world, one must have a conception of the external world as finite. We have seen, for instance, that Goodman suggests how a Consequentialist theory focused on virtues will base its ethical judgments on the question of what increases “the total amount of virtue in the universe” (2009: 43). I suggested above that a Consequentialist theory taking occurrent states of mind as its primary focus of ethical evaluation would deliver many of the same ethical judgments that are found in the early Buddhist discourses; however, at a more fundamental level such an interpretation will need to appeal to some conception of the total good in the external world. Hamilton’s analysis offers one principled explanation for why it is that the early Buddhist discourses do not make such an appeal. There is a plausible alternative explanation that would appeal to pragmatic concerns rather than epistemic ones, arguing that the reason questions such as the whether the world is finite are not relevant to suffering and the end of suffering. But if so, then by implication a position in ethics that relies on the principle of there being a finite amount of suffering in a finite universe must also be rejected. In any case, whether for epistemic or pragmatic reasons, nowhere in the early Buddhist texts do we find formal procedure for weighing the total consequences in the external world of one action or one type of mental state against another, as finite and definite quantities, in order to make difficult ethical choices between, say, benefiting one set of individuals and benefiting another set of individuals. We noted above a number of discourses that do characterize unwholesome behavior as that leading to one’s own affliction, to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both. However, neither in these formulations nor elsewhere in these texts is a calculus proposed for deciding hard cases where we must weigh the suffering of one against the suffering of another, no suggestion that we ought to maximize total happiness or minimize total suffering conceived as a finite quantity in the universe. In short,

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there is abundant evidence in the early Buddhist texts of suggestions that we ought to take consequences seriously, but vanishingly little evidence for Consequentialism as a principled approach to ethical decision-​making. The Consequentialist approach aims at a kind of objectivity that goes beyond what the early Buddhist discourses are committed to. On the other hand, I think it is clear that the early Buddhist approach is not simply aimed at offering a set of applied ethical principles for those who already endorse the Buddhist value framework. I cannot offer a comprehensive defense of this interpretive claim here (for a brief attempt, see Davis 2015). However, as a first pass, recall the passages from Kālāma Sutta and the Bāhitika Sutta quoted in Section Two. These texts make ethical claims, about which actions and qualities of heart are wholesome and unwholesome, which are praiseworthy and blameworthy. These texts do not qualify their ethical claims as holding only within the circumscribed set of values held by some particular (sub) culture. The Buddha, as he is portrayed in the early discourses, is concerned to engage with individuals of many different convictions, for the purposes of changing their convictions such that they come to value cultivating certain qualities of heart and not others. There is no suggestion that he advocates his view about which qualities of heart others ought to cultivate just because it is his view, no better or worse than the views of others. The suggestion is instead, I take it, that individuals and whole cultures can be mistaken about what is praiseworthy and blameworthy, and indeed are mistaken just to the degree that the qualities of heart they praise and blame differ from what is praised and blamed by the wise ones, the Buddha first and foremost. Early Buddhism is, in this sense, committed at least to this minimal kind of objectivity. Whether the approach that it offers for achieving this minimal objectivity can deliver on that promise is a different question. I am optimistic about this, but for reasons I cannot defend in detail here (cf. Davis 2014). Whereas Aristotle and some modern value frameworks might suggest that righteous anger is appropriate as a response to injustice; early Buddhism disagrees. On its own, this is not especially interesting; it is common that different individuals and different cultural groups hold opposing fundamental values. What is interesting is that the connection drawn between mindfulness and wisdom suggests a way in which the early Buddhist approach may offer a means that is independent of the Buddhist ethical framework to decide when it is that we as an individual or as a whole cultural group are wrong about which qualities of heart are wholesome. In a debate between Aristotelians and Buddhists, for instance, both sides can assess whether anger is, in fact, wholesome or unwholesome by appealing to the judgments that they themselves would make if they were aware in a full and balanced way of their own world of experience. If there is indeed some one judgment that both would converge on under such conditions, then this opens the possibility of a middle way in ethical justification. It avoids both the extreme insistence on absolute objectivity based on a “view from nowhere” and the insistence of the cultural relativist that there can be no justification of ethical claims outside a particular culture-​bound evaluative framework. I see early Buddhist ethics as navigating a way between these extremes.

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5. CONCLUSION The line of thought that I have brought out from the early Buddhist discourses emphasizes that in order to understand reasons and persons, one need not abstract away from one’s experience of the world to regard experience objectively, as an object in the world in the way that we regard chariots and other dead matter. Rather, to the degree that one inhabits one’s world of experience more fully, one knows and sees the nature of nonself and also the nature of what is wholesome. Even if this line of thought is implicit in the early Buddhist discourses, it is not to be preferred to later Buddhist doctrines because it dates to an earlier period in Buddhist history. Wynne’s historical argument that the Buddhist doctrine of epistemic conditioning predates Buddhist reductionism, for instance, is useful for my purposes here insofar as it suggests that the philosophical merits of these two different strands of thought can be considered separately. When we do that, we can see how grounding claims in ethics and metaphysics from within a world of experience proves a promising approach for moving forward contemporary philosophical debates. This point has methodological implications for the study of non-​ Western philosophical sources. The approach to grounding ethical claims that I sketched in Section Four includes aspects that parallel a number of prominent theorists in Western moral philosophy, Kant as well as Hume, and Aristotle as well as Mill.14 However, the project of looking in Buddhist approaches for parallels within the familiar Western categories of philosophical theorizing downplays what is most radical, and therefore potentially most instructive, from a Western perspective. More fruitful, I think, is to investigate the ways in which the philosophical questions and the approaches to these questions that were developed in ancient India or China, for instance, might make their own distinctive contributions to contemporary debates that are already shaped by the important contributions of philosophers such as Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill.15 Structuring our investigations in this way puts the burden on studies of ancient and foreign systems of thought to show that they have something important to teach us. This chapter has largely been focused on showing that what early Buddhist ethical thought has to teach is not (just) what Aristotle or Parfit have already taught us. There is much more to be said about how the early Buddhist line of thought emphasizing epistemic conditions on the world of experience can move forward contemporary debates on the nature of persons and the nature of reasons. Nonetheless, the general shape of the novel contribution that early Buddhist ethics can make should be clear. From within a world of experience, we see particular beings as suffering. If we are in wholesome states rather than unwholesome ones, we respond appropriately to their suffering. But this is not because we regard suffering as existing on its own as an object in the external world, in the way that we regard parts of chariots and other dead matter. We can express compassion as a concern for all beings, and even cultivate that state by employing such a notion. Nonetheless, this does not suggest that one must employ a conception of the limits of the universe and the total

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aggregate consequences of each action in order to decide how to act, live, or be. Rather, one ought to care about how her actions affect her own and others’ welfare in virtue of the fact that the qualities of heart that would lead her to care in this way, such as compassion, are qualities of heart that ought to be cultivated. And this is a fact that one can discover within, and only within, one’s own world of experience. Throughout the Nikāyas, the Buddha’s teachings are characterized as experiential, timeless, a come-​and-​see kind of thing, progressive, to be experienced by the wise for themselves (paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhi). On my reading, this last phrase offers a particularly helpful key to a better understanding of the ways in which early Buddhist thought on reasons and persons aspires to objectivity, and the ways in which it does not. The distinctive contribution of early Buddhist ethics is to suggest that we each can become wise, coming in this way to know and see for ourselves, from within our own experience of the world, which qualities of heart are praised and criticized by the wise.

NOTES 1. References to the Pāli are to Dīgha (DN), Majjhima (MN), Saṃyutta (SN), or Aṅguttara Nikāyas (AN), Milindapañha (Miln.), and Vinaya (Vin.), followed by volume and page numbers of the Pali Text Society edition. Translations are my own except where otherwise noted. 2. This chapter has benefitted greatly from conversations with Martin Adam, Bhikkhu Anālayo, Georges Dreyfus, Laura Guerrero, Stephen Harris, and Alexander Wynne. I am very grateful for their suggestions and critiques; the remaining errors are, of course, my own. 3. For reasons of space, I focus here on Keown’s and Goodman’s influential analyses of Buddhist ethics. In the course of his insightful book on Buddhist reductionism and Buddhist anti-​realism, Siderits (2003) also offers a Consequentialist reconstruction of Buddhist ethics. 4. These qualities of heart are referred to in the Kālāma Sutta negatively, as non-​ greed (alobha), non-​aversion (adosa), and non-​delusion (amoha). Maria Heim refers to this feature of early Buddhist thought as “the presence of absences” and argues convincingly that this is “an important feature of this moral psychology that identifies experience of absence as the conditions for other experience that cannot otherwise occur” (Heim 2014: 79). 5. Ranganathan in “Moral Philosophy: The Right and the Good” (­chapter 1 of this book) argues that all instances of dharma/​dhamma be translated with ethical terms. In the case of a use of dhammā as a plural noun, as here in the discourse with Kālāmas, this approach would gloss something like “ethicals” or “ethical states,” to be cashed out as elements (states, traits, acts, etc.) “that would fall within the ideal ethical theory” or “within the ideal theory of the right and the good”. And dhammatā, which I translate below as “the nature of things” (as in the case of a certain causal progression of psychological states), would instead be translated as

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“the virtue of things.” I take it that this approach of Ranganathan’s is intended as a corrective measure, in the face of allegations that Indian philosophy has lacked ethical theorizing (in contrast to metaphysical and epistemological varieties). Indian philosophers certainly have plenty of theories about dharma and about dharmas, so if we do take “dharma” as connoting the subjects of debates about the ideal ethical theory, then it is clear that India has not lacked in ethical theory! A central point of my chapter is that we could render my point as being that certain of the elements that would figure in the ideal philosophical theory, namely, occurrent states such as greed and compassion, are claimed by the early Buddhist discourses to be the elements that would figure in the ideal ethical theory. On this approach, we might better translate all instances of dharma/​dhamma with instances of “philosophy.” Adopting Wilfrid Sellar’s (1962) characterization or philosophy, we could then say that dharma is concerned with “how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term.” On this approach, dharmas (in the plural) are the things that hang together, being the elements that fall within the realm of philosophical debate (and not just the subset of that which is ethical). Of course, Sellar’s is but one stance within a debate about the nature of dharma/​philosophy, and the early Buddhist take might well be another. 6. Gethin (2004: 185) quotes a recollection from Ajahn Buddhadassa’s attitude toward death; for a closely parallel account in the Burmese tradition, see Mahasi Sayadaw (1992: 80–​81). 7. This being a philosophical term of art, it is worth noting that Hallisey’s use of “particularism” (borrowed from Chisholm) has affinities to, if also some differences from, Dancy’s use of the term “particularism” within philosophical ethics. Dancy uses “particularism” to name the conclusion that “there is nothing for . . . moral principles to do” (this following from his “holistic” view of practical as well as theoretical reasons), and that “people are quite capable of judging how to behave case by case, in a way . . . which shows no need of the sort of explicit guidance that a set of principles (of a certain sort) would provide” (Dancy 2004:  82–​83). 8. Adams’s (1976) “motive utilitarianism” offers an example of a similar approach in the Western literature, though not an influential one. 9. I take it Goodman reads Ānanda as giving intensional definitions, as making a claim about what it is in virtue of which a state is blameworthy, e.g., rather than merely claiming that those states that are blameworthy and those states that bring affliction are coextensive. The phrasing of the dialogue, if not the structure, is ambiguous between the two. 10. I discuss these briefly below. 11. Hamilton rightly identifies this approach she sees in early Buddhism as a kind of “transcendental idealism” akin to Kant’s. I cannot take up in any detail here the interesting question of to what degree this approach also resembles that adopted by the Pudgalavādins. While they do seem to have reached some of the same

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conclusions (viz., that the Buddha’s claim is not that there is no self), the reading of the Nikāyas espoused by Hamilton and Wynne depends on the idea that we should reject the question of whether there is a self because to ask questions of what exists (or not) beyond our experience of them is to go beyond the conditions under which anything at all can be known. It is not clear that this same reasoning lay behind the Pudgalavādin interpretation. 12. The poem by the nun Vajirā does speak of there being the convention (sammuti) of “a being” (satto), when the aggregates are present (khandesu santesu). But it is less clear that this underwrites the sort of distinction between ultimate and conventional that Nāgasena appeals to. Wynne (2010) argues, controversially, that this poem represents a significant stage in the historical progression toward the reductive realism evident in Nāgasena’s formulation, for it speaks of the khandhas as existing things, among which “no being is found” (nayidha sattūpalabbhati). If the poem does depend on the notion of an ultimate perspective on how things are constituted in the world, as opposed to how they appear conventionally, then perhaps Wynne is correct about the philosophical point. However, according to the argument noted above from Anālayo (2012a), if there is an answer to the historical question of whether the poem is to count as belonging to early Buddhist thought, this would be best to assess from a comparative perspective. 13. Moreover, the actions initially identified as unwholesome, for which later definitions are offered, are just those actions that would be criticized by people who are wise; this is a point brought out with special force in the Chinese parallel to the Bāhitika Sutta, and in the Burmese and Ceylonese versions of the Pāli discourse (Anālayo 2007: 173, n. 15). 14. I have not addressed the former two in this chapter; for more on similarities to and differences from Kant, Hume, Aristotle, and Mill, as well as contemporary theorists of ethics and metaethics, see Davis (2014). 15. In this I echo a number of recent scholars of Buddhist ethics (Hallisey 1996; Heim 2014; Garfield in press) including Keown himself (2006), and in a recent conference presentation talk (Contemporary Perspectives on Buddhist Ethics, Columbia University, October 6, 2011).

BIBLIOGRAPHY Adam, M. “No Self, No Free Will, No Problem: Implications of the Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta for a Perennial Philosophical Issue.” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 33, no. 1–​2 (2010): 239–​265. Adams, R. M. “Motive Utilitarianism.” The Journal of Philosophy 73, no. 14 (1976):  467–​481. Albahari, M. 2011. “Nirvana and Ownerless Consciousness.” In Self, No Self?, edited by M. Siderits, E. Thompson, and D. Zahavi, 79–​114, Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Anālayo, Bhikkhu. “What the Buddha Would Not Do, According to the Bāhitika-​sutta and Its Madhyama-​āgama Parallel.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics 14 (2007): 153–​179. Anālayo, Bhikkhu. 2011. A Comparative Study of the Majjhima-​nikāya. Taipei, Taiwan: Dharma Drum. Anālayo, Bhikkhu. “The Historical Value of the Pāli Discourses.” Indo-​Iranian Journal 55 (2012a):  223–​253. Anālayo, Bhikkhu. “Purification in Early Buddhist Discourse and Buddhist Ethics.” Buddhist Studies (Bukkyō Kenkyū) XL (2012b): 67–​97. Anālayo, Bhikkhu. 2014. Perspectives on Satipaṭṭhāna. Cambridge: Windhorse. Bodhi, B. 2000. The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Saṃyutta Nikāya. Translated by B. Bodhi. Boston, MA: Wisdom. Dancy, Jonathan. 2004. Ethics without Principles. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Davis, J. H. 2014. Acting Wide Awake: Attention and the Ethics of Emotion. New York: City University of New York Graduate Center. Davis, J. H. “Review of The Forerunner of All Things: Buddhaghosa on Mind, Intention, and Agency by Maria Heim.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77, no. 3 (2015):  261–​266. Driver, J. 2009. The History of Utilitarianism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://​plato.stanford.edu/​archives/​sum2009/​entries/​utilitarianism-​history/​; accessed Winter 2015. Foot, P. 2003. Natural Goodness. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA. Garfield, J. L. (In press). “Buddhist Ethics.” http://​www.smith.edu/​philosophy/​docs/​ garfield_​buddhist_​ethics.pdf; accessed Winter 2015. Gethin, R. “The Five Khandas: Their Treatment in the Nikāyas and Early Abhidhamma.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 14 (1986): 35–​53. Gethin, R. “Can Killing a Living Being Ever Be an Act of Compassion? The Analysis of the Act of Killing in the Abhidhamma and Pali Commentaries.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics (2004): 167–​202. Gombrich, R. F. 2006. How Buddhism Began: The Conditioned Genesis of the Early Teachings. New York: Routledge. Goodman, Charles. 2009. Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hallisey, C. “Ethical Particularism in Theravāda Buddhism.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics 3 (1996):  32–​43. Hamilton, S. 2000. Early Buddhism: A New Approach—​The I of the Beholder. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press. Heim, M. 2014. The Forerunner of All Things: Buddhaghosa on Mind, Intention, and Agency. New York: Oxford University Press. Keown, D. 1992. The Nature of Buddhist Ethics. New York: Palgrave. Keown, D. 2006. “Buddhism: Morality without Ethics?” In Buddhist Studies from India to America: Essays in Honor of Charles S. Prebish, edited by D. Keown, 45–​55. London: Routledge. McDowell, J. H. 1998. Mind, Value, and Reality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Nagel, Thomas. 1986. The View From Nowhere. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Parfit, Derek. 1984. Reasons and Persons. Oxford, Oxfordshire: Clarendon Press. Sayadaw, Mahasi. 1992. Questions about Life [In Burmese] (Bhava Pyathana). Yangon, Myanmar: Buddha Sasana Nuggaha Organization. Sellars, Wilfrid. 1962. Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man: Frontiers of Science and Philosophy, edited by Robert Colodny. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Siderits, M. 2003. Personal Identity and Buddhist Philosophy: Empty Persons. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Singer, Peter. “Famine, Affluence and Morality.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1, no. 3 (1972):  229–​243. Wynne, A. “The Ātman and Its Negation: A Conceptual and Chronological Analysis of Early Buddhist Thought.” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 33 (2010): 103–​171.

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CHAPTER SEVEN 

Jaina Virtue Ethics: Action and Nonaction JAYANDRA SONI

1. INTRODUCTION The goal in this chapter is to make clear the moral theory of the Jain (Jaina) tradition. In moral theory a distinction is drawn between deontic ethical theories and aretaic ethical theories. Aretaic ethical theories concern the dispositions of an individual, often identified with their character. Morality on the aretaic account does not have to do with action, but with character. Aretaic theories are Virtue Theories of ethics. Deontic ethical theories give pride of place to action. Morality on the deontic account has to do with right action. Examples of deontic theories of ethics include Deontology and Consequentialism. If the character or constitution of an individual is primarily important for moral theory, then responsibility is to be found not in what we do, but who and what we are. Moreover, identifying responsibility with what we do—​with action—​would be a moral error. To try to understand the responsible self in terms of its actions would be a mistake on this account. Rather, the responsible individual is someone who appreciates that their center of responsibility is their constitution as an agent. In this case, what is not action—​literally, what is nonaction—​would be the ground of moral responsibility: the constitution of the agent. Action would be mistakenly treated as the ground of responsibility and as the constitution of the agent. Morality on the Virtue Theoretic account sketched so far would hence not be characterizable by action, but by nonaction—​ in the first instance. Actions can derivatively acquire moral significance if they are in accordance with our responsibility, which is to say our moral constitution. Any action in accordance with our responsibility would freely flow from our constitution. Activity in this case would be not only moral, but also the free movement of the individual. In cases where we act in a manner that is contrary to our character, we frustrate and immobilize ourselves. Here, action would constitute an impediment to the self. Jain ethical theory is this variety of Virtue Ethics. The self (jīva) on its account is the center of moral responsibility: virtue (vīrya) is its essential trait. When we act in accordance with ourselves, we are free and we instantiate Motion itself: morality

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(dharma). When we locate our center of responsibility with action (karma), we frustrate our center of responsibility, and act in a manner that is contrary to our moral freedom. Moral action in contrast, sets us free as it is in accordance with what is nonaction: our moral constitution. The perfection of this action is the identification of our center of responsibility with our intrinsic constitution. The connection between movement and morality is a common theme in Virtue Ethics. Confucian Virtue Ethics, for instance, emphasizes the significance of being morally moved (Wang 2010). In the Jain account, however, morality is the principle of Motion itself, an element in the ontology of the universe. There is no real movement to speak about apart from moral movement. This moral realism—​which identifies morality with the basic elements of reality—​is characteristic of Indian ethics, but it speaks to an outlook on reality where the only kind of freedom there is, is personal freedom. Nothing else counts as movement. However, this is a kind of nonaction: something determined by our intrinsic, agential constitution, and not by the action that flows downstream from character. In this chapter I intend to explore the moral realism of Jain Virtue Ethics. Virtue Ethics often holds that the right thing to do is what the virtuous individual would do. At the center of the Jain theory of ethics (Jain dharma) is the importance given to the early Jinas (Conquerors) or Tīrthaṅkaras (Ford makers), whose example we are to follow. Their nonviolent, benign action shows how action can conform to the virtue of an individual—​a non-​active center of responsibility that is benign to all. However, their teachings and the memory of their example are couched in a moral realist framework that motivates the Jain approach to moral questions. In this framework, (1) action, divorced from our center of responsibility, constitutes a casing and embodiment of suffering. From this we can differentiate the (2) intrinsic nature of the jīva—​the dynamic self. The right (3) metaethical commitments lead to a (4) code of conduct constituting its moral principles. In the fifth section, we will consider the objection that Jain moral theory is not up to the task of moral guidance in reality and the contemporary world.

2.  THE EMBODIED SITUATION ACCORDING TO JAINISM The Jainas are known for the vast stock of stories that they composed or collected in order to illustrate their teachings and doctrines. They were, and are still, used in Jaina circles and on specific occasions like pilgrimages and festivals. They are easily understandable to laypeople who might have difficulty reading technical philosophy.1 One illustration representing mundane life as fraught with difficulty and hardship is the story of the “man in the well.” The story represents an individual in the world who, through his own action, finds himself stuck, frustrated, and unable to move.2 Let us review the story first, before considering the lessons that the Jainas draw from it: A man in a huge forest was threatened by a wild elephant. He fled towards a fig tree but was unable to quickly climb it. He therefore sprang into an old,

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abandoned well that was nearby and which was overgrown with grass. He managed to catch a bunch of bamboo grass which grew out from the side of the well, just in time to save himself from the elephant which was trying to grab him with its trunk. The elephant could touch him but was unable to get a firm hold of him. As he looked around in great panic he saw at the bottom of the well a large snake that threatened to swallow him and four other smaller snakes which hissed at him with their puffed up hoods. In great fear he held fast onto the bamboo bunch hoping not to fall down into the bottom of the well. As he looked up wondering what to do, he was shocked to see a white and a dark mouse gnawing at the roots of the bamboo bunch and that the enraged elephant was pounding at the fig tree with all its might. Shaken violently by these powerful blows of the elephant, hundreds of bees in a branch of the tree became alarmed and threatened to sting the man. Tormented and tortured like this from all sides the poor man noticed that a drop of honey fell from the tree, landed on his forehead, dripped down his nose and flowed into his mouth. He sucked the drop of honey greedily, tasted its sweetness with great delight, forgetting completely the calamity and disaster in which he was!3 Symbolism saturates the story. We learn from these sources that the elephant that threatens the man stands for death, the tree for life, and the water-​well for the human condition. The large snake stands for hell, the four other smaller snakes are the four passions or kaṣāyas (anger or krodha, pride or māna, deceit or māyā, and greed or lobha), and the white and dark mice are the bright and dark phases of the moon. The bees are the diseases that human beings have and, finally, the drop of honey represents the passing sweetness and happiness that the world has to offer. Just like this man in the well, each jīva forgets the terrible situation in which it is because of the transient joys the world has to offer. When, however, it realizes the disaster and calamity of the situation then the jīva strives to come out, that is, it strives for liberation from suffering (my English translation based on the German by Glasenapp 1984: 189–​190). What is centrally important to the story is the role of the man’s own action in delivering him into a circumstance where he is apparently stuck. Worldly life as we know it is this scenario of being stuck, and this stasis is nothing other than action that is contrary to freedom of our constitution. In light of the story of the man in the well it is perhaps better understandable why Umāsvāti’s Tattvārtha-​ sūtra (TS) 7, 12/​7 recommends disinterest in worldly life: “The observer of vows [mentioned below] should reflect upon the nature of the world outside and inside his own body in order to quicken [the] fear of, and disinterest in, worldly life.”4 Disinterest with the world is disinterest with the status quo, constituted by our self-​frustrating action. In Jainism it is the jīva that is in this unhappy situation of becoming involved in actions through thoughts, words, and deeds, and the point of the story is to recall the “calamity and disaster” of the jīva’s plight in the world and, by implication, the need for a disciplined life to avoid them. The jīva is the intrinsic nature of persons

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and is the basic source of all action; without the jīva, we cannot speak of a living being, but a corpse.

3.  JAINA METAETHICS: VIRTUE AS INTRINSIC PERSONAL REALITY It would have been better had the person not responded to the threat of the elephant—​another jīva. One could imagine many responses to such a perceived threat that involved taking the appropriate precaution and shelter and none of which involved acting precipitously to bring about a state of self-​imprisonment. The more prudent responses would involve controlling action to lean on the importance of nonaction: the intrinsic responsibility of the self. Superficially, the importance of nonaction seems to conflict with the apparent pressure to act in all circumstances. Here, Jain ethics provides us with deontic guides that accommodate our center of responsibility as virtue. Against this background of all-​inclusive action—​in thought, word, and deed—​the idea of VIRTUE becomes crucial as the factor that enables all our actions. In Jainism this virtue is said to be intrinsic to the jīva, the “substance” and defining characteristic of embodied beings and something, as just said, which allows us to speak of a living being in contrast to the lifeless corpse, which remains after death. Indeed the term jīva in Jainism is one of the two basic ontological substances that make up reality as such, the other being the non-​jīva (ajīva), which is a generic name for the five substances that constitute it. Virtue or strength (vīrya) is not the only feature that is intrinsic to the jīva and for our purposes here it can be noted that: “A jīva is said to have three main qualities (guṇa) or functional aspects: consciousness (caitanya), bliss (sukha), and virtue (vīrya)’ (Jaini 1998: 104; see also 102–​106 for the other innate qualities). The implications of the jīva innately possessing virtue are far reaching when it comes to embodied conduct insofar as this virtue is expected to operate without any hindrance, namely, in accordance with the intrinsic nature of the jīva itself to act “naturally.” When this virtue is hindered, limited, or trammeled then action is correspondingly influenced and the aim of ethics would be not only to guide and control our actions, but also to remove the hindrance, which in the final analysis means the obliteration of karma as its root cause.5 Recall that on the Jain Virtue Theoretic account, the self is the center of virtue, but it is also not an action. It is rather what disposes us to appropriate action. Action, or karma, on its own, apart from our center of responsibility, is an impediment to our freedom to act responsibly. It is depicted in Jain philosophy as fine, invisible material particles that adhere to the jīva and thereby limit the jīva’s intrinsic faculties of proper faith, proper knowledge, and proper conduct. Indeed, Indian schools face the problem of explaining when and how karma began. There are two ways to understand the question. One is cosmological and agent neutral, the other ethical and agent relative. The euphemistic answer given

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by the Jainas is that the role of karma has been active since “beginning-​less time” (anādi) and to ask about when it all started would lead to an infinite regress, similar to asking about whether the seed or the plant came first. This is the agent-​ neutral, cosmological response. Ethically, the Jain view that karma is matter that really obstructs the functions of the jīva provides an agent-​relative response: in the cases that karma is an impediment to the virtue of the self, it prevents the free flow and function of the disposition of virtue. When we are responsible, we are free, and action does not constitute an impediment that we must cleanse and contend with. To understand oneself in terms of what one has done is an impediment to one’s potential as an intrinsically virtuous being. The overlap of the agent-​relative and agent-​neutral answer to the origins of karma arise because of our inclusion in a realistic universe. The Jain method of resolving this tension is to depict the cosmological aspect of action from the agent-​relative, first-​personal perspective as an influx into the pristine virtue of the self. The entire theoretical background against which the story of the jīva begins is contained in Jaina metaphysics, on which Jaina ethics rests in theory and practice. We already noted that the jīva and the non-​jīva (ajīva) are the two ontological categories in Jainism and that they are the only protagonists for the (inter)play between them. Jaina metaphysics begins with these two substances, relating them together as the only aspects that make up the story of the jīva in the world. Their association together is couched in what is called the Seven Basic Truths in Jainism: jīva, ajīva, āsrava, bandha, saṃvara, nirjarā, and mokṣa, namely: jīva, non-​jīva, inflow or influx, the consequential bondage that is caused by this inflow, stoppage of influx, elimination of what had already flowed in, leading to a liberation from its influence.6 Each of these are worth exploring before reviewing the significance of an ascetic code of conduct unique to Jaina ethics. The first two categories are the jīva and the non-​ jīva (constituted of five categories). They are eternal and indestructible, have always existed, and will always exist naturally, without requiring any additional categories, like the notion of a creator god, for example, to account for their existence or creation. It is through the influence of the non-​jīva categories that the jīva’s innate nature becomes affected, negatively. Intrinsically and by nature, however, the individual jīva, the sentience of a living being, possesses proper belief (samyag-​darśana), proper knowledge (samyag-​ jñāna), and proper conduct (samyak-​cāritra)—​which will be the main focus here as it concerns ethics—​and it has unlimited bliss (sukha) and power (vīrya), as already mentioned. However, these innate characteristics of the jīva can manifest themselves properly only without any foreign influence on it, or when it is removed if present. The optimism that the jīva will achieve independence is an optimism shared with other Indian philosophers. Moreover, for the Jainas the conditions of the possibility of such liberation has been mapped out by the lives of Jinas like Mahāvīra and the 23 other Jinas of our epoch, and is said to be achievable by anyone who follows their examples.7 The reason why the intrinsic nature of the jīva cannot manifest itself fully in us ordinary embodied beings is that a foreign element partly or completely obstructs

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it. This is ajīva, the non-​jīva, the non-​sentient category, made up of five categories, namely, material atoms, element-​clusters, or simply matter (pudgala) that exists in space and time and that can move or be static, namely, pudgala, ākāśa (space), kāla (time), dharma (ethical movement), and adharma (inertia).8 Matter or pudgala is given a special function here; it is something that, as fine, invisible atoms or clusters of the elements, can become attached to the jīva and, thereby, significantly alters the manifestation of its innate abilities, namely, negatively. This means that matter is responsible for the fact that the jīva’s nature becomes altered and that it can manifest its abilities only in a restricted way. The association between the jīva and the non-​jīva (i.e., matter as such) is technically referred to as “yoga,” which in turn is regarded as “activity” (karma, as will be seen further below in the context of action).9 It is an old view that dharma and adharma, the principles of motion and rest, seem to be particularly Jaina technical concepts and connote the mediums through which movement and rest can occur—​dharma in the sense of “law” and “righteousness” is found in other contexts (cf. Jaini 1979: 97–​102). Yet given that the ethical problem on the Jain account is characterized by inertia brought about by an excess of karma that inhibits the jīva’s innate virtue, these uses of “dharma” and “adharma” to describe movement express the moral theory of the Jains. Specifically, they specify what Jains take to be the extension of the concept MORALITY. The extension of ethics is free movement, and the extension of immorality is the karmic corpuscularity that inhibits virtue. Motion is a way to cash out the dispositionality of virtue, which moves us, as something distinct from action, especially when we act in accordance with virtue. Adharma, or immorality, is the stasis and lack of progress that comes from treating our actions as the center of our responsibility. When pudgala or the fine, invisible matter-​element of ajīva flows into the jīva, through actions in thoughts, words, and deeds, it becomes attached to the jīva. Jainism says that this matter turns into our action (karma) and is responsible for consequences, such as good or bad outcomes, joy or pain, happiness or unhappiness. Karma manifests itself through its effects in various ways, just as medicine is responsible for significant changes in the body, even over longer periods. In a picturesque way, Jaina teachers say that matter (pudgala), namely, karma, is like dust particles that accumulate on a surface smeared with oil. The influence of these karma-​particles on the jīva is that its knowledge is veiled, its virtue restricted or reduced, negative impulses arise in it, and many qualities that are foreign to it become attached to it. Hence, the jīva has to be cleansed of limitations and Jaina ethics can then be described as the “Jaina path of purification,” to use the title of Jaini’s (1979) book. The obvious question is: how does the jīva come in contact with matter in the first place? How does matter enter the jīva? Jainism gives a mechanical and ethical answer for this, as already hinted at above: the actions of the jīva through thought, word, and deed attract fine, invisible material particles that comprise action and this is the third basic truth mentioned above, the influx or inflow (āsrava) of these particles.10 The jīva thereby becomes restricted, bound, and disturbed by this foreign element and this bondage (bandha) is the fourth

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truth. The fifth truth expresses the condition of the possibility of (immediately) stopping (saṃvara) the influx of fine material particles into the jīva, and this truth is associated with the sixth of eliminating (nirjarā) the karma particles that have already been accumulated by the jīva. The seventh truth, then, is that of a complete liberation (mokṣa) on the part of the jīva from any hindrance in the manifestation of its innate abilities. The key to the significance of Jaina ethics against the background of the ontology and metaphysics briefly dealt with above, is the acknowledgment of the truth that we are bound beings and that this bondage restricts, limits, and hinders our knowledge of reality, including that of our intrinsic nature, and seriously affects our conduct. Bondage is highlighted especially to show that it is possible to overcome it, to become liberated through the stoppage and elimination of the factor of hindrance, namely, of the fine matter that adheres to the jīva. A cleansing and purification of the jīva is called for, namely, a removal of matter that has become associated with it. This makes right conduct possible. So much of this can seem very mysterious. What we have in this discussion of Jain metaethics is a depiction of various elements of reality, which are not personal (ajīva) as something that becomes personal by its contact with the center of moral responsibility—​the jīva. How do the various elements of our life, our body and mind, become ours? They become our action, which is to say what we are responsible for, via their proximity to our center of responsibility. But this mass that we are responsible for is not the same as our center of responsibility, which grants a derivative, personal significance to the impersonal things of life. Failing to distinguish between the two results in moral confusion. Properly distinguishing between the two allows us to grant priority to a responsibly lived life, which is under this description nonaction.

4.  JAINA NORMATIVE ETHICS: RECOVERING VIRTUE FROM ACTION Jain metaethics sheds light from the concept MORALITY: on its account, morality or dharma is the dynamism of a life lived from virtue. Jain normative ethics elucidates and justifies this concept, especially from a practical perspective. Jain normative ethics provides the following considerations to identify morality. What is in conformity with virtue—​the intrinsic feature of the jīva—​is morality. This allows us to identify some actions as duties, and not mere actions. These would include the Great Vows (Mahāvratas), ascribed to Mahāvīra, which are abstinence from harm, truthfulness, abstinence from theft, sexual restraint, and unacquisitiveness. How these great vows are to play out in life will depend, in part, on one’s concrete commitments and relations. Sexual restraint in the case of the celibate monk is a different phenomenon from sexual restraint in a householder in a committed relationship. The commonality in both cases is that this vow is action brought into conformity with virtue. But the differences in concrete relations with

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other intrinsically virtuous agents entail that the vow has to be deployed differentially. The duties so understood are context sensitive. So while historically it seems that many of these rules were originally developed around the lives of the Ford makers, they are also adaptable to the lives of nonascetics. Monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen constitute the Jaina community, with a clear demarcation of the rules for both the ascetic and the laity. For our purposes it might be best to begin with the Great Vows for the ascetics and then to deal with the so-​called lesser vows (aṇu-​vratas) that are drawn from them for the laity, based once again on Umāsvāti’s Tattvārtha-​sūtra (henceforth TS; see also note 10). The direct link between ethics and metaphysics is the first-​person resolution of the agent neutrality of karma. This is evident through the word āsrava, the influx or inflow of fine matter, which then becomes karma, seen above under Jaina metaphysics as the third of the seven basic truths. We saw that the association between the jīva and the non-​jīva categories is technically referred to as “yoga,” a term that now brings us to our actions as embodied beings, from which is developed the idea of “meritorious” and “unmeritorious” action. According to TS 6, 1–​2, yoga is defined as a threefold activity or karma, namely, of the body, of speech, and of the mind, which altogether are āsrava, leading, namely, to an inflow or influx of matter (which then turns into fine karma particles).11 Here the words “karma,” “yoga,” and “āsrava” are used by and large synonymously in the sense of action and/​or activity, with āsrava also retaining its specific meaning of influx or inflow. We unavoidably indulge in activities of the body, speech, and mind. However, when we are made aware of the fact that these can be either meritorious or unmeritorious, then we enter into the gamut of the basic issues of ethics when it comes to the question of what actions can be “ethically or morally” accepted. Is there “moral” action, action that is meritorious? Since merit and demerit have now become key issues, let us see what an early commentary to TS 6, 1 says about the kinds of body, speech, and mind activities to help us proceed: Action performed with the body, action consisting in words and action performed in the mind, this is the threefold yoga. Each is twofold: meritorious and unmeritorious. Here unmeritorious [action] performed with the body are violence, stealing, unchaste [conduct], etc.; [unmeritorious action] consisting in words are [what is] objectionable, not true, harsh, malignant, etc.; [unmeritorious] action performed in the mind are a desire for [something], the ruin [of someone], envy [at another’s success], displeasure (asūyā) [especially at the merits or the happiness of another, as also in envy and jealousy], etc. The opposite of [each of] this is meritorious [action].12 Since all impersonal matters require virtue to turn them into action (what the individual is responsible for) and since this virtue, as we saw, is inherent to the jīva, then it means that the jīva is the source of all animated activity, for both meritorious and unmeritorious ones. Obviously, unmeritorious behavior implies the influence of passions (see the four passions mentioned in the story of the man in the well

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above: anger or krodha, pride or māna, deceit or māyā, and greed or lobha). Depending on whether the jīva is influenced by these passions or not, the effect of the influx caused through action is accordingly restrictive or not (see TS 6, 4/​5 quoted below). If the manifestation or implementation of the jīvas’s innate virtue is a natural and inherent function of the jīva, in other words, if the activity through the body, speech, and mind—​which require the use of this virtue—​is “natural” embodied action, then the question is whether embodied beings are in a position to “control” the manifestation and implementation of this natural, inherent virtue. This is where Jainism calls upon embodied beings to channel their innate virtue in such a way that it leads rather to meritorious than unmeritorious effects.13 In other words, in dealing with Jaina yoga we are concerned with Jaina ethics, exemplified by Jaina virtues and norms of proper conduct or behavior (samyak-​cāritra). With regard to the point just made about the influence of passions in actions, TS 6, 4/​5 says: “There are two kinds of influx, namely that of persons with passions, which extends transmigration (sāmparāyika), and that of persons free from passions, which prevents or shortens it.”14 The two types of persons are, in fact, embodied beings who largely act with passions (sakaṣāya) and those who act without passions (akaṣāya), like the Jinas (Conquerors) and the Siddhas (Perfected Ones) of the Jaina tradition. We will pay attention here only to the former for whom the ethical code primarily applies. According to the karma theory in Jainism, as we have already seen, every embodied activity (of the body, speech, and mind), without exception, leads to an influx of karma. The more the amount of karma is accumulated by such activity, the more is the jīva under its pressure and influence. That is, the inherent power of the jīva to manifest its natural and inherent functions is restricted to the extent of the amount of karma “covering” it and thereby limiting, restricting, and veiling it, negatively.15 The point is that embodied beings cannot avoid the influx (āsrava) of karma, but that this influx can be “regulated” in terms of the “intensity” of the action, if one can learn how to control the attitude behind an act.16 TS 6, 6/​7 hints at this point: “Influx is differentiated on the basis of intensity or feebleness of thought-​activity, intentional or unintentional nature of action, the substratum and its peculiar potency.”17 The vows of ascetic and ascetic-​like behavior for the laity are the regulative factors. The word “vow” (vrata) has a special significance in Jainism for both ascetics and laypersons keen on leading an ethical life as the tradition sees it. It is especially the first of the five so-​called Great Vows, nonviolence, that has become the hallmark of Jainism as a whole and, in particular, as the guiding principle of basic Jaina ethics. If there is any single teaching that forms the fundament of the teaching of all Jinas, including Mahāvīra, then this would be the uncompromisable rule of nonviolence. These five vows are the ascetic vows that the laypersons should try to emulate as far as is possible, in addition to their own special vows. The way in which the text mentions these five vows is interesting: the five together make up a single vow (of virtuous activity). TS 7, 1 says: “The vow is abstinence from: violence, lying, stealing, promiscuity and attachment.”18 As we proceed with further aspects of

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this fivefold ascetic vow, for example, with reference to the vows being partial or complete and the observances related to them, it will be seen that with the allowed conjugal relationship, the laity can easily follow them if it desires to imitate the ascetic vows in a way suitable to the lay context. This is what TS 7. 2 says: “Partially (observed, the fivefold vow is) small, completely (observed it is) great.”19 In his commentary to TS 7, 2 explaining the import of the rule, Pūjyapāda says that each of the five vows can be observed partially or completely. The laity can observe the vow of chastity to a lesser degree and therefore the laity observe the so-​called lesser or smaller vows (aṇu-​vrata), as will be seen below in detail. More significantly, for the efficacy of the vows, Pūjyapāda adds: “The practice of these vows with vigilance dispels suffering, just as an excellent specific medicine removes a disease.”20 Whereas in general these five vows may be understandable as simply striving to be nonviolent, to speak the truth, etc., each is elaborated further as an aid to show the scope within which each applies. Each of these five has five meditations (bhāvanā), understood as observances, to help the adept in practicing each of the Great Vows, thereby furnishing 25 correlated vows in all. They may be seen as the basic code of conduct for all Jainas, with the one major exception for householders allowing conjugal relationships. These are as follows:21 1. The vow of nonviolence can be strengthened by controlling one’s speech, one’s thought, regulating one’s movement, carefully taking and placing objects so as not to injure small insects, etc., and examining the food one eats. 2. The vow of not-​lying or truthfulness requires giving up anger, greed, cowardice, or fearfulness, jest, and using words that are not harmful. 3. The text for the vow of abstaining from stealing applies specifically to the ascetics: residing in solitary or deserted places, not hindering anyone else, accepting clean food, and not quarrelling with fellow ascetics. 4. The aids to observing the vow of chastity specifically for monks and nuns involves not listening to stories that lead to lust, not looking at beautiful bodies, not recalling previous sexual pleasure, not eating desire stimulating delicacies, and not adorning the body. 5. Steadiness in observing the vow of nonattachment can be obtained by giving up both an attachment to agreeable objects and an aversion to disagreeable objects with regard to each of the five sense organs. TS 7, 20/​15 is the source of the point that the observer of the lesser vows (aṇu-​ vrata) is the householder, namely, female and male lay followers. With the exception of conjugal relationships, the laity observes the ascetic vows to a lesser extent, according to their abilities and occupation. They can also observe supplementary vows, for example, fasting, which would underpin the vow of nonattachment. In this way, the supplementary vows “enhance” or “enrich” the impact of the five vows, as the text says, by refraining from movement beyond a limited area, restricting movement to an even more limited area, refraining from wanton destruction of the environment

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by thought, word or deed, keeping aloof from sinful conduct for a period of time, fasting on sacred days, observing special restrictions at secluded places, limiting the use of consumable and non-​consumable goods, offering alms to wandering ascetics. (TS 7, 21/​16).22 Note the restriction of action in the first two vows here and the care for the environment (which we shall see further below). An ethical rule unique to Jainism, which applies to ascetics as well, is given under those for householders and immediately follows the above rules. TS 7, 22/​ 17 says: “[And] Sallekhanā is courted at the approach of death [i.e., expected to approach sooner or later]” (māraṇāntikīṃ sallekhanā joṣitā).23 The word sallekhanā as a feminine word is specifically Jaina and its meaning is connected with the neuter form of the word that, among other things, literally means “scratching or scraping” and, in the Jaina context, with meanings associated with making thin, attenuating, or reducing corpulence (of the passions).24 It is the reduction of karma as the practice involves abandoning action. Sallekhanā is fasting in preparation of the expected death and is an ascetic-​like exercise for the layperson to accelerate the death process. In his commentary to TS 7, 22/​17 Pūjyapāda precisely gives the Jaina view of this unique vow. He says: “Sallekhanā is making the physical body and the internal passions emaciated by abandoning their sources gradually [through fasting] at the approach of death. The householder observers sallekhanā at the end of his life” (Pūjyapāda 1992: 205). Accepting the corrigibility of embodied action, ordinary embodied beings are called upon to struggle and to do everything in their power to implement the vows as best as they can. In view of the difficulty entailed, the possibility of transgressions of right belief as the Jainas see it (like the desire for worldly enjoyment, TS 7, 23/​ 18) is also noted with atonements (like confession and repentance, TS 9, 22) for the transgressions.25 These transgressions and atonements would also fall under the rubric of Jaina ethics. However, they relate to the specific rules of conduct with which we are mainly concerned here and hence are simply alluded to without going into any details. Chapter nine of the TS is specifically concerned with the stoppage and shedding of karma and hence related to the point here. TS 9, 2 says that stoppage of the influx of karma is possible through “control, carefulness, virtue, contemplation, conquest by endurance and conduct,” and shedding them off through penance (TS 9, 3). If one would like to reduce all these rules to a single one, then, in keeping with the main teachings of all the Jinas, this would be abstinence from violence, ahiṃsā, as already hinted at earlier. Ahiṃsā, in turn, is the basic value and duty, as it is what action looks like when it mimics the nonaction of the self. As the self is not action, action that is brought in line with the self would be benign, just as the jīva is benign. Non-​harm is the master duty, for it is the form of action brought in line with the intrinsic virtue of the self as benign. The ramifications of the attempt to live a violent-​free life are vast, and since early times canonical texts evince various aspects of nonviolent actions that have been an important theme in Jaina literature.

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We have seen that all kinds of actions we perform in thought, word, and deed influence our jīva. In the Jaina canon 13 kinds of acts are described, of which 12 are violent and, in fact, should be avoided. It is also emphasized that these violent acts should not only not be instigated or supported, but also not approved of. These ideas are drawn from Mahāvīra’s teachings in the fifth century BCE and canonized at the latest by the fifth century CE. Let us merely mention these 13 kinds of action here, without details, in order to show how comprehensive the Jaina view of violence is and how these ideas occupied the Jainas from very early times. Twelve of these are violent and only the last is the recommended action:26 1. Purposeful violent deed (for his own benefit someone causes violence on his relatives, friends, etc.); 2. purposeless violent deed like cruel killing of animals and meaningless destruction; 3. militant violent deed as in protecting oneself or others with a weapon; 4. accidental violent deed as in accidentally killing something while doing another specific task: collateral effects; 5. violent deed through an optical illusion as in harming by falsely assuming that someone has ill intents; 6. a violent act that occurs in untrue speech; 7. in un-​allowed acquisition; 8. in a [bad] mood as when depressed; 9. violent deed in pride; 10. in doing wrong to friends like punishing someone severely for a small error; 11. violence in deception; 12. in greed; and finally 13. the recommended deed in following prescribed action, e.g. for the welfare of his jīva by being careful in speech, thinking, walking, standing and eating. For Jains, the moral import of these observations continues today as our moral predicament has not changed. We are centers of virtues in a public world, and we have to find a way to traverse the world by virtue of virtue. This is nonviolent. The justification for nonviolence follows from our reality as dispositions and not activities that can harm. The more virtuous our encounter with the world, the less we are confused with our surroundings, and the less the public aspect of the world characterizes us. This is the outflow of karma. The less virtuous the more the public character of the world characterizes us, the more we are defined by the status quo. This is the influx of karma from the perspective of the agent. A commonly used parable is that of six travelers and the mango tree. It relates the rule of nonviolence to the satisfaction of embodied needs and describes how various types of people satisfy their desires in various ways and depicts the six types of jīvas and their colors (leśyā) according to Jainism. One of the purposes of this story is to call upon us to weigh our words and thoughts for the amount of violence in them, to become aware of them, and thereby to strive not to commit violence. The story about the six travelers and mango tree simply teaches this:27 Six travelers were walking together through a forest. After some hours they began to feel hungry and so looked around for a fruit tree. After some time they came across a mango tree and the following suggestions were made by each of the travelers: 1. One traveler who had an axe with him suggested chopping down the whole tree in order to get at the delicious ripe mangoes. 2. The second traveler held him back and suggested chopping only the main branch for the mangoes.

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3. The third said that even this was not necessary, “why don’t we chop just one branch which has enough fruits.” 4. The fourth traveler had an even better idea and said: not even this would be necessary, “why don’t we just break a small branch with mangoes that we can reach?” 5. The fifth traveler said yes, it is a good idea but we should be very careful. “We should make sure that we take only the ripe mangoes and leave the green ones on the tree.” 6. Finally, the sixth traveler said: “I have a better idea: look here, below the tree. There are sufficient ripe mangoes for all of us. Why don’t we take them without having to harm the tree in any way?” This is a typical Jaina story that illustrates how nonviolence can be implemented together with how we can conduct ourselves in our environment carefully and protectively. If we recall the primacy of the rule of nonviolence then we can see how it applies not only in this individual case to satisfy our needs, but also in a broad context of the care that needs to be exercised with regard to our environment.28 This consideration, that intrinsic virtue is preferable to the action that constitutes our embodied state, is summarized in the value of kāyotsarga, literally “the abandonment of the body (for various periods of time).” It is a penance and also serves as an atonement (prāyaścitta).29 In the light of the influx of action caused by agitation (characteristic of cruelty), the abandonment of body for whatever period of time clearly reduces the influx of matter into the jīva. Bahubali is famous in Jainism for having taken up this upright, equipoise position for such a long time that plants began to grow on his feet, and his famous statue in Sravana Belgola in Karnataka, shows him standing there permanently. Bahubali’s austere penance serves as an example for the significance of the point emphasized here, namely, that bodily abandonment as a penance implies also a corresponding abandonment in thought and word. The abandonment of body required of a pious Jaina with regard to actions in thought, word, and deed through nonviolence as the regulatory principle can be said to be carried to its limits in kāyotsarga. This exercise highlights a constant awareness of the need to be careful of all our actions. Lest we forget, abandoning the body is important because the center of responsibility is the self, and our embodiment is our actions not our virtue, which is falsely identified as the center of our agency. To free our intrinsic virtue is apparently to abandon that which introduces stasis.

5.  THE RELEVANCE OF VIRTUE One might argue that Jain ethics is really from and for another time: Larger questions facing modern society, such as national defense, weaponry of mass destruction, limiting populations of wild animals and insect pests, the use of toxic chemicals, the morality of capital punishment, the use of animals in medical research, and other social concerns that perforce entail violence, were beyond the pale of Jaina thought. (Jaini 2000: 5) Certainly, the challenges of a balanced life today appear to involve the implementation of violence as a means to maintain order. But if we are our intrinsic virtue as living

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beings, then changes in the contexts we find ourselves in are not counterexamples to our strength, but more of the same. In the face of the violence we find today, Jain philosophers respond with the following: I renounce every kind of harm to a life form, be it fine or gross, animal or plant, by neither wanting to inflict harm on it personally nor to approve of it that in my interest a life form be harmed by others, nor allow another person to harm a life form, as long as I live, in a threefold way, with my internal sense, my speech and my body. The challenge of morality on the Jain account is to approach problems as a function of past choices that do not characterize our potential as set out by virtue. Seeing our potential clearly makes room for change: dharma. But this seeing clearly is a matter of attention to all details of our life: The ascetic then asks himself if he has neglected the five “attentions” (samiti) and thereby whether he could have harmed this rule. The first attention is about walking. The monk should walk looking down at the ground, sweeping aside [gently] the small life forms he could step on, with a small broom he carries with him. The second attention concerns speech. The monk should ask himself whether he could have harmed a life form through a rashly spoken word. Thirdly, has he overlooked anything while collecting alms? Fourthly, has he overlooked anything while taking and putting down his utensils? Fifthly, while removing filth?30 The critic will, no doubt, respond that this extreme nonviolence is ineffectual as a response to practical challenges today. For Jain ethics to be able to respond, it has to show that there is a continued role for nonaction in the resolution of ethical challenges. Many times the problems that we are faced with are framed in terms of a need for a response and this response takes the form of an action. But we could just as easily, and more insightfully, acknowledge that the moral challenge is actually a function of our past actions, which are now coming to haunt us. If we understand our moral challenges historically, then the appropriate response would be to simply stop contributing to the problem. The environment is only polluted and in crisis so long as we pollute it. The ecosystem is off balance only because of our disproportionate intervention and activity. States are at war and in conflict only so long as we fight and conflict with others. The idea that we require further actions to solve our conflicts fails to address the cause of our challenges. If the cause is action, then the virtue of nonaction is the obvious solution.

6. CONCLUSION Jain ethics is committed to explaining our moral challenges in terms of failed policies, and the solution as the abandonment of such policies. This is because morality is conformity to virtue, and virtue is in essence nonaction. Solving problems is hence a matter of acting in accordance with virtue. This is free movement. This is dharma.

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Morality hence plays a decisive role in our freedom, because our freedom is a state where action is not an impediment. The essential form of all duty—​action in accordance with virtue—​is ahiṃsā, or nonviolence. All action that conforms to virtue exemplifies virtue. Virtue is itself benign, and hence action in accordance with virtue is benign too. Jain dharma, as a quintessential form of Virtue Ethics, accomplishes what many forms of Virtue Ethics do not. Many stipulate the importance of the virtues, but require some extra consideration to generate moral content. It is not sufficient to be told that the virtues are primary. The question that arises next is: what are the virtues, what counts as a virtue? In the context of Jain ethical theory, this question is circumvented, via the distinction between action and virtue. Virtue is nonaction, and dutiful action is action that emulates nonaction: ahiṃsā, or nonviolence. Let us conclude finally with Mahāvīra’s words pleading for nonviolence in an ethical and practical way. It is recorded in the Jaina canon that Mahāvīra proclaimed the following golden rule: Exactly as it is not nice to me if with a stick, a bone, fist, clod of earth or potsherd I am wounded, struck, threatened, beaten hurt, hit hard or killed—​yes, even if just a hair of mine is pulled out, I feel vividly the injury which causes me suffering and fear of it—​so too, know this, that all higher beings, all plants, all lower animals, all other living beings if wounded or killed with a stick, bone, etc., indeed even if just a hair of theirs is pulled out, [they] feel vividly the injury which causes them suffering and fear of it. If one has recognized this, then it is certain that no higher being, no plant, no lower animal, no other living being may be beaten, commanded, subdued, strained or killed . . . This is the pure, constant, Dharma proclaimed by those who know.31

NOTES 1. For a collection of some stories from the Jaina treasure house of narratives, see Granoff (1990), Mette (1991), and Granoff (1998). 2. The story appears in the Vasudevahiṇḍi by the fifth-​century Jaina author Saṅghadāsa. See Mette (2010: 319–​323) and the reference to this story as now belonging to “world literature” (2010: 319). See also the second-​century ­illustration 13 in the unpaginated section (2010: 240) and Mette’s explanation to it (2010: 402). 3. My English translation based on the German by Glasenapp (1984: 189–​190). 4. Tattvārtha-​sūtra (TS) 7. 12/​7, Tatia’s translation in Umāsvāti (1994: 172). The text is: jagat-​kāya-​svabhāvau vā saṃvega-​vairāgyatam. References to the TS like 7, 12/​ 7 refer respectively to the Digambara/​Śvetāmbara versions of the TS wherever applicable. In his translation Tatia gives the Śvetāmbara version first. See also note 10. 5. It will be seen that ethics is but one-​third of what constitutes the “path to liberation” from the influence of karma, the other two parts being faith and

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knowledge as stated in TS 1, 1, namely, each one in its “proper or right” (samyak or samyag) sense, samyag-​darśana, samyag-​jñāna, and what concerns us here especially, samyak-​cāritra. 6. Tattvārtha-​sūtra (TS) 1, 4. The actual text runs: jīvājīvāsrava-​bandha-​saṃvara-​ nirjarā-​mokṣās tattvam. The TS by Umāsvāti, also called Umāsvāmī, who lived certainly before the fifth century, is the first work written in Sanskrit in the form of sūtra works, which constitute the basic texts of the philosophical schools in India, like the Nyāya Sūtra and the Vedānta Sūtra. The TS is recognized by both the Digambaras and Śvetāmbaras as the authoritative basics of Jaina philosophy. There is an ongoing debate about who wrote the first commentary to it, whether it was Umāsvāti himself as the Śvetāmbaras say (the Svopajñyabhāṣya or simply Bhāṣya) or Pūjyapāda as the Digambaras say (with his commentary called the Sarvārthasiddhi). See the study by Ōhira (1982) on this and the question of authorship and date. Kundakunda, whose dates vary between the second and eighth centuries CE is another well-​respected exponent of Jaina philosophy. To quote him here as well is not necessary since the philosophical points are essentially the same. See especially his four masterpieces, all bearing the same suffix “Essence” (sāra) mentioned in the references under Kundakunda (Samayasāra or the Essence of the Doctrine, Niyamasāra or the Essence of Rules, Pañcāstikāyasāra or the Essence of the Five Entities, and Pravacanasāra or the Essence of Scripture). 7. According to Jainism, 24 Jinas, literally “conquerors,” are born in the world in each time cycle, who conquer the human passions, obtain enlightenment, and “teach the true doctrine of non-​violence and subsequently obtain the freedom from rebirth which constitutes spiritual deliverance” (Dundas 1992: 3). In our era Mahāvīra, a contemporary of Buddha, was the last Jina. See also Jaini (1998: 3–​ 15). The word “Jaina” itself is derived from “Jina,” and means one who follows the teachings of the Jinas. 8. The last four categories have a special status. In addition to the twofold ontological jīva/​non-​jīva (jīva and ajīva) structure mentioned in the seven basic truths, a third category is formed by these four because they are neither sentient (as only the jīvas are) nor matter (pudgala) and therefore have a unique status. Among these again time has a special status as an “independent category.” 9. It is in this context that Jainism mentions six types or classes of jīvas, depending on how matter affects them. We shall come across these six types in the story about the six travelers and the mango tree narrated later. 10. The actions of the jīva through thought, word, and deed, attract fine, invisible material particles that then become karma (karman). Just as after eating food the essences are transformed into blood and the other body fluids, so too the matter that is attached to the jīva becomes transformed into the 8 main kinds of karma and its 148 subdivisions. And just as different kinds of medicine manifest their effects at different times, so too karma exercises its effect at different times. The Jainas do not doubt that the jīva can become free of the influence of karma. Like the Buddhists and the Hindus, the Jainas also accept the condition of the

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possibility of liberation, and one of the main teachings of the Jinas is to show the way in which to achieve this. This truth about the possibility of liberation is the seventh basic truth. 11. The exact wording of the two is: kāya-​vāṅ-​manaḥ-​karma yogaḥ (TS 6, 1) and sa [yogaḥ] āsravaḥ (TS 6, 2). 12. The actual text of Umāsvāti’s commentary called the Svopajñabhāṣya on TS 6, 1 is: kāyikaṃ karma vācikaṃ karma mānasaṃ karma ity eṣa trividho yogo bhavati | sa ekaśo dvividhaḥ | śubhaś cāśubhahaś ca | tatrāśubho hiṃsāsteyābrahmādīni kāyikaḥ, sāvadyānṛta-​paruṣa-​piśunādīni vācikaḥ, abhidhyāvyāpāderṣyāsūyādīni mānasaḥ | ato viparītaḥ śubha iti | 13. It is to be remembered that both meritorious and unmeritorious actions are, in fact, limiting factors because of the karma they cause, albeit for human conduct the former is more “beneficial.” The aim, of course, is through the support of meritorious actions to lead finally to absolute dispassion (vairāgya) by following “the Jaina path of purification” of all karmas. In the final analysis, as we shall see, it is equanimity that plays a crucial role. 14. TS 6, 4/​5: sakaṣāyākaṣāyayoḥ sāmparāyikeryāpathayoḥ. Literally this means: [activity, yoga] with passions are favorable for future existences and those without passions would be proper religious behavior (īryāpatha) in terms of Jaina virtues. On passion or kaṣāya see, for example, Jaini (1998: 118–​120 and various places), for the types of passions, and Wiley (2000). 15. The impression should not be given that the jīva is in any way “weaker” than ajīva. Both jīva and ajīva are substances (dravya) and in terms of Jaina ontology have an equal status. The point about the purification of all karmas is to realize the need to “return” to the “natural“state of the jīva, where its existence is innately without any attachment to anything non-​jīva (ajīva). How the elements of the non-​jīva “originally” got attached to jīva is a question we have to leave as an unanswered or unanswerable problem. 16. Jaini (1998: 113): “The precise amount (pradeśa) of karma that engulfs the jīva after a given activity is said to depend upon the degree of volition with which that activity was carried out” (emphasis in the original). In the footnote to this, Jaini quotes TS 6, 6/​7, which is being discussed here. 17. This is Jain’s translation of TS 6, 6/​7 in Pūjyapāda (1992). The text itself runs: tīvra-​manda-​jñātājñāta-​bhāvādhikaraṇa-​vīrya-​viśeṣebhyas tadviśeṣaḥ. The word vīrya is omitted in the Śvetāmbara version of the sūtra, although it is mentioned in the commentary to it. 18. TS 7, 1 runs: hiṃsā-​nṛta-​steya-​abrahma-​parigrahebyo viratir vratam. 19. TS 7, 2 reads: deśa-​sarvato ‘ṇu-​mahatī. 20. See also Jain’s translation of TS 7, 2 under Pūjyapāda (1992). 21. These are in TS 7, 4–​8. The list is based on Jain’s translation under Pūjyapāda (1992: 191–​193), which also has the Sanskrit and the commentary to each in English only. Indeed there are specific works on the conduct of the laity, the śrāvakācāras, evident, for example, in Williams (1991). We are concerned here especially with the philosophical background provided by Umāsvāti’s

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Tattvārtha-​sūtra and accepted as authoritative by both Digambaras and Śvetāmbaras (see also note 10). 22. Umāsvāti (1994: 177). The Sanskrit is also given there. For a slightly different translation compare Pūjyapāda (1992: 202). 23. In his commentary Pūjyapāda says that the “and” (ca) at the end of TS 7, 21/​16 is intended to include the next TS 7, 22/​17, and is therefore inserted there in square brackets. 24. The word “sallekhanā” is a compound derived from sat + lekhanā to form sal-​ lekhanā. It is derived from lekhana, m., n., f. lekhanī. The Buddhists use the word as well, but in a different context. The literature on sallekhanā is vast and includes the various types of death based on the thoughts of the person at the moment of dying. See, for example, Oetjens (1976), Settar (1986) and (1990). Soni (2014) briefly discuses cases of permitted suicide, which otherwise is generally eschewed in the Indian tradition. It is to be emphasized that sallekhanā for the Jainas is not a case of suicide. 25. Although these penances apply for the ascetics, laypersons are also included, for which see Williams (1991: especially 42–​43 on remorse and repentance) elaborating the rules to regulate the daily life of a layperson. 26. Schubring (1926: 42–​48/​51–​58), the chapter goes on till p. 65/​76, Sūyagaḍa II, 2. The numbers after the slash refer to the pages in the English translation: Bollée and Soni (2004). 27. This is a free rendering of the story, of which there are many versions slightly varying in detail, for example, Vinayavijaya’s Lokaprakāśa, translated into German in Mette (2010: 58). 28. See Singhvi (2006). See also section II “Challenges to the Possibility of a Jain Environmental Ethic” in Chapple (2006: 63–​156). 29. See Williams (1991: 213–​215). Here he supplies Hemacandra’s etymological meaning: that which in general (prāyas) purifies the mind (citta). Equanimity belongs to the so-​called necessary duties (āvaśyakas) of a pious Jaina, about which there is a vast literature. See, for example, Williams (1991: 184) for the basic list of these duties, Balbir (1993), and Oberlies (1993). See also cf. Qvarnström and Birch (2011: 372). 30. Mette (2010: 212f), my translation from the German: “Ich entsage jeder Schädigung von Lebewesen, sei es fein oder grob, tierisch oder pflanzlich, in dem ich weder in eigener Person Lebewesen schädigen noch zulassen will, daß durch andere in meinem Interesse ein Lebewesen geschädigt wird, noch erlauben will, daß ein anderer ein Lebewesen schädigt, so lange ich lebe, dreifach, auf dreierlei Weise, mit meinem inneren Sinn, meiner Rede und meinem Leib.” Er befragt sich dann selber, ob er eine der fünf (samiti) vernachlässigt und dadurch eine Verletzung dieses Gebots bewirkt haben könnte. Die erste Achtsamkeit betrifft das Gehen. Der Mönch soll mit auf dem Boden gesenktem Blick gehen, indem er mit einem kleinen Besen, den er mit sich führt, kleine Wesen, die er zertreten könnte, zur Seite fegt. Die zweite Achtsamkeit betrifft die Rede: Er muß sich fragen, ob er durch ein unbedacht gesprochenes

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Wort die Verletzung eines Wesens bewirkt haben könnte. Drittens: Hat er bei der Almosensuche etwas übersehen? Viertens: Beim Aufheben und Niedersetzen der Gerätschaften? Fünftens: Beim Beseitigen von Unrat?’ The five samitis or attentions are listed in TS 9, 5. 31. Sūyagaḍa II 1, 48, text adapted from Bollée and Soni (2004: 47).

BIBLIOGRAPHY Balbir, Nalini. 1993. Āvaśyaka-​Studien. Introduction Générale Et Traductions. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag [English summary: pp. 473–​482, see also Oberlies 1993]. Bollée, W., and Jayandra Soni. 2004. Mahāvīra’s Words by Walther Schubring (Translated from the German with Much Added Material). Translated and edited by W. Bollée and Jayandra Soni, Vol. D, Series 139. Ahmedabad: L. D. Institute of Indology. Originally published as Worte Mahāvīras. Kritische Übersetzung aus dem Kanon der Jaina, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1926. Caillat, Colette. 1975. Atonements in the Ancient Ritual of the Jaina Monks. L. D. Series 49. Ahmedabad: L. D. Institute of Indology. Chapple, Christopher Key. 2006. Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Original edition, Harvard University Press, 2002. Dundas, Paul. 1992. The Jains. New York: Routledge. Glasenapp, Helmut von. 1984. Der Jainismus. Eine Indische Erlösungsreligion. In Hildesheim. Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung. Originally published Berlin 1925. Granoff, Phyllis. 1998. The Forest of Thieves and the Magic Garden: An Anthology of Medieval Jain Stories. Selected and Translated with an Introduction. New Delhi: Penguin Books India. Granoff, Phyllis. 1990. The Clever Adulteress & Other Stories: A Treasury of Jain Literature. Oakville: Mosaic Press. Jaini, P. S. 2000. Jain Doctrine and Practice: Academic Perspectives, edited by J. T. O’Connell. Toronto: University of Toronto, Centre for South Asian Studies. Jaini, Padmanabh S. 1998. The Jaina Path of Purification. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Johnson, W. J. “Are Jaina Ethics Really Universal.” International Journal of Jaina Studies (Online) 2, no. 4 (2006): 1–​18. http://​www.soas.ac.uk/​research/​publications/​journals/​ ijjs/​archive/​; accessed  2015. Kundakunda. 1930. Samayasara (the Jīva-​Essence) by Kunda Kunda Acharya. The Original Text in Prakrit, with Its Sanskrit Renderings, and a Translation, Exhaustive Commentaries, and an Introduction J. L. Jaini. The Sacred Books of the Jainas, Vol. 8. Ajitashram, Lucknow: Central Jaina Publishing House. Kundakunda. 1931. Niyamasara (the Perfect Law) by Shri Kunda Kunda Āchārya. Original Text in Prakrit, with Its Sanskrit Renderings, Translation, Exhaustive Commentaries, and an Introduction, in English. Translated by Uggar Sain, edited by Uggar Sain. The Sacred Books of the Jainas, Vol. 9. Ajitashram, Lucknow: Central Jaina Publishing House.

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Kundakunda. 1975. Pañcāstikāyasāra. The Building of the Cosmos, Prakrit Text, Sanskrit Chāyā, English Commentary, Etc. . . By Chakravartinayanar with the Text, Sanskrit Chāya and Amṛtacandra’s Commentary and Various Readings, edited by A. N. Upadhye. Delhi: Bharatiya Jnanpith. Kundakunda. 1984. Pravacanasāra (Pavayaṇasāra), (Prakrit Text with the Sanskrit Commentaries of Amṛtacandra and Jayasena, Hindi Commentary by Hemarāja). Translated by Amṛtacandra (Prakrit gāthās into Sanskrit), edited by A. N. Upadhye (with introduction in English and translation of gāthās into English). Agās (Gujarat): Śrīmad Rājacandra Āśrama. Matilal, Bimal Krishna. 1981. The Central Philosophy of Jainism (Anekānta-​Vāda). Ahmedabad: L. D. Institute of Indology. Mette, Adelheid. 1991. Durch Entsagung Zum Heil: Eine Anthologie Aus Der Literatur Der Jaina. Zürich: Benziger Verlag. Mette, Adelheid. 2010. Die Erlösungslehre Der Jaina: Legenden, Parabeln, Erzählungen, Aus Dem Sanskrit Und Prakrit Übersetzt. Berlin: Verlag der Weltreligionen im Insel Verlag. O’Connell, Joseph T. 2000. Jain Doctrine and Practice: Academic Perspectives. In South Asian Studies Papers. no. 13. Toronto: University of Toronto, Centre for South Asian Studies. Oberlies, Thomas. 1993. Āvaśyaka-​Studien. Glossar Ausgewählter Wörter Zu E. Leumanns “Die Āvaśyaka-​Erzählungen. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Oetjens, Karl. 1976. Śivāryas Mūlārādhanā: Ein Beitrag Zur Kenntnis Der Sterbefasten-​ Literatur Der Jainas (Śivārya’s Mūlārādhanā: A Contribution Towards a Knowledge of the Literature of the Jainas on ‘Fasting Unto Death’). Dissertation, Universität Hamburg. Ōhira, Suzuko. 1982. A Study of Tattvārthasūtra with Bhāṣya: With Special Reference to Authorship and Date. LDS Series 86. Ahmedabad: L. D. Institute of Indology. Pūjyapāda. 1955. Sarvārthasiddhi [A Commentary on Umāsvāti’s Tattvārthasūtra]. Translated by Phūlacandra Śāstrī, edited by Phūlacandra Śāstrī. Kaśī: Bhāratīya Jñānapīṭha. Pūjyapāda. 1992. Reality (Sarvarthasiddhi). Translated by S. A. Jain. Madras: Jwalamalini Trust. Originally published Calcutta: Vira Sasana Sangha, 1960. Quarnström, Olle. 2012. The Yogaśāstra of Hemacandra: A Twelfth Century Handbook of Śvetāmbara Jainism. In Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series 29. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay. Originally published Harvard Oriental Series, Vol. 60, 2002. Qvarnström, Olle, and Jason Birch. 2011. “Universalist and Missionary Jainism: Jain Yoga of the Terāpanthī Tradition.” In Yoga in Practice, edited by D. G. White. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Schubring, Walther. 1926. Worte Mahāvīras: Kritische Übersetzungen Aus Dem Kanon Der Jaina. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Schubring, Walther. 1935. Die Lehre Der Jainas: Nach Den Alten Quellen Dargestellt. Translated by Wolfgang Beurlen (The Doctrine of the Jainas. Described after the Old Sources). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1962). Berlin, Leipzig: Walter de Gruyter.

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Settar, Shadakshari. 1986. Inviting Death: Historical Experiments on Sepulchral Hill. IIAH Series No. 3. Dharwad: Institute of Indian Art History, Karnatak University. Settar, Shadakshari. 1990. Pursuing Death: Philosophy and Practice of Voluntary Termination of Life. Dharwad: Institute of Indian Art History, Karnatak University. Singhvi, L. M. 2006. “The Jain Declaration on Nature.” In Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life, edited by Christopher Key Chapple, 217–​ 224. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Original edition, Harvard University Press, 2002. Soni, Jayandra. 1998. “Three Articles on Jaina Philosophy (the Titles Are: ‘Mahāvīra,’ ‘Manifoldness, Jaina Theory of Anekāntavāda and ‘Jaina Philosophy, Issues in’).” In Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward Craig. London, New York: Routledge. Soni, Luitgard. 2014. “‘Lifes’ Ends: Jaina Modes of Dying in Ārādhanā Texts.” Paper presented at 16th Jaina Studies Workshop: Jaina Hagiography and Biography, March 21, 2014, and archived online (forthcoming in the online International Journal of Jaina Studies, Centre of Jaina Studies, SOAS, London) http://​www.soas.ac.uk/​jainastudies/​ events/​jainahagiography/​; accessed June 15, 2014. Umāsvāti. 1932. Tattvārtha-​Sūtra–​Sabhāṣyatattvārthādhigamasūtra. Bambaī: Maṇīlāla, Revāśaṃkara Jagajivana Jhaverī. Umāsvāti. “Sarvārthasiddhi, Tattvārtha-​Sūtra.” See Pūjyapāda (1955). Umāsvāti. 1994. Tattvārtha Sūtra. That Which Is. Umāsvāti/​Umāsvāmī, with the Combined Commentaries of Umāsvāti/​Umāsvāmī, Pūjyapāda and Siddhasenagaṇi. Translated (with an introduction) by Nathmal Tatia. USA: HarperCollins. Wang, Qingjie. “Virtue Ethics and Being Morally Moved.” [In English]. Dao 9, no. 3 (2010):  309–​321. Wiley, Kristi L. “Colors of the Jīva: By-​Products of Activity or Passions.” Philosophy East and West 50 no. 3, July (2000): 348–​366. Williams, Robert. 1991. Jaina Yoga: A Survey of the Mediaeval Śrāvakācāras. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Originally published Oxford, 1963.

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Patañjali’s Yoga: Universal Ethics as the Formal Cause of Autonomy SHYAM RANGANATHAN

1. INTRODUCTION My aim in this chapter is to set out Yoga’s moral philosophy according to the Yoga Sūtra (YS). My approach to reading the YS is to apply standard practices in reading philosophy to it. This was the point of my translation of the text (Patañjali 2008). The YS, read as a text of philosophy, is among the most sophisticated contributions to moral theory. In this chapter, I speak to its merits. Here are some highlights. First, it is a consistent and important articulation of Yoga as an ethical alternative to Deontology, Consequentialism, and Virtue Ethics. Yoga is hence a missing ethical theory from the usual spread we learn about in the Western tradition. Second, its account of moral psychology provides a unitary account of moral well-​being and worldly well-​being, such that it is not possible for us to excuse illness (mental or physical) as irrelevant to the assessment of moral virtue. The upshot is that the solutions to vice are also the solutions to illness. (If this is true, then universal health care is a moral right if not being vicious is a moral right.) Third, it provides a nonarbitrary account of moral standing—​as I shall show. Arbitrary accounts of moral standing define moral standing not in terms of who could make good ethical use of it, but in terms of the natural attributes of a privileged group. On the Yoga account, you count if it is in your interest to be counted. Put another way, you have moral standing if you would thrive given your freedom. Unlike Kantian understandings, on the Yoga account, moral standing is not reserved for a privileged group or species (namely, human beings), but is true of most animals, and the Earth. Only people thrive when they are free. Personhood cannot be reduced to natural categories, such as race, gender, species, age, or ability. Personhood is the potential to be free. Some kinds of life, such as parasites, free riders, or pathogens, do not thrive on their own. Force them to be free, and they either die or go dormant. They thrive only when they take advantage of persons and

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this is short-​lived as this is really a posture of weakness and not of independence. Persons, in contrast, thrive when they are isolated, which is to say, nonparasitic. To be nonparasitic is to abandon selfishness—​the depiction of personhood in terms of one’s historical idiosyncrasies or particular needs. This is the absorption in ethical cleansing (YS IV.29). Here, we do not need others, but are rather a benefit to others. When we are unselfish we give each other the room we need to be free. Fourth, Yoga constitutes a resolution of the seeming antinomy of freedom and determinism via the ethical life. Free Will is not the condition of moral action: it is the outcome. In this case, we are isolated from the deterministic world of nature (prakṛti), as free persons (puruṣa). Whereas Kant provides a similar account, his account has long been thought to fail. Yoga avoids Kant’s problems with a non-​ speciesist account of moral standing. The upshot is that fans of Yoga can claim, with good reason, that devotion to the Lord is the means to freedom. Fifth, while John Stuart Mill, the awkward Utilitarian, is often regarded as a trailblazer for feminism and minority rights, Mill’s philosophy in large measure supports the ugly side of Western culture: speciesism, paternalism, and imperialism. The progressive and ugly sides to Mill’s thought are in tension with each other. Yoga is a coherent philosophy that is truly liberal, without speciesism, paternalism, or imperialism. We can get rid of the tension in Mill with a little Yoga. But this means abandoning naturalism and empiricism in favor of nonnaturalism and yoga rationalism (jñāna-​ism).

2.  EXPLICATION, AND INTERPRETING THE YOGA SŪTRA I decided to translate the YS (Patañjali 2008) because I found the usual attempts insufferable because they are interpretations and not explications. Here I will briefly state the case against interpretation and for explication that informs my translation of the YS. Interpretation holds that to interpret some package, perspective or philosophy P is for the interpreting subject S to I: • use S’s reasons (or if you prefer, “premises,” “assumptions,” “beliefs,” “truths,” and even “tradition”) rS in the explanation of P (cf. Gadamer 1996; Davidson 2001b, 2001a). Interpretation makes the explanation of third-​party perspectives contingent on first-​ party reasons such that the former are subsumed under the latter. Those who make a case for interpretation have to collapse a distinction between a belief that P and P, but “I believe P,” and “P” have different truth conditions and while the latter is true insofar as it corresponds to what is objective, the former is true if I simply believe P. Because interpretation collapses the distinction between perspectives, interpretation needlessly problematizes understanding perspectives that are not yours. The problems with this approach are many. One serious problem is that it is irrational. Valid inferences are

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not the same as what you believe is true, and hence interpreters who rely upon their beliefs will confuse what is reasonable with what is compelling. Whereas an account of P should be reasonable, the interpreter will want it to be compelling. This renders the acknowledgment of deep and serious disagreement impossible: all opinions are intelligible by virtue of one’s own beliefs on this account and hence there can be no serious alternative to what one believes as an interpreter. (An interpreter who assumes a Western backdrop, for instance, might conclude that Indian discussions of mokṣa cannot be contributions to philosophical discussions on freedom, for Indian beliefs about mokṣa do not correspond or match Western conceptions of freedom.) There are numerous other problems with interpretation, but this is fatal. When the goal is to read and study other people’s perspective, a methodology that draws no boundaries between first-​and third-​person perspectives is a failure. It does no good to interpret by proxy (via a commentary, for instance) for the same error persists. What we need is a methodology that pries apart first-​person reasons—​what is believed—​from third-​person reasons so that we are free to disagree with third party reasons, and this method would have to discern the proposition of third-​party interest on its own apart from their or our attitude of assent or dissent. This would allow us to discern the content that we are free to agree or disagree with. Such a method would ensure that our first-​party reasons are not employed as justification for third-​party reasons. This method rests on treating objectivity, and not merely truth, as what guides inquiry. Truth is the property of successful representations and objective truth represents what is objective. What is objective, in contrast, is what we can disagree about from differing perspectives as we can disagree about the appearance of objects in public space from differing perspectives. So objective truth about third-​party reasons will be truths about what we can disagree about. The method that allows us to pull this feat off asks us to understand a third-​party perspective as explaining its own opinions—​the kind we can disagree about. I call this method explication. It is basic to academic pedagogy and research in philosophy. To explicate a perspective P—​augustly called a “philosophy”—​about a topic t, is to E: • discern the reasons rP that constitute P, which explain P’s use of “t” and to arrive at a systematization of rP that explains the uses of “t.” The systematization of rP that entails P’s t-​claims is P’s theory of t. The reasons rP may be what P explicitly says, or what is entailed by P. So, for instance, if I explicate your perspective P on morality, I look to your P to provide reasons that explain your use of the word “morality.” The simplified explanation is your theory of morality that entails your use of “morality.” When I line up theories of morality I can further identify what is objective about these theories: this is what they disagree about. This disagreement is the concept MORALITY. I can apply the same line of reasoning to Indian texts and attempt to understand each perspective as providing reasons for its terms “dharma” or “mokṣa” and what theories of dharma and mokṣa converge on (respectively) while disagreeing are the concepts of DHARMA and MOKṢA. It turns out that if I follow these threads

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I will discover that “dharma” and “ethics” articulate competing theories about the same concept: THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD. Similarly, I will discover that “freedom” and “mokṣa” articulate competing theories about the same concept: the ABSENCE OF COERCION. Explications of texts are objective because it does not matter what one believes: if one follows this procedure one can converge on the same reading with another explicator for the evidence in favor of a reading is internal to the text. Interpretation makes the reasons and evidence about the subject doing the interpreting. Good explications render a text’s philosophy transparent, but the transparency has to do with the reasons of a perspective that account for itself. But the reasons so understood explain the perspectives’ take on a controversy, such as ethics. In the case of good philosophy we will arrive at a theory of t that entails the perspective’s uses of “t.” Explication also has the added advantage of allowing us to be critical of philosophers. As explication tracks explanations of the uses of “t” we are free to compare these uses of “t” with mentions of “t” by the author, and if they do not match up, then something is amiss. For instance, if we notice that a certain theory explains your uses of “morality” but this theory does not accord with your opinion about what you mean by “morality,” we have thereby provided evidence that you are mistaken about your own theory of morality. Moreover, we can use this to criticize secondary sources. If it turns out that the explication of the YS reveals a moral theory M but we find that commentators believe that the YS holds another moral theory, we have grounds for prying the commentary apart from the primary text. As for the YS, it was elucidated by at least two differing and influential figures—​ Vyāsa (Patañjali 1971 [circa 300 CE]) and Śaṅkara (2001 [circa 1400 CE]). The former articulated a commentary in terms of the school of philosophy called Sāṅkhya, while the latter articulated a commentary according to a monistic Vedānta. When the YS is interpreted by proxy, the modern academic cites the authority of an author (usually Vyāsa) as inferential support for their reading (Bryant 2009: 5). In one case, the argument is that Patañjali (the author of the YS) is the author of the commentary attributed to Vyāsa and hence whatever is in that commentary sheds light on what the YS means (Maas 2013). The YS is one of the most widely translated works of Indian philosophy and it has been variously interpreted, and it is not uncommon to find scholars claiming that all there is to YS scholarship is a matter of reading it by commentaries (White 2014; cf. Ranganathan 2016). One of the problems with the proliferation of interpretations is that it gives the impression that there is nothing objective about the YS—​it is interpretation all the way down. But the reason for the proliferation of interpretations of the YS is ironic. The philosophy of Yoga is as far as one can get from the idea that we should take our own beliefs and interpretations seriously. The main theme of the philosophy is that we should still our attitudes (vṛttis) about thoughts (citta) and that we should criticize identifying with our beliefs. We do this by removing our thoughts from attitudes so that we can analyze their content away—​the content itself are perspectives that we can take on objects of inspection. Thought so understood is the antithesis of what you believe, and any attempt to understand this philosophy

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by interpretation is to understand the perspective that lies outside the explanatory resources of interpretation. Attempts to interpret such a philosophy will come up against the wall of anti-​interpretive philosophy and the output is pure subjective fancy: the noise of interpretation itself. Translation on the model of explication has a clear mandate where philosophy is concerned: to reproduce the flow of considerations and reasons that constitute the evidential basis of a text’s explanation of its own controversial term usage. As explication allows us to understand these terms by concepts that are at the heart of disagreements, then we can and should use terms that express and contend with the same disagreement across languages. We should hence feel free to translate “dharma” as “morality” or “ethics.” The equivalence of these terms has to do with their role in articulating disagreements. This approach to translation is motivated by a wider insight—​ almost inaccessible to the interpreter—​ that translation is accurate when it reconstructs a text with differing resources along a disciplinary line, so that the resulting text is equivalent to the original for disciplinary reasons. Translations of mathematics would hence operate according to different disciplinary considerations from translations in philosophy or science. Accurate translations on this approach will have to sacrifice precision insofar as precision is the repeatability of a measurement, and a translation is not a repetition of the original measurement of thoughts and a text in the original language. It is the measurement of these objects with differing resources. When a translation is accurate, it measures the original thoughts encoded in a text by differing resources: it is imprecise yet accurate. But philosophy is challenging no matter what language it is in, and a good translation of philosophy will not save the reader from having to work through the logic of a text. This is always a challenge if we decide to interpret a philosophical text. Trying to understand others in terms of yourself is usually a bad idea. The same holds true for understanding other people’s philosophy. These ideas have motivated my translation of the YS. What follows is my explication of the philosophy of Yoga, which I derived by working through the logic of the text as it explains its own controversial views on philosophical topics such as ethics. I believe it is both accurate and reasonable, though whether it is compelling has to do with your beliefs, which are irrelevant to research in the history of philosophy.

3.  YOGA’S PLACE IN MORAL THEORY The concept of ETHICS/​MORALITY is about the good (outcome) or the right (procedure)—​ this is objective as we can converge on this within the debate of ethics. Ethical theory is about THE GOOD OR THE RIGHT (objective likewise). “Dharma” instantiates the concept of ETHICS in the Indian tradition—​objective again, as we can converge on dharma being about THE GOOD OR THE RIGHT from different positions in the disagreement of how to use “dharma” in Indian philosophy. I am sure that some might want to claim that this diagnosis requires some type of interpretation about dharma—​we have

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to assume that some type of disagreement is going on here. This is a mistake. We discover that by studying Indian philosophy: from differing perspectives, the term is used differently. In the practice of philosophy, that constitutes a disagreement, which is to say, a lack of agreement about what “dharma” amounts to. Yet, from this disagreement, we can converge on its basic conceptual content: it is about outcomes or procedures. “Dharma” is not alone in having the conceptual content of MORAL or ETHICAL. “Ṛta” and “vṛtti” are known to have the same objective content (Monier-​ Williams 1995: 223, 1010). That the moral implications of these terms are not always affirmed is largely a function of interpretation. What differentiates dharma theories is how they account for the relationship of the good (end or outcome) or the right (means or procedure). Here are two examples: 1. Consequentialism: the good (ends) justifies the right (procedures). 2. Virtue Ethics: the good (state) conditions the right (action). Both theories are remarkably alike, so much so that they are often grouped together as teleological. Then there are two more possibilities: 3. Deontology: the right (procedure) justifies the good (actions). 4. Bhakti (Yoga) Theory: the right causes the good. Standard textbook accounts of ethics usually include the first three ethical theories, but to my knowledge, the fourth is absent from the canon of Western philosophy. The relationship between the two pairs is symmetrical: whereas Consequentialism and Deontology are accounts of moral justification, Virtue Ethics and Bhakti theory are accounts of causality. Virtue Ethics is to Consequentialism what Bhakti is to Deontology: the causal variant. As accounts of the relationship between THE GOOD and THE RIGHT, they are competitive, and not practically consistent with each other for they do not all entail each other. Dharma for the Virtue Theorist is the idea that right (wise choice and action) is conditioned by the good—​a view found in Plato, Aristotle, and Jainism—​and this goodness expresses itself in the character of the exemplary agent. For Virtue Ethics, if there are a plurality of virtues, then two people acting on differing virtues in the same context can come to differing practical decisions, and both would be right (Hursthouse 1996). Dharma for the Consequentialist is the idea that right is justified by its outcomes. We find this view in Cārvāka Hedonism, and much of Buddhist ethics according to Charles Goodman (Fall 2014 Edition, 2009), as well as Bentham, and J. S. Mill. Two right actions with differing identities can be justified by the same good (such as happiness) on this account. This is sometimes called the moral symmetry principle that shows up in classic Consequentialist claims, such as the idea that killing and letting die have the same moral status. Dharma for Deontologists is the idea that the right is justified independently of the good. Famous examples include three Ks: Krishna on Karma Yoga in the Gītā,

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Kumārila Bhaṭṭa, and, of course, Kant. This position is easily misunderstood as the view that dharma has nothing to do with good outcomes. This is not true. In fact, Deontologists often define duty in terms of the good (such as Kant’s identification of duty with the goodwill, Groundwork 3), which leads Deontologists to justify duty by some other means—​such as, respect for the law. Dharma according to Bhakti is the idea that the right causes the good, where the good has no independent identity from the right. The good in question is the perfection of the right. The right, in turn, is defined by an ideal. I call this theory “Bhakti” because it identifies the right as devotion to an ideal. “Bhakti” is a term associated with devotional movements of South Asia. Those who embrace Bhakti embrace devotion to a deity as an ideal, and regard the deity itself as the proper outcome of this devotion. This outcome is often characterized as mokṣa (freedom). No doubt, this phenomena has been studied by social scientific means. Here we are concerned with the logical point, which generalizes. If I am devoted to the ideal of kindness, I work on behaving kindly. Kindness is an outcome of my devotion. I instantiate it. If I am devoted to music, I work on behaving musically. Music is the outcome of my devotion. I instantiate it. In each case, the good outcome is nothing but the perfection of the practice, understood as devotion to an ideal. It is hence characterizable as a freedom from a disorder (saṃsāra). There is no extra thing that is the outcome via devotion: it is the realization of the ideal as real and objective. This is the difference between the musician and the mere music appreciator: the musician is devoted to music as the regulative ideal of their practice. The appreciator is not. The moral theory of the YS is Bhakti. Or, Yoga, the philosophy of the YS, is an account of how devotion relates to practice: devotion to an ideal defines a normative practice, and the perfection of this practice is the good. For Patañjali as a principle theorist of this ethical theory, we talk about ethics ETHICS—​“dharma” (III.13-​4,46, IV.29), “ṛta” (I.48), “vṛtti” (I.2)—​when practice instantiates ideals. An important feature of devotion is its radical anti-​ teleology. For the yogi, thinking about ends as defining one’s practice puts the cart before the horse. Ends are not a condition of practice: they are the outcomes of the right practice. We should hence focus on practice relative to our ideals of practice. Before we know it, we will be good at our practice, but this is nothing that we can aim for as a matter of practice. To make goodness a condition of practice or what justifies practice is to expect the impossible to function as the guide to practice. Goodness (the perfection of the practice) becomes possible only after we succeed in bringing about the ideal. It can hence play no role in the characterization of proper practice as something prior to the good.

4.  THE GOOD AS THE OUTPUT OF THE REGULATIVE IDEAL The term that Patañjali uses to talk about the right is “sādhana” (practice), which he understands as a kind of action (kriyā). This is further analyzed into three

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practices of penance/​austerities: (tapas), self-​study (svādhyāya), and sitting close to (approximating) the Lord (Īśvara praṇidhāna). These three together are yoga as the right (YS II.2). The central practice is Īśvara praṇidhāna —​sitting close to the Lord (YS II.45). It is depicted in the YS as the single most efficacious means to succeed in Yoga and is the only one of the three practices mentioned more than the others. This superficially puts Patañjali in the Bhakti camp. But it also puts him deeply in this camp, as lordliness is the regulative ideal of the right on Yoga’s account, which we bring about by Yoga, which is devotion to the Lord. In being devoted to the Lord, I act in a manner that is lordly. The Lord is the outcome. I instantiate it. The Lord is a special person, untouched not only by afflictions, but also by karma (YS I.24, cf. IV.34). Linguistically, “karma” means ACTION. Philosophically, it is the concept of the consequences of our choices. This is to depict action as intentional and goal oriented—​the twentieth-​century notion of ACTION is this (cf. Anscombe 1963). To be untouched by karma is to be unconstrained by past choices. This is to be unconservative. To be devoted to the Lord is to conform to this moral ideal of being anti-​conservative (untouched by karma) and untroubled (untouched by affliction). My practice of yoga is the effort to approximate the Lord. My lordliness is the outcome. I thereby instantiate the Lord. And yet, just like any regulative ideal, the Lord retains a distinct identity, allowing me always to push the boundaries of my freedom, and not rest on my past successes. This makes the Lord one’s savior from imperfection. This seems like a theistic idea, but Theism, which depicts God as good, depicts God as the primary virtuous agent. Here, the Lord is depicted as right. Whereas the goodness of God renders God at odds with the reality of evil, the rightness of the Lord is consistent with evil. However, as it is the regulative ideal of practice, emulating the Lord brings about a change in us and our lives: this change becomes good as we perfect our practice. Hence, in conditions in which goodness is in short supply, Yoga’s devotionalism provides a way to do the right thing, which brings about positive results. In comparison to the other three moral theories, Bhakti or Yoga is the only theory that does not define (Deontology), justify (Consequentialism), or explain (Virtue Ethics) the right in terms of the good; hence among the four options it would be the only live option if goodness was suppressed. Could there be versions of Bhakti (devotionalism) to the Lord that is not also yoga? Such a theory would have to claim that being devoted to a regulative ideal results in good outcomes, but this goodness is not the perfection of the practice defined by the ideal. This would be a paradoxical position. I am not sure that anyone in the Indian tradition really holds this view. At any rate, for the purposes of the YS and discussing Indian moral theory, we can identify the two terms of devotion and yoga. As you approximate this ideal we find Patañjali describing proper procedure in Yoga in terms of self-​control, self-​governance, and self-​mastery (metaphorically described as svarūpevasthānam/​“abiding in one’s form” (YS I.3), svarūpa-​pratiṣṭhā/​ “standing on one’s form” (YS IV.34), and more literally sva-​svāmī/​“own mastery” (YS II.22)—​essential features of lordliness. The Lord is the one who is master of their

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own destiny, and this links the Lord analytically to self-​governance. The term that the YS uses to talk about perfected practice as the outcome of practice is the term for independence or autonomy: kaivalya (YS II.25, IV.34). This is literally translated as “Isolation.” As someone who instantiates lordliness in a state of kaivalya, I am set off from not only external influence, but also my past, which no longer defines me. Patañjali also talks about the good of yoga (the perfection of the practice) as a kind of virtue called samādhi (absorption). Samādhi is the fruit of yogic practice: a state where one has an experience of trouble abating. The chief of such states of absorption is the state characterized by a lack of selfishness (akusīdasya—​literally “without usury” or a return on investment): the ethical state of absorption (YS IV.29). The idea of selfishness is a theme in the YS. Selfishness is the identification of the self with contingencies—​not with devotion to the ideal. Patañjali speaks of such selfishness as asmita—​egotism: “Egotism consists in conflating the power of the seer (that is, the puruṣa) with the natural powers of perception into a single (conception of a) self ” (YS II.6). When we are selfish we understand the world via contingencies of life that we treat as mental representations. The reason this undermines us is that it limits us to a perspective (YS II.17). Yet, insofar as we do not untie ourselves from our perspective, we create mental-​representation that blocks our engagement with reality (YS IV.4).

4.1.  The Three Parts of the Right There are three components of the Right (sādhana) according to Patañjali and they are uncovered via an analysis of devotion to the Lord. The Lord is our teacher because it is “unbounded by time” (kālenānavacchedāt; YS I.26). It is the first teacher of teachers (YS I.24–​5). The Lord is an abstraction, universal—​an ideal. Being devoted to the Lord means taking responsibility for the Lord. In being devoted to the Lord as a regulative ideal, we become our own Lord. Aside from Īśvara praṇidhāna (being proximate to the Lord), the practice of yoga consists of self-​study (svādhyāya) and penance (tapas). Together they are an analysis of the Right. To study the self is to meditate on the self. This hence relies on the analysis of meditation—​yoga—​at the start of the YS: • Yoga—​meditation—​is the normative control (vṛtti-​nirodha) of what we are aware of (citta). Or, it is the criticism (nirodha) of our beliefs (citta vṛtti) (YS I.2). Accordingly, to learn is to control what one learns. To control is to protect, and keep unmolested. When we employ this methodology in research, the seer can abide in its essence (YS I.3). The reason that control is important is that in failing to control what we contemplate, we are bound to it (YS I.5), and cannot appreciate its objectivity from a number of perspectives. Against the YS’s account of knowing and learning, self-​study is self-​control or self-​governance. The linguistic meaning of tapas has to do with the production of heat. To produce heat is to work against resistance: tapas is friction. To push against boundaries is to

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buck against status quo. Tapas is hence the practice of anti-​conservativism. When we perform penance, we display our own autonomy in contrast to mere objects that do not. Penance (tapas) is closely related to self-​governance (svādhyāya): indeed, the latter seems to be a condition of penance. Now we are in a position to observe the following: • When we practice penance (tapas), we remove ourselves from the influence of past choices by being anti-​conservative. • When we practice self-​control (svādhyāya), we are not afflicted by outside influences. The Lord is the person free of consequences of past choices and afflictions, and so in practicing penance and self-​control, we bring about our own lordliness. Īśvara praṇidhāna, devotion or proximity to the Lord, would appear to take these two practices as its objects. Hence, the description of the right as the three practices of devotion to the Lord, self-​control, and penance (YS II.1) is a kind of analysis of what it is to be devoted to lordliness—​one that if we practice, we succeed in our own freedom. Our lordliness (sva-​svāmi; YS II.23) comes down to an unconservative, self-​mastery.

4.2.  Freedom vs. Determinism: The Metaphysics of Morals Conservativism ties us to a perspective and thereby manufactures the status quo. Yoga as unconservatism and self-​governance deconstructs the status quo. One way to stifle the radical implications of the YS is to interpret it via alternate philosophies that deny moral freedom, or the value of ethics. Another way to stifle its radical implications is to treat it as a book about tradition. Combine the two, and one can lean on traditional interpretations via competing philosophical schools (that deny pride of place to ethics) such as Vyāsa’s Sāṅkhya gloss or and Advaita Vedānta (Śaṅkara 2001) as a surefire means to reassert conservativism. Whereas the basic text of Yoga is the YS, the basic text of the Sāṅkhya tradition is the Sāṅkhya Kārikā (SK). Both texts understand reality as explainable by two principles: nature, causality, determinism (prakṛti); and persons, freedom, the non-​natural, and normative (puruṣa). Both agree that nature, in turn, has three capacities: the inert or tamas, the active or rajas, and the cognitive or sattva (SK 12–​13, cf. 21, YS II.18). Both apparently take a pluralist approach to the question of the numerosity of persons. This is explicitly affirmed in the SK (18) and implicit in the YS (I.24) discussions of the Lord as a distinct person (puruṣaviśeṣa). But the similarities end here. The difference between the texts is found when we follow their respective views on ethics (dharma). The YS, as noted, expresses the idea that yoga is only successful when it is ethical. The absorption in ethics is the perfection of practice that yields our independence (YS IV.29–​34). In other words, it is not any kind of practice that gains our independence, but ethical practice in particular. The Sāṅkhya Kārikā, in contrast, has a very different account of independence and ethics. On its view, ethics

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only leads to meritorious outcomes, but not to freedom (SK 44–​45). Freedom is not anything that people can bring about. Rather, it is nature (prakṛti) that is not only bound, on this account, but also liberated. Freedom is rather an insight into the distinction between nature and personhood, made possible by nature’s own transformation—​not one’s effort (SK 62). The Sāṅkhya Kārikā rejects the relevance of ethics to freedom. It even rejects the idea that freedom is a practical consequence that you can bring about. It is all causality or nature at play. The Sāṅkhya system is hence a kind of hard determinism, critical of the idea that personal freedom makes a positive change. All the happenings of reality are fully a function of the causes, and have nothing to do with personal freedom. What is an alternative to hard determinism? Compatibilism. According to a Compatibilism, moral freedom is metaphysically consistent with determinism. In Yoga, persons (freedom) are consistent with nature (determinism), but this compatibility can go either well or poorly. When it goes poorly, nature rides roughshod over persons. When it goes well, persons treat the challenge of the life well-​lived as the challenge of controlling nature (including their mind and body) so that their freedom is paramount. The Compatibilism of the YS sheds light on why freedom is conceptualized as autonomy, or “isolation” (kaivalya). For Compatibilism, freedom consists in the absence of external impediments (cf. Hobbes, Leviathan XXI). Isolation from nature, the goal of Yoga, is a description of what it is like to lack external impediments. Yoga is the normative theory of Compatibilism insofar as its goal of isolation is just the goal of freedom on a Compatibilist model. But this renders it a version of moral nonnaturalism. Moral nonnaturalism identifies morality apart from states of nature. Isolation is not a state of nature, but a nonnatural state of unconservative, self-​governance cut off from a person’s own past and external impediments. This is the ideal state of personhood, rendered consistent with, and not limited by, nature. This ideal state shows us the following: • A person is their normative or ethical interests, not their natural contingencies. If this is true, my appearance, species, and sexuality do not define me, but they present features of my life that I must bring under my own unconservative control. From this follows: • Disease, or an injury of any kind, is not merely a natural evil but also a moral evil, for limiting our isolation from nature. On this score, we have the same explanation of illness and vice: they impede the virtue of freedom, which is isolation from determinism. Anything that ties us down is such a hindrance. Here we see that it can be characterized morally too: illness, like vice, is conservative. It retains and holds on to contents of experience (such as pathogens, and toxins) bundled up with us, in a manner that undermines our freedom.

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Patañjali elaborates on this theme at length. In ordinary parlance, memory is treated as a virtue, and to be able to remember is far better than losing one’s memory. But the idea of memory or tradition (smṛti) is identified by Patañjali with saṃskāra (YS. IV.9)—​tendency impression, pre-​judgment. The only difference between the two is that one is conscious (memory), and the other is dispositional and often subconscious (saṃskāra). It is hence accurate to think of the latter as prejudice, but memory is virtually the same thing (though its phenomenal character may differ). Both have their roots in past choices (karma) to identify with experiences. This is the root cause of affliction (kleśa; YS II.12). Memory—​ tradition, and our cognitive tendencies—​so understood is not true of the present, and it may not even be true of the past. Moreover, memory/​pathological tendencies are egotistical: they identify a person with their means of sensing the world. They tie us to a kind of portable perspective—​a virtual prison we run by past choice, effaced by the representational content of memory. Ethics, dharma, our freedom from external influence, is freedom from this portable prison. It is the perfection of the right: kaivalya. There are many commentators of the YS who read its claims about isolation, and proceed to draw implausible conclusions. On one account, when we are interested in isolation, we are interested in a selfish end (Bharadwaja 1984). This reading involves ignoring the text itself, where Patañjali states that isolation comes about when we get rid of selfishness (YS IV.29–​34). Patañjali is critical of egocentrism, and he has nothing good to say about violence and antisocial behavior. Indeed, the very condition of bringing about one’s own freedom is a list of moral ideals—​the Great Vows—​which are about respecting other people’s interests (YS II.30). For instance, Yohanan Grinshpon claims that “Yoga requires that the person disintegrate; it seeks separation of the subject from object, and consequent dissolution” (2002: 1). The YS constitutes a criticism of nature, not persons. While nature must disintegrate as a defining factor of our lives, it must disintegrate in the face of our nonnatural essence! The idea that it is the person that must somehow disintegrate is an interpretation of the YS. It has no grounding in an explication of the text. Objectivity, according to the YS, is the property of being observable from more than one perspective and the disagreement in descriptions of an object are a function of the differing perspectives from which they are true (YS IV.15). This is objectivity symbolized as a conch. This is a respectable notion of objectivity: it accounts for what distinguishes objects in public space from illusions. ISOLATION is the idea of being separate from the wider environment. But whatever is isolated from the wider environment sets up objective boundaries that allow us to see it from all possible perspectives. Isolated people are objective people. This is perhaps the key idea of the YS, and why it should be taken seriously as a response to moral skepticism. Moral skepticism is motivated by the idea that moral value is subjective, and that there is no objective evidence for it (Mackie 1977). In the case of people there is objective evidence of value: our freedom. When we are free from natural influence, we are observable from multiple (all) perspectives. This is moral value made real, which comes about via devotion to the ideal.

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Disease, on the other hand, is a free rider that highjacks personal objectivity. The result is that it deprives us and eventually others of a perspective on us: incapacitated, fatigued, consciousness lost, we are deprived of a perspective on ourselves, and when this is total, others no longer find us either and we are pronounced dead. At the very least, disease binds us to a perspective (such as the one from our bed that we cannot leave) and this undermines our reality as something that can be seen from any other perspective than bedridden. So long as we can maintain our perspective on ourselves, we, with others, ensure our own objectivity. Disease tries to take us out of the picture. Yoga is the project of putting ourselves back into the picture via unconservative, self-​governance.

5.  THE PUBLIC PRACTICE OF PERSONHOOD According to Mikel Burley, there is nothing ethical about the YS (2014: 226). He claims that while Sāṅkhya and Yoga are methodologically different, citing the commentaries, there is little different about their metaphysics (Burley 2007: 48). Against the mass of Sāṅkhya-​inflected commentarial opinion (starting with Vyāsa), reading the moral philosophy of the YS for its own reasons seems “idiosyncratic” (Burley July 2012). He would hence rather depict both schools in light of Phenomenology and Kant (Burley 2007: 56–​71). This approach is dismissive of the ethical differences of Yoga and other schools of philosophy. Moreover, it is interpretation and not an explication: it depends on Burley’s opinions (and what he believes is relevant), and not the YS text as constituting an explanation of its own controversial term usage. But, and more importantly, it is mistaken: the difference between Compatibilism and Hard Determinism is a major metaphysical difference, but one that lines up with the methodological differences between Yoga as we find it in the YS and Sāṅkhya of the SK that have practical consequences. Such practical differences are differences of moral theory. When we look to the YS, Patañjali not only analyzes Yoga as practice into three central concerns (Īśvara praṇidhāna, svādhyāya, and tapas) geared toward the perfection of the practice (kaivalya), but also describes in great detail the progress as the Eight Limbs of Yoga. When Patañjali sets out his Eight Limbs of Yoga for bringing about success in Yoga, he starts not with the central practices of Yoga, but with five political ideals. He calls these the “Great Vows” (mahāvrata), and also the “Yama” rules. It consists of five goals: abstaining from harm, truthfulness, abstinence from theft, sexual restraint, and unacquisitiveness (YS II.30). This is the first limb of yoga. First Limb: The order is important. Before truth, and first among the goals, is ahiṃsā—​non-​harmfulness. Why does this come before truth? Well, we have seen what a substantive approach to research (interpretation) does: it introduces bias as a condition of knowledge. It defines the world according to one’s perspective, and on a Yogic account this is not good for you as it restricts your mobility and freedom to take up diverse and divergent perspectives. But, more importantly, several truths

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are inconsistent with your autonomy. Illness and tyranny can be true, but they are not good for you. A commitment to truth over non-​harmfulness is conservative: it protects the status quo. Putting non-​harmfulness first is to privilege objectivity over truth: when we do not harm, we allow for the objectivity of things in our environment, including ourselves and other people, as self-​determining objects in the world. The truths of the world change, from one of tyranny to social freedom. We are hence free to endorse the following ideals of respecting people’s property, their sexual boundaries, and not being encumbered by stuff. The primacy of ahiṃsā over truth involves a radical politics of transformation. Patañjali notes that when we preempt antagonism and allow for peace, we are in a position to perceive the moral character of all things, and understand their transformations as part of a larger dynamic public context (YS III.12–​14). This clashes with a public perception of Yoga as a pastime of leisure. As Bindu Puri notes in her Tagore-​Gandhi Debate on Matters of Truth and Untruth (2015: 36) there are over 200 references to the YS and “Bhagwan Patañjali” in the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. M. K. Gandhi gives credit to Patañjali for coming up with the idea of ahiṃsā (1947: vol. 59, 494) that was central to his ethics, but his politics of Satyagraha (direct action) is a page (or a few sūtras) out of the YS. In response to the challenge and opposition posed by those who would advocate tyranny and violence (the opposite of ahiṃsā), Patañjali argues that the yogi should appreciate that the source of this antagonism is past suffering, and not a well-​reasoned argument. The way to get the tyrant to renounce their hostility is to live in a contrary manner via ahiṃsā (YS II. 33–​35)—​this permits the mutual objectivity of the antagonist and the yogi, and hence the mutual self-​determination of all parties. This was Gandhi’s strategy to gain India’s kaivalya (independence). After ahiṃsā (a respect for objectivity) that constrains truth is a prohibition against theft. Certainly, the idea seems to be that we should not take from others what they have gained via ahiṃsā or truth. Next is sexual restraint: brahmacarya. This term is often used in Indian settings to mean the sexual abstinence of students, and perhaps this is all that is meant. When we are trying to get to know others, we should probably keep our hands to ourselves as part of a respectful encounter that allows for the other person to reveal who they are. I am not sure that one can deduce an absolute prohibition against sex from this value. The idea that in pedagogical contexts it pays to keep one’s libido in check is not the same as the claim that one should never have one. The final value is non-​acquisitiveness (aparigraha). If freedom of movement is what we want, then it is clear why acquisitiveness is a bad thing: it limits our mobility. Taken together with the prohibition against stealing, it seems that the YS provides reason to protect personal property, and to be somewhat suspect of absolute rights to private property (capital). At the very least, it would seem that these values dictate that private property cannot be used to stifle the personal mobility of the wage laborer or investor. Marxists would find some sympathy here, but would also find opposition to humanism from the yogi. Ahiṃsā applies to people, not just humans. Patañjali describes this first limb (Yama) as a Great Duty (Mahāvrata) “to be followed throughout the world, irrespective of station at birth, country or place, time or custom”

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(YS II.31). What is remarkable about this limb is that it describes the condition of the practice of Yoga in terms of public obligations. This sets the tone: yoga is something we practice in a public world. Our isolation is our freedom from determinism in this public world. Gandhi, for his part, calls these the “cardinal virtues” (1947). Second Limb: The next limb consists in five observances (niyama; YS II.32). Of these, three are the three central practices of Yoga (YS II.1), along with two extra observances: purity and contentment. Purity is a commitment to the practice (YS II.40), and contentment is being satisfied with the results (YS II.42). Tapas (the practice of austerities) is the most famous and celebrated. Take a yoga class, and this is what you will do. But tapas is more than just physical exercise. It is pushing personal boundaries of the status quo past our natural limits (YS II.43). It is the practice of anti-​conservativism. The second practice of Yoga is self-​study (svā-​dhyāya). If studying oneself is a kind of meditation, and if meditation is controlling one’s relationship to objects of meditation (YS I.2–​4), then self-​study is self-​governance. Whereas tapas is geared toward challenging the status quo, svā-​dhyāya yields a bond with our chosen deity or ideals (iṣṭa devatā; YS II.44). This is often understood theistically, as though self-​study results in a bond with a God other than oneself, but if we take seriously the claim that self-​study is self-​governance, then we are our own God and the bond to it is our self-​governance (or at the very least, we are responsible for the ideals we set). The third practice of Yoga is approximating (sitting close to) Īśvara. This is the idea of rendering Īśvara (the Lord) one’s regulative ideal. It is the cumulative result of pushing one’s natural boundaries and self-​governance. The other two observances that are included in the second limb are purity and contentment. Purity is about being averse to what is contrary to Yoga. Contentment is a satisfaction with the practice of Yoga. The former is our commitment to yoga, and the latter is finding reward in the practice—​both important so that we stick with the practice. Third Limb: The first limb is explicitly political and social: it is a public declaration of yogic ideals that draws sharp personal boundaries that constitute personal rights. The second limb focuses on the individual’s transformative practices. The third limb, āsana, is identified by the term for sitting or posture. This too is something we do in a public world. Patañjali identifies it as the state characterized by the twin accomplishments of endless effort and continual relaxation. This is an active state of the practice of yoga, where it becomes second nature. This state of occupying the zone of yoga would not be possible without the first limb, which converts the world into a place friendly to people, and the second limb, which converts the individual into a practitioner of yoga. Fourth Limb: The fourth limb is prāṇāyāma, which is widely understood as “breath control.” It is common for yoga teachers to impart techniques of breath control when studying this limb. Breathing is also something we do in public spaces. There is no such thing as private breath. If our breath were made fully private, we would suffocate. Meditating on breathing—​breath control—​teaches us that we are continuous with the public world. Hence, to appreciate breathing “discards the subject matter of ‘internal’ and ‘external’ ” (YS II.51). For ethics, this implies that a

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selfish approach to life is self-​defeating: the air that we breathe is a public resource, and our personal interests are continuous with public resources. Fifth Limb: The fifth limb of pratyāhāra is the idea of the withdrawal of the senses from objects, but the correlative abstraction of objects from beliefs (citta). This puts the senses under the control of the “ultimate” (YS II.54–​55). This seems to be a very mysterious process—​until we recall philosophy and pure mathematics. Ignoring empirical data is the first step of critical thought, as the data is often cooked up by underlying assumptions and nefarious political motives. Hence, in philosophy we do not conduct surveys, or ethnographies, to figure out what the good and the right is. This sets the stage for the three further limbs, which Patañjali calls, together, the perfect constraint (saṃyama) Limbs Six through Eight: The last three limbs are dhāraṇā (concentration, focus), dhyāna (moving continuity of experience), and samādhi (liberating states, movement). Taken together, their purpose as a meditational continuity is to allow the meditater to overcome their servitude to what they contemplate. The main task of these last three is to overcome prejudices: saṃskāras—​tendency impressions (YS III.18). The trouble with these self-​identified experiences is that they constitute a filter through which we mediate future experiences. When we come into contact with new experiences of the same kind as the saṃskāra, the new experience is treated as confirmation of the veracity of the saṃskāra. But the initial identification with the experience is frequently pathological, and confirming its veracity is a means of retaining the initial pathology. Even if it is not overtly painful, it constitutes a limitation on our self-​understanding. What we need to do hence is not believe the saṃskāra, but treat it as an object of inquiry. We hence focus on it (dhāraṇā), discern what follows from it (dhyāna), and become absorbed in analysis (samādhi). The case is very much like evaluating the validity of an argument: we do not believe the premises; we rather focus on them as a means of discerning whether the conclusion follows from them. This is the foundation for the hypothetical deductive methodology in natural science: by understanding what follows from a hypothesis, we are in a position to confirm the outcome or falsify the hypothesis. This gives rise to natural knowledge. Patañjali describes this methodology at length in his third book of Powers. His idea seemed to be that natural powers too can be derived from this critical methodology. This is all well and good, but it only liberates us if we can transcend our own perspective in evaluation. Otherwise we are stuck (YS III.38, 52). To transcend one’s own perspective is to treat criticism as something that does not rely on assumptions, tradition, or memory. We rather must awaken to social reality, where individuals are not defined by their perspectives. This is our perfection of critical practice. The only analysis (samādhi) that does this is the dharma-​megha-​samādhi: the analysis of ethical cleansing (YS IV.29). Then we are free and abide in our epistemic freedom for we are not defined by a perspective. To ignore the thoroughgoing morality of this would be to ignore that the Eight Limbs of Yoga from start to finish is an elaboration of the right, whose perfection is the good. This ignorance is encouraged by interpretation.

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6.  UNIVERSAL ETHICS The title of this chapter brings attention to a theme in the YS: universal ethics is the formal cause of autonomy. A universal is an abstraction, something not specifiable in terms of particulars. The Lord is this universal. It is an abstraction from me, an individual, but it thereby subsumes me. To the extent that it does, I instantiate it. This is my freedom. To engage in the process of critical self-​reflection where I understand the ideal as something separate from me but worthy of my aspirations makes possible a life that rearranges the status quo. This is the ethics of the YS. As it is based on a universal, it is a universal ethic: something that is applicable not to merely me, but to everyone. Given yoga, the status quo becomes deconstructed, and analyzed, like so many arguments whose only force is to claim: because things were like this before, they have to continue to be this way. This is not true, but poor reasoning too. Yet, this is the force of prejudice (saṃskāra) when believed. One objection that arises at this point is that Yoga so understood is completely consistent with ethical egoism. This is a mistake: lordliness is unconservative, but ethical egoism is conservative as it wants to rely on the status quo of one’s preferences. Another objection is that this approach to ethics is not ethical because it makes no room for altruism. This is a bit misleading insofar as the moral ideal—​the Lord—​is nothing proprietary and is by definition unconservative. Someone who is motivated to approximate the Lord may be very helpful, but they are likely not inclined to think that charity is worth the ethical effort. The problem with thinking about ethics as charitable action is that it leaves, untouched, the underlying structures of the world that gives rise to poorly lived lives, and applies charity as a bandage. Worse, ethical satisfaction with charity is to be happy with bandage treatments. The yogi would rather deconstruct the structure of injustice as part of her own tapas that permits her svā-​dhyāya. Distributive justice should give way to generative justice, where people are free to generate the requirements of their life in a personal world. Another concern is that ethics, so understood, does not say anything about humans. True. But that is because ethics is about people, and humans are just one kind of person. If personhood were a category of zoology, species would be relevant. Personhood is rather nonnatural. Whereas natural laws govern natural things, personal laws of norms and obligations govern persons. The YS is an elaboration of what personal laws look like. One might parlé this criticism into the claim that Yoga makes no room for special obligations of kin, livelihood, or friendship. But the yogi’s view is that the condition of these obligations are clear personal boundaries: kaivalya. So until we can self-​govern, or be isolated, we do not make very useful or reliable friends, employees, or relations. Those who want to have relations without kaivalya are parasites. Another misgiving is that the kind of ethics set out by the YS is something that only humans can engage in, and not other animals like dogs or cats. I find this kind of objection question-​begging. It assumes that capacities define people. That is part of the problem according to Yoga. If that were true, my diseases—​even those endowed as matter of genetic constitution—​would define me. What really defines me are

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my interests as a person to be self-​determining and unconservative—​interests that determine my thriving—​which I share with other animals, the Earth, and many other species of persons. Second, if we give people the room to be people, we find that they often start to live the virtuous life: nonharm, faithfulness to the uncoerced facts, respecting property, not hoarding, and sexual restraint (the Great Vows) are constraints we hope to and often do see in others—​whatever their species. Successful relationships usually involve one party exemplifying these virtues, and often it is the nonhuman who does. Ethical theories that look to language as thought and hence humans as the only thinking creatures, problematize our relationship with people, and confuse what we have in common. According to the YS, thought is the control of representation for the sake of inquiry. Successful people (dog, snake, or human) control representation to navigate the world they live in and to gain new information. Thinking about thought in terms of species or language detracts from thought’s usefulness as part of an intelligent life. Thinking about thought along anthropocentric lines is motivated in large measure by interpretation. As interpreters must explain everything given their beliefs, they mistakenly believe that true thoughts about themselves (their humanity or linguistic ability) are relevant to an explanation of everything.

6.1.  Response to Competing Theories Standard forms of Consequentialism are indifferent to the distribution of utility (Rawls 1971: 26), and, in maximizing the good, there is no reason to expect that I will be the beneficiary. But this undermines my own security and capacity to fulfill my obligations. As well, Consequentialists are vulnerable to manipulation. The Bad Man—​Mara—​who holds the gun to the Consequentialist and says, “If you do not kill two I will kill three” can manipulate the Consequentialist into doing his bidding, if the Consequentialist understands maximizing beneficence as the proper outcome of ethics. Her own conscience would lead her to act at the behest of the Bad Man. Rule-​Consequentialists can similarly be manipulated into formulating suboptimal rules, provided that the scenario is rigged so as to discourage what goes against the system of tyranny. As Krishna notes in the Gītā, you do not control the outcome, so justifying action by way of outcomes plays into the hands of manipulative forces. Yoga preempts manipulation: we are not trying to justify our action by way of outcomes, so we are under no obligation to make the best of an externally bad scenario. Here too, Yoga has a certain advantage over Deontology. Deontologists typically define duty in terms of a good, but provide procedural reasons for justifying the performance of duty. Kant’s various formulations of the Categorical Imperative, for instance, are examples of this identification of duty with some end, whether this is Humanity, the Kingdom of Ends, or Natural Laws. The Bad Man has some power to manipulate the identification of duty via changing the ends that we can realistically expect from action. The restriction of duty to certain kinds of critters, say humans, is a prime example of how the external reality of the world structured by the evil

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of anthropocentrism conditions what we can expect from action and what we can identify as duty. Virtue Ethicists treat the right as something that follows from the good. But Virtue Ethicists have a problem: accounting for how imperfect folks like me become good. We have to do something to inculcate the virtues. This would involve the right bringing about the good. But this is Bhakti/​Yoga: we choose in accordance with a regulative ideal, and thereby become it. But this is where we are. We have to work at being virtuous. This is true even for exemplars. Exemplary persons who instantiate an ideal of their craft, whether it is music or some other ideal, always hold themselves up for comparison with an ideal. This is not only how they got to where they are, but also how they continually improve themselves. If this is true, the practical challenge of a life well lived is not the Virtue Ethics story—​where we act in accordance with the virtues—​but the Bhakti story: bringing about self-​ improvement by the practical conformity to the regulative ideal. Virtue Ethics is life lived backwards or perhaps upside down. Virtue Ethicists have sometimes argued for the importance of moral improvement by practice, like Yoga. And as the YS teaches ethics, moral education features as an important part of the Virtue Ethics story of moral improvement. Virtue Ethics so understood does not have to merely claim that right action follows from the virtuous agent: they can recommend choices that increase virtues as the yogi does (Annas 2004). These similarities are superficial. Yoga is bootstrapping morality: it does not assume a program of moral education or virtuous agents for us to model. The regulative ideal—​the Lord—​is not a virtuous agent: it is an abstraction from ourselves. But as an abstraction, it is instructive, and it teaches, but the lessons are generated by our own practice of being a person. This is useful, for in times of tyranny when moral guidance is lost, and virtuous agents are persecuted, Yoga provides a way out.

7.  FIXING KANT Kant works out systematically the relationship between moral law and the individual as a means of resolving the antinomy of freedom and determinism (Groundwork, 97–​105, Second Critique 5: 29–​30, first Critique A554–​556/​B582–​584). Here is the argument in a nutshell: (1) Either agents are free or they are determined (P OR Q), but (AND) they are not both free and determined (Not (P And Q)). This is the antinomy. Yet, (2) Freedom or determinism is an inclusive disjunction, which means that an agent can be both free, and determined. This is the rejection of the antinomy by the rejection of the logical constraint: (Not (P And Q)). But how? (3) If one is determined by an external force, one is not thereby free.

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(4) To be determined by an internal force is to be free: it is to be self-​determined. Now, the question is: how can one be self-​determined? (5) To be self-​determined is to be determined by one’s essence as a human being. The essence of a human being for Kant is the Categorical Imperative—​it is the lowest common denominator of beings with moral standing. Beings more exalted than us would be characterized by it, but not those less exalted. To have free will is to be determined by one’s essential humanity. Kant’s view is very popular in the Westernized corners of the world, but it is cruel. On his account the only non-​conditional reason we have for caring about anyone is their humanity. There would be nothing wrong with torturing puppies, on Kant’s account, if we can keep this from affecting our treatment of humans (Kant 1974: 5: 298–​303; 1996: 6: 443; Wood 1998: 194–​195). But this gets the account backwards: humans count because they are people, and people have an interest in self-​determination and freedom from past choices. So do puppies. Humanity counts only if people count. What is worse is that, on Kant’s account, it is possible for an individual to choose their humanity and fail to do the right thing: Even if, by some special disfavor of destiny or by the niggardly endowment of step-​motherly nature, this will is entirely lacking in power to carry out its intentions; if by its utmost effort it still accomplishes nothing, and only good will is left (not, admittedly, as a mere wish, but as the straining of every means so far as they are in our control); even then it would still shine like a jewel for its own sake as something which has its full value in itself. (Groundwork 3) Thomas Nagel notes the following—​“[Kant] would presumably have said the same about a bad will: whether it accomplishes its evil purposes is morally irrelevant” (Nagel 2007: 355). The problem with this approach, according to Nagel, is that it avoids responsibility. It allows for the formal moral success without accomplishing what is right. There are two problems with this approach according to Yoga. One strikes at Deontology, the other at Kant. First, the identification of duty with the good forces a Deontologist to justify duty by some other means. But this other means is thereby cut off from the good. So for the Deontologist we can formally fulfill the requirements of morality, without any guarantee of goodness. A Bhakti or Yoga approach, in contrast, defines THE GOOD as the perfection of THE RIGHT, so it is not possible to succeed at the right without bringing about the good. Second, Kant relies on humanity to render us determined by our self and not by nature. For humanity to fulfill this desiderata, it must be nonnatural (that is, not part of the external causal nexus) but personal. But humanity is a natural constraint. Humanity is defined by natural attributes and subject to all the vicissitudes of being human, which means that, on this account, morality has to make room for our

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foibles as humans. This gets the point of morality backward, as though its job is to pander to our zoological vices and quirks. Devotion to the Lord, in contrast, does not accommodate vice, but takes the ideal as what we have to approximate. What pays the price is our imperfection. But hence, devotion to the Lord brings about freedom from the contingent limitations such as the foibles of our species. Devotion (bhakti) to the Lord leads to freedom (mokṣa). How could this be possible? This seems implausible if we think about the goal as accommodating our natural commonalities. This panders to the lowest common denominator. But if we treat the abstract, universal ideal as our moral compass, then we engage in discipline. Just as musicians and athletes push the boundaries of what is normal by their devotion to the ideal of music or athleticism, so too does devotion to the Lord push the boundaries of what it is to be a person resulting in autonomy—​kaivalya.

8.  WORKING OUT THE TENSION IN MILL WITH A BIT OF YOGA On one hand, Mill is known for the impassioned defense of individual rights, minority rights, and the rights of women! His On the Subjection of Women is a masterpiece of feminism and worth the read. In many ways, it is groundbreaking. Mill argues, for instance, that the evidence we have for what women are like is socially constructed out of the interests of men, and we cannot rely on empirical data to determine what woman want or are capable of. We rather must make it possible for women to participate in public life, so that they can discover their interests and talents for themselves (Mill 1965). Similar arguments run through On Liberty. Yet Mill noted that some peoples are too immature for freedom, and require a dictator (such as Akbar or Charlemagne) to rule them imperiously until they attained a certain degree of maturity (On Liberty I.10). The root of this imperialist tendency? Mill has a blanket empirical test for moral questions: Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure. Mill is inconsistent in applying this. He seems to discount the judgment of people who tried math and prefer a backrub. His view is that anyone who tries “intellectual” pleasures and sensual ones prefer the former. On the basis of this, he further infers that the intellectual pleasures are better, and that creatures capable of appreciating them are more important. Better Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied (Utilitarianism ch. 2). The imperialist—​someone who has knowledge of their home culture and that of the colonized—​would apparently be in a position to choose which of the two is the superior pleasure; whereas the colonized—​ restricted in their freedom—​would not have this knowledge. It does not matter: the imperialist knows better according to Mill’s test. Little wonder that Mill saw no

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problem earning a living as an officer of British imperialism (Zastoupil 1994; Lal Accessed October 2014), and thought it a noble vocation (Mill 1861 [Accessed Fall 2014]: 573–​579). Mill’s empiricism is based on his logic (1882: 1106). Accordingly, deduction, epitomized by the syllogism, is indebted to induction to generate its major premises (typically concerned with generalizations) and hence induction is foundational to reasoning (Mill 1882: II.i, p. 126 and iii, p. 147). Superficially, logic relies on the generalities of the empirical world. Deeply, this empirical focus leads us to an “analysis of the mental processes concerned in reasoning” as logic (Mill 1882: 130, n. 51). This is the position of psychologism. If psychologism is correct, what is reasonable is coextensive with widespread regularities. Psychologism is a failure (Frege 1894; cf. Frege 1980; Husserl 2001): logic is not about widespread regularities but normatively constrained thought. It is not identifying with our mind, but controlling it so that we are free from the influence of prejudice: a point made by Patañjali in his account of Yoga. However, the problem here for Mill is that his account of logic and the empirical account of value are at odds with his liberal stand on individual freedom. In his radical politics he rejects the idea that the widespread regularities in human thinking are normative. In his logic and conservative politics he endorses regularities of thinking as rational. Yoga, with the value it places on kaivalya (freedom, isolation) and its criticism of saṃskāra (prejudice) made possible by a political commitment to the Great Vows that respect personal boundaries, provides us an alternative, nonempirical foundation for the kinds of rights that Mill was interested in—​but without the speciesism. Indeed, the speciesism and the colonialism are based on Mill’s empirical test of pleasure, which does nothing but confirm the biases of the tester. Critical thinking is not about acquiescing to subconscious biases or being content with the status quo. It is yoga: the control of prejudice (saṃskāra) and memory (smṛti)—​mental representation (citta)—​for the sake of freedom. Yoga is not paternalism: it is care properly understood, as what fosters independence. Of course, to think that this is important in one’s own case only is to slip back into prejudice, conservativism, and the selfishness that is incompatible with lordliness. Mill and Utilitarians on the whole might object that for all their problems, at least they are trying to make a difference. Their view is that we should choose with ends in mind. So perhaps Mill is mistaken in his formulation of how we should determine our ends—​he is mistaken for reducing this to the preference of those spoiled enough to have choices. But he is correct that we should choose so as to bring about increased happiness for all concerned. A collective improvement is a worthy goal; we should choose so as to bring about collective improvement. A problem with this response is what might be called the problem of collective harm: “In a wide variety of cases, people collectively cause harm, or fail to prevent it, but no individual act seems to make a difference.”1 My choice to abstain from meat has no impact on factory farming or the killing of animals for food, and yet this is a collective evil. Similarly, decisions to buy fair-​trade products, or environmentally sustainable products, have no impact on worker

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exploitation or environmental degradation as these are a matter of collective harm. Consequentialists who choose by deference to ends should feel discouraged by this—​just as Arjuna at the start of the Bhagavad Gītā feels discouraged by the prospects of a successful war against evil. The yogi, in contrast, does not define right action by the end nor does she justify it by the end, nor does she regard it as the output of the end. So she will engage in the right thing to do, and stick to it long enough to see results. So perhaps single actions cannot make a difference, but persistent effort in favor of a cause over the long run can do so. But one might object that the problem of collective harm is deeper. One way that it is deeper is that it brings into question any moral theory that relates THE RIGHT to THE GOOD , for in such cases of the privation of good, we would have no way to understand right action. But Yoga and Bhakti, in contrast, do not define right action by the good, but by the regulative ideal, so it provides a way to think about moral choice even in times of trouble. Moreover, it can galvanize collective action. Virtue Ethicists need role models, Deontologists need to identify good action. Yogis are role models of perseverance in the face of challenge, and their activities are hardly objectionable and constitute what Deontologists can identify as good behavior that is not justified by the ends. The yogi is a leader because she does not take goodness as a criterion of her action, but takes the proximity to the regulative ideal as the criterion of right action. The behaviors that the yogi models fill a moral void in contexts of collective harm and the privation of goodness that allows theorists of contrary moral theories to join the cause. Consequentialists—​ the Johnny-​come-​latelies of moral theory—​can join the party too, later, when they feel like their choices will make a difference (because everyone else took the lead). As far as these behaviors do not cause the evil in question, modeling these behaviors allows for widespread change in choices, and the diminishment of collective harm. As the yogi causes no threat to the prevailing practices that cause evil but merely opts out, she will live peacefully with evil, long enough to make a difference.

9. CONCLUSION In understanding the philosophy of Yoga, we have to confront memory/​tradition (smṛti) and prejudice (saṃskāra) for two reasons. First, these factors bind us to a perspective, and thus constitute an external impediment to our personal freedom. Second, there has been an inclination to treat the YS as a document of tradition or one to be interpreted, yet this is ironic. The opening lines of the YS (I.2–​4) are an explicit criticism of interpretation. Discipline, it claims, is about controlling mind—​ representation or thought—​so that we can abide in our freedom. Representation is not to be believed, but checked. Failure to do this amounts to an identification with thought: this is belief. “I believe that P” has a different set of truth conditions from P, and the confusion between the two results in problems for my freedom to be critical about P. This undermines our autonomy for it binds us to a perspective. Overcoming interpretation is part of the challenge of our own freedom.

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Yoga is India’s unique contribution to moral philosophy. To understand it is to understand a radical criticism of prejudice, memory, tradition, interpretation, speciesism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, . . . the list goes on. Each “ism” is created out of the conflation of a natural category with personhood that we endorse because we take our perspective too seriously. If we identify personhood with a certain ability, we create ableism. If we identify personhood with a certain race, we create racism. If we identify it with heteronormativity, we create heterosexism. Yoga can be critical of the isms for it identifies personhood with our interests in being undefined by natural constraints. If persons cannot be defined by natural attributes or constraints, I lose the ability to privilege the experiences of one group over another. I have no grounds for discriminating on the basis of natural factors and no reason to denigrate people because of natural traits, such as sexual preference, age, or species. I rather have to respect the perfection of personhood—​the ideal—​as something people have an interest in, regardless of their natural attributes. Not everything will be a person on the Yoga account: certainly, life forms that do not thrive when they are independent will not count. But people thrive when their independence is fostered and protected. We do not have to regard plants as persons, for instance, for it is unclear how they can be causally independent of other persons (such as the Earth), and yet thrive. But with most animals, that is how we are when we are treated with respect. Each one of us defined by our own unconservative self-​governance is the ideal explanation for thriving.

NOTE 1. I am grateful to Julia Nefsky for discussing her views on this topic at a talk at the York University Philosophy Colloquium series on November 27, 2015. The wording of collective harm is hers. For a paper on the topic, see Nefsky (2011).

BIBLIOGRAPHY Annas, Julia. “Being Virtuous and Doing the Right Thing.” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 78, no. 2 (2004): 61–​75. Anscombe, G. E. M. 1963. Intention, 2nd ed. New York: Cornell University Press. Bharadwaja, V. K. “A Non-​Ethical Concept of Ahimsa.” Indian Philosophical Quarterly. 11, no. 2 (April 1984): 171–​177. Bryant, Edwin F. 2009. The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali: A New Edition, Translation, and Commentary with Insights from the Traditional Commentators, 1st ed. New York: North Point Press. Burley, Mikel. 2007. Classical Sāṃkhya and Yoga: An Indian Metaphysics of Experience. Routledge Hindu Studies Series. London, New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis. Burley, Mikel. July 2012. “Surprising.” In Customer Reviews, Amazon UK. http://​www. amazon.co.uk/​PATANJALIS-​YOGA-​SUTRA-​Penguin-​Classics-​ebook/​dp/​B008ET4FIC/​ ref=sr_​1_​1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426279077&sr=8-​1&keywords=shyam+ranganathan

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Burley, Mikel. “ ‘A Petrification of One’s Own Humanity’? Nonattachment and Ethics in Yoga Traditions.” The Journal of Religion 94, no. 2 (2014): 204–​228. Davidson, Donald. 2001a. “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.” Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, 183–​198. New York: Oxford University Press. Davidson, Donald. 2001b. “Radical Interpretation.” Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, 125–​140. Oxford: Clarendon Press (Oxford University Press). Frege, Gottlob. “Rezension Von: E.G. Husserl, Philosophie Der Arithmetik I.” Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik (1894): 313–​332. Frege, Gottlob. 1980. The Foundations of Arithmetic: A Logico-​Mathematical Enquiry into the Concept of Number. Translated by J. L. Austin, 2nd rev. ed. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Gadamer, Hans-​Georg. 1996. Truth and Method. Translated by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall, 2nd rev. English Language ed. New York: Continuum. J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Seibeck). Gandhi, M. K. 1947. Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (Electronic Edition), 95 Vols. http://​gandhiserve.org/​cwmg/​cwmg.html; Mahatma Gandhi Research and Media Service. Goodman, Charles. 2009. Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Goodman, Charles. Fall 2014 Edition. Ethics in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward Zalta. http://​plato.stanford.edu/​ archives/​fall2014/​entries/​ethics-​indian-​buddhism/​ Grinshpon, Yohanan. 2002. Silence Unheard: Deathly Otherness in Patañjala-​Yoga. Albany: State University of New York Press. Hursthouse, Rosalind. 1996. “Normative Virtue Ethics.” In How Should One Live?, edited by Roger Crisp. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Husserl, Edmund. 2001. Logical Investigations. Translated by J. N. Findlay. In International Library of Philosophy, 2nd ed. 2 vols. London, New York: Routledge. Īśvarakṛṣṇa. 1948. Sāṅkhya Kārikā. Translated and edited by S. S. Suryanarayana-​Sastri. Madras University Philosophical Series. No. 3, 2nd rev. ed. Madras: University of Madras. Kant, Immanuel. 1974. Critique of Judgment. Translated by J. H. Bernard. Hafner Library of Classics. New York, London: Hafner Press, Collier Macmillan. Kant, Immanuel. 1996. The Metaphysics of Morals. Translated by Mary J. Gregor. New York: Cambridge University Press. Kant, Immanuel. 1997. Critique of Practical Reason. Translated by Mary Gregor. In Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy, edited by Karl Ameriks and Desmond M. Clarke. New York: Cambridge. Kant, Immanuel. 1998. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Translated by Mary J. Gregor. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press. Kant, Immanuel. 2003. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Norman Kemp Smith, 2nd rev. ed. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Lal, Vinay. Accessed October 2014. Organic Conservatism, Administrative Realism, and the Imperialist Ethos in the ‘Indian Career’ of John Stuart Mill. Originally published as

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“John Stuart Mill and India,” a review article. New Quest, no. 54 (January–​February 1998):  54–​64. https://​www.sscnet.ucla.edu/​southasia/​History/​British/​jsmill.html Maas, Philipp A. 2013. “A Concise Historiography of Classical Yoga Philosophy.” In Historiography and Periodization of Indian Philosophy, edited by Eli Franco, 53–​90. Vienna: De Nobili Series. Mackie, J. L. 1977. Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. Harmondsworth, New York: Penguin. Mill, John Stuart. 1861 [Accessed Fall 2014]. “Considerations on Representative Government” In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XIX—​Essays on Politics and Society Part 2, edited by John M. Robson. http://​oll.libertyfund.org/​titles/​ 234 Mill, John Stuart. 1882. A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence, and the Methods of Scientific Investigation, 8th ed. New York: Harper. Mill, John Stuart. 1965. “The Subjection of Women.” In Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, edited by John M. Robson, Francis Edward Mineka, Marion Filipiuk, and Jean O’Grady, 259–​340. Vol. 21. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Monier-​Williams, Monier. 1995. A Sanskrit–​English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged, with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-​European Languages, “Greatly enlarged and improved” ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Originally published Oxford University Press 1872, enlarged 1899. Nagel, Thomas. 2007. “Moral Luck.” In Ethical Theory: An Anthology, edited by Russ Shafer-​Landau, 355–​362, of Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Nefsky, Julia. “Consequentialism and the Problem of Collective Harm: A Reply to Kagan.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 39, no. 4 (2011): 364–​395. Patañjali. 1971 (circa 300 CE). Patañjali’s Yogasūtra, with Vyāsa’s Bhāṣya, Vācaspati Miśra’s Tattvavaiśāradī, and Vijñānabhikṣu’s Yogavārttika, edited by Ramashankar Bhattacharya. Varanasi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakarana. Patañjali. 2008. Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra: Translation, Commentary and Introduction by Shyam Ranganathan. Black Classics. Delhi: Penguin Black Classics. Puri, Bindu. 2015. Tagore-​Gandhi Debate on Matters of Truth and Untruth. London: Springer. Ranganathan, Shyam. “Review of David White Gordon’s the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography.” Philosophy East and West 66, no. 3 (2016): 1043–​1048. Rawls, John. 1971. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Śaṅkara. 2001. Yogasūtrabhāṣyavivaraṇa. Translated by Trichur Subramanium Rukmani, 2 vols. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal. White, David Gordon. 2014. The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography. Lives of Great Religious Books. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Wood, Allen. “Kant on Duties Regarding Nonrational Nature.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplement 72 (1998): 189–​210. Zastoupil, Lynn. 1994. John Stuart Mill and India. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

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Nyāya Consequentialism KISOR K. CHAKRABARTI

1. INTRODUCTION Nyāyadarśana or Nyāya (NY) philosophy is one of the six orthodox systems of Hindu philosophy. Though the main focus of the Nyāya is on logic and epistemology (and to a lesser extent on ontology), it also contains a theory of what we should do or what for us is the right thing to do and a theory of why we should do it and what is good: this is Nyāya ethics. Our brief account of NY ethics is based on the original Sanskrit sources. We first turn to the Nyāya Sūtra (NS), the founding work of the Nyāya school and the oldest available commentary called the Nyāya Bhāṣya (NBH).1 According to NS 1.1.1, true awareness of 16 topics like sources of knowing, the knowables, doubt, purpose, the steps of demonstration, the pseudo-​probantia, and so on leads to the highest good. NS 1.1.9 gives a list of 12 knowables, viz., the self, the body, the external sense organs, the objects (i.e., objects of voluntary action, mainly pleasure, pain, and their causal conditions), cognitive states, the inner sense, volition, failings, rebirth, fruits of voluntary actions, suffering, and liberation (NBH 1989: vol. 1, 197). NBH 1.1.1 glosses that true awareness of the knowables beginning with the self leads to the highest good (NBH 1989: vol. 1, 22). Thus though knowledge of all 16 topics listed in NS 1.1.1 is useful for the highest good, knowledge of the knowables such as the self, the body, volition, failings, and so on are directly relevant to the highest good. Of the knowables, again, the self is the most important and it is knowledge of the self that is the most directly relevant to the highest good (though knowledge of all knowables and indirectly of all 16 topics is useful for that purpose). Although the role of true awareness as the means to the highest good has wide support across Indian philosophies, it is significant that for NY knowledge of specifically sources of knowing, the method of proving, faulty reasons, and so on is critically relevant to the highest good. As noted later, false beliefs about the self and so on are for NY among the chief impediments to the highest good. Such false beliefs may be corrected by reliable beliefs (especially about the knowables above) grounded in accepted sources of knowing including inference. Accordingly, the study of the appropriate sources

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in which knowledge claims may be based, the fallacies to be avoided in making an inference, and so on is crucially important for that goal. What is liberation, the highest good? According to NS 1.1.22 liberation is the absolute relief from that (NBH 1989: vol. 1, 133). Since the immediately previous aphorism is devoted to suffering, NBH 1.1.22 takes “that” to stand for suffering (NBH 1989: vol. 1, 134). Thus liberation is absolute relief from suffering and this is the highest good.

1.1. Nyāya Ethics: Consequentialism Similar ideas are voiced in what is often regarded as the sister philosophical school called “Vaiśeṣika.” The Vaiśeṣika Sūtra (VS),2 the founding work of that school of philosophy, begins by proclaiming that dharma will be explained (VS 1.1.1). The word “dharma” (which means what holds or supports) is sometimes used in a very general sense like the English word “good” and is also often used to mean “righteousness.” Since the VS proceeds to develop an ontology of all that exists and also gives an account of righteousness, both senses of dharma are intended in the above aphorism. In particular, the next aphorism (VS 1.1.2) says that dharma is that through which there is progress and accomplishment of the highest good (VS 1991: 5). The commentary called Upaskāra (sixteenth century CE) on VS 1.1.2 explains that awareness of the truth is progress, absolute cessation of suffering is the highest good, and dharma is that through which both come; progress (or awareness of the truth) is the gateway to the highest good (VS 1991: 5). The Padārtha-​dharma-​saṃgraha (PDS, fifth century CE?), the second most influential work of this school, says that true awareness of similarities and differences of the six categories of substance, quality particular, motion, universal, ultimate differentiator, and inseparable inherence (on the part of at least one of the two relata) is the causal condition of the highest good (PDS 1997: 15). This early VS work (among others) mentions God in many places and emphasizes the importance of generally binding (sāmānya) obligations like nonviolence, care giving, truthfulness, etc. (and other observances and restraints) as well as true awareness for achieving the absolute end of suffering as the highest good (PDS: sṛṣṭisamhāraprakaraṇam, dharmaprakaraṇam, etc). Thus both the Nyāya and the Vaiśeṣika (both of which are Theistic) agree that the absolute end of suffering is the highest good and that knowledge is the means to that. This viewpoint is also supported by the Sāṃkhya, another orthodox Hindu school (though the latter is Atheistic and offers a different kind of ontology and understanding of knowledge; Sāṃkhyakārikā with the Tattvakaumudī or TK: 65).3 That knowledge is the means to the highest good is further the view of Advaita Vedānta (and others), though the highest good is now conceived not only negatively as the end of all suffering, but also positively as a state of eternal bliss (an issue to which we shall return). The connection between knowledge and virtue is also central in Buddhism and Jainism and that virtue is knowledge is famously discussed in Plato’s Meno (86–​96) and that the highest Form is the Form of THE GOOD that is the object of the highest knowledge is mentioned in Plato’s Republic (508e2-​3).

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That liberation is the highest good is part of the widely held view in traditional Hinduism that there are four basic goods or values or purposes (puruṣārtha), viz. (in ascending order), wealth, pleasure, righteousness, and liberation (NBH vol. 1: 4, 30). These are basic values in the sense that all our voluntary actions are taken to be aimed directly or indirectly at some of these values, and other values like employment or marriage are means to some of these values. Among the four basic values, liberation is the highest value for the following reason. It is part of a person’s nature to seek relief from suffering. The other three values do bring relief from suffering. Thus wealth can bring relief from suffering due to starvation, lack of shelter, etc. Similarly, pleasure provides relief from suffering and does take place in intervals of suffering, as NS 4.1.55 explicitly says. In other words, although suffering is pervasive, pleasure in intervals of suffering is directly experienced by us and cannot be denied, as NBH 4.1.55 clarifies (NBH 1989: vol. 4, 316–​317). This is important, for it would be a mistake to think that pleasure reduces to relief from suffering. It is true that suffering and not pleasure is explicitly mentioned in the list of 12 knowables as noted earlier. But this does not take anything away from the irreducibility of pleasure. It is natural to mention suffering and not pleasure explicitly in the enunciation of knowables, for liberation (that is listed immediately after suffering) is viewed as the absolute end of suffering and not as a state of pleasure. Nevertheless, NS 1.1.10 mentions both pleasure and suffering explicitly as inferential marks (among others) for the self. Were pleasure to be viewed as nothing more than relief from suffering, it would not make sense to claim that pleasure is a distinct inferential mark separate from suffering. Further, NBH (1.1.10) explains that pleasure is an inferential mark for the self in the following sense. When one finds pleasure from something, one may seek to acquire that thing after encountering it: this shows that one recognizes something as the same as what has been experienced before and such recognition is a ground for inferring that the self is permanent. (The underlying issues are complex and cannot be discussed in our limited space; see Chakrabarti 1999: ch. 6). What matters for us is the following: pleasure is here accepted not only as real and different from relief from suffering, but also as a good: one recognizes something as being a source of pleasure in the past and seeks to have that thing again as the means to pleasure. Again, NS 4.1.51 says that since pleasure belongs to the self, there can be no denial of pleasure and implies that pleasure cannot be denied as a fruit or an end (phala) of effort. NS 4.1.52 acknowledges that children, possessions, etc. too are commonly spoken of as fruits or ends. NS 4.1.53 clarifies that these other things are fruits or ends in an extended sense because of being related to pleasure. Thus pleasure is accepted not only as an end but also as a basic end so that some other things that are means to pleasure may also be called ends in a derivative sense. Still it goes without saying that pleasure never lasts long enough and is inseparable from and replaced by suffering and accordingly is not accepted as the highest good. (More on why pleasure is not the highest good comes later.) Next, there is righteousness. In the Nyāya view righteous action produces merit/​ virtue (dharma) as distinguished from unrighteousness action that produces demerit/​

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vice (adharma). Such merit/​virtue and demerit/​vice are quality particulars (guṇa) located in a self and serve as causal conditions of pleasure and pain respectively. This is an important use of the words “dharma” and “adharma.” These are, for the Nyāya, imperceptible quality particulars of the self—​merit/​virtues and demerit/​vices. The use here is ambiguous. Good acts do not always lead to beneficial results in a foreseeable future and bad acts too do not always lead to harmful results. Further, no such acts are present immediately before rebirth. At birth some newborns are healthy and some are sick. The Nyāya is Theistic and admits God as a causal condition of any effect. Still God does not act independently and acts as a promoting agent for realization of the fruits of the endeavor (puruṣakāra) of human and other living beings, as NBH 4.1.63 points out (NBH 1989: vol. 4, 53). If God acts independently, since God is all knowing and all powerful, why some newborn babies are healthy and some are sick becomes hard to explain without inviting the charges of discrimination and cruelty against God (Vedāntadarśana, 2.1.34). The said merits and demerits are inferred to offer a solution to this classical problem of evil that has been debated widely in both Western and Indian philosophies. It is held that with God’s help babies are born healthy or sick in accordance with the merits and demerits of voluntary actions in a previous life. Merits and demerits survive until the fruits of actions are realized. Accordingly, a good act can produce a beneficial result in a distant future with the help of the residual merit, and similarly, a bad act, a harmful result with the help of the residual demerit. Merits and demerits are also invoked to explain unpredictable windfalls and hardships in a given life. Thus this is not an endorsement of fatalism. Virtuous acts can improve the future just as bad acts can make it worse and we are accountable for our choices. But pleasures from the merits of good acts are not everlasting and are succeeded by suffering from the demerits of bad acts; thus not only is the relief temporary, but further the causal conditions of pleasure, such as the body, the sense organs, etc., are also causal conditions of suffering and under ordinary circumstances give rise to suffering. Accordingly, liberation that involves absolute relief from suffering forever, and in traditional Hinduism is claimed to be achievable, is superior to other values (we take another look later). While true awareness helps to set us free, false awareness traps us into bondage and suffering. A basic kind of false awareness is wrongly identifying the self with what is not the self, such as the body, the sense organs, etc. Statements like “I am dark,” “I am blind,” and so on are common examples of such misidentification. Mistaking what is not the self for the self is the root cause of egotism (ahaṃkāra); true awareness of the body and so on is needed for eradication of such false awareness and egotism. Here are some examples of false awareness given in NBH 1.1.2: mistaking what is not the self for the self, what is suffering for pleasure, the non-​eternal for the eternal, what does not save for what saves, what is to be feared for what is not to be feared, and so on. False awareness leads to attachment to those that appear to be favorable and detestation for what appears to be inimical (NBH 1.1.2). Such attachment and detestation leads to failings (doṣa), such as untruthfulness, jealousy, deception, and greed. Such failings lead to external and

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internal bad actions/​dispositions. First, there are three kinds of external bad actions by the body, viz., violence, stealing, and sexual promiscuity. Second, there are four kinds of external bad actions by speech, viz., telling what is not true, speaking harshly, harping on the faults of others, and speaking incoherently. Third, there are three kinds of internal bad dispositions, viz., enmity toward others, coveting others’ property, and faithlessness. Side by side with these ten bad deeds/​dispositions, there are ten external and internal good deeds/​dispositions. First, there are three kinds of external good deeds by the body, viz., giving, saving someone, and serving others. Second, there are four kinds of external good deeds by speech, viz., speaking the truth, speaking what is beneficial, speaking what is pleasant, and speaking about the (true) self or self-​study (that includes reciting and studying the scriptures). Third, there are three kinds of internal good dispositions, viz., compassion, ungreediness, and faith (NBH 1989: 1.1.2, vol. 1, 68–​79). NBH 1.1.18 goes on to say that besides attachment (rāga) and detestation (dveṣa), another third kind of failing is confusion (moha). All these three kinds of failings (and all failings are included in these three) lead to activities that are causal conditions of pleasure or suffering (NBH 1989: vol. 1, 127).4 Is one of these three kinds of failings more harmful than the other two? NS 4.1.6 answers the question in the affirmative and identifies confusion or false awareness as the most harmful kind of failing. NBH 4.1.6 clarifies that attachment and detestation, which are the two other kinds of failing, do not arise unless there is confusion; hence the latter is more harmful than the other two (NBH 1989: vol. 4, 12–​14). In other words, confusion is the root of the other failings and is more fundamental. How can one overcome the failings to pave the way for liberation that is the end of all suffering? According to NS 4.2.46 the right step in that direction is purification of the self (ātma-​saṃskāra) with the help of restraint (yama) and observance (niyama). What is restraint and observance? According to NBH 4.2.46 restraint is what is common to (the four) stages of life and is meritorious while observance is what is specific (to a particular stage of life and is meritorious). For example, nonpossession (aparigraha) and continence do not, in the strict sense, apply to the householder stage and thus, on the face of it, do not fall under restraint in this understanding. However, both nonpossession and continence are included under restraint in the highly influential and widely known account of restraint and observance in the Yoga Sūtra (2.30.32): there the restraints are nonviolence, truthfulness, non-​stealing, continence, and nonpossession; while the observances are cleanliness, contentment, penance, self-​study, and devotion (surrendering) to the Lord. The fact that NBH does not refer to the famous Yoga view may be due to NBH being an earlier work. In the super-​super-​commentary called the Tātparya-​tīkā (TT, tenth century CE), which is a commentary on the Nyāyavārttika (NV) that is a commentary on NBH that is a commentary on NS, the Yoga view of restraint and observance is presented (TT: 636). In a sense, however, the NBH view of restraint is not incompatible with the Yoga view. It is a common obligation in all stages of life to avoid violence, falsehood, stealing, sexual promiscuity, and an overzealous pursuit of material possession (thus the common saying “the sky is the limit” is a dangerous

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prescription from this viewpoint). Each one of these five kinds of activities to be avoided causes demerit and due to accrual of demerit one engaging in any one of these falls further behind in the road to liberation. That is, violence, falsehood, etc., instead of alleviating suffering, add to suffering from this point of view. Since NBH speaks of restraint as what produces merit, by implication it excludes activities that place further roadblocks to the goal of liberation. According to a very ancient view, restraint is not doing what is forbidden. In the super-​super-​super-​commentary called the Pariśuddhi (PS, eleventh century CE) the great Nyāya philosopher Udayana endorses this view of restraint (PS: 556). Since not doing what is forbidden is a common obligation in all four stages of life and is meritorious (by way of not adding more demerits to the burden of karma), the NBH account of restraint is consistent with this very ancient view. The moot point is that building a virtuous or good character through restraint, observances, and control of failings is essential for moral and spiritual progress. We have so far looked at some important first-​order moral precepts of Nyāya ethics, such as that one should not engage in (avoidable) violence, one should tell the truth, and so on. (Since the original source literature of this school in Sanskrit runs into over a thousand volumes most of which are not available in print, an exhaustive list of all such moral precepts is beyond the scope of this chapter.) We have seen that what is right, according to this ethics, is true awareness (that removes false awareness that is a causal condition of attachment, detestation, and confusion) and purification of the self through restraint and observance (that help to eradicate failings through various acts of commission and omission, reduce the burden of demerit, and increase the stock of merit). We have also seen that liberation as the end of all suffering is the highest good or value in this ethics. Thus this ethics includes a theory of the right and a theory of the good as the key ingredients of an ethical theory. What is right is viewed and justified as being instrumental to achieving the goal of liberation as the highest good. In other words, the case for true awareness as what is right is in this ethics based on its being viewed as the means to liberation as the ultimate end and so is also the case for purification of the self that involves eradication of failings. Not only are these justified as the means to the accepted end, but also these different acts of commission and omission are accorded high moral status because of being the means to the same end. Since in this ethics what is right is justified as the means to the end and different acts are given similar or the same (depending on how directly or indirectly these are related to the end) moral values because of being the means to the same end, this ethics is Consequentialist. The main thrust of this ethics is on individual morality. Still consideration for others is essential for individual moral progress. This is clear from the moral precepts mentioned above. Thus the ten bad acts/​dispositions that are causal conditions of demerit include violence, stealing, sexual transgression, false speech, harsh speech, harping on others’ faults, speaking incoherently, enmity toward others, and coveting others’ possessions, which are not only detrimental to oneself, but also harmful to others. While one has an obligation not to indulge in bad acts/​dispositions, these may also imply that others have rights to life, property, and so on (though the

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modern doctrine of rights is not explicitly found in these writings). That is, the point of these admonitions may very well be that one has an obligation to safeguard the rights of others and violation of these rights comes at a high moral cost. Such rights are implied in much of Indian moral thought, including Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain views, and it is useful to note that this applies to NY as well. Further, the ten good acts/​dispositions that are causal conditions of merit include giving, saving, service, true speech, beneficial speech, pleasant speech, and kindness, which are not only beneficial to oneself but also benefit others. Again, failings include infatuation for the other sex (kāma), unwillingness to share with others what is not depleted by use (matsara), greed for others’ possessions, and deception, which all have adverse consequences for oneself as well as others (NV: 424–​426). Mention is also made of compassion (kāruṇya), understood as willingness to relieve the suffering of others without regard to one’s own interest (PDS: 635).5 Now in this view the body, the sense organs, and indeed, anything and everything in the mundane world, may sometimes be causal conditions of pleasure; nevertheless, they are all invariably also causal conditions of pain. Hence not only pain but also the body, and so on, are considered to be suffering in the extended sense, for they are inseparable from suffering (NBH 1989: 4.1.54, vol. 4, 314). Thus liberation as the end of all suffering requires ultimately nothing short of putting a complete stop to the beginningless process of birth and death. In this respect this ethics may sound quite otherworldly. At the same time, this ethics is also an ethics of engagement. The engagement is for relieving suffering not only for oneself but also for others, and one cannot reach the ultimate goal without engaging in the service of others (we do not have the space to go into this further and also into social issues our philosophers have taken substantial interest in). If altruism means that everyone should give up one’s interest for others, this ethics is not altruistic. However, if altruism involves that serving others is beneficial to everyone including oneself, that in some situations one should sacrifice one’s possessions, even life, etc. for others (and in a sense this benefits oneself too), and that sometimes working as a group helps everyone including oneself more than working individually alone (e.g., NS and NBH 4.2.47–​48 speak of the value of fellowship), this ethics has an altruistic dimension as well. We have said that various moral precepts not only enjoin duties (kartavya, dharma) and obligations (dāya, dharma), but may also imply rights in the modern sense (though there is no exact Sanskrit equivalent to the modern word “right” despite the fact that the widely used word adhikāra is often translated as “right” and the translation is not inappropriate in certain contexts). Rights in the modern sense may also be implied in a main reason for holding that God is a causal condition of all effects not independently of karma. As noted earlier, if God were independent of karma, the charge of discrimination against God would have been hard to resolve. Irrespective of whether the said charge has merit, the underlying moral background of the charge seems to imply a right of nondiscrimination. It would be morally wrong for some babies to be born healthy and others to be born sick unless that happens to be the consequence of their own actions (in previous lives). The logic of this implies a right of the newborn to be treated equally in the same way except when there are

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overriding circumstances. The overriding circumstances are provided by the law of karma. God supervises the process to make sure that each baby gets what he or she deserves, based on past actions. This implies right in the sense of entitlement. One who has lived a good life is entitled to a good birth and anyone has the right to choose a good life and reap the reward (unless one has disqualified oneself by choosing to do bad things). Such a Theistic platform is not available to many Indian philosophical schools such as the Buddhist, the Jain, the Sāṅkhya, the Mīmāṃsā, etc., but is available to NY and Vaiśeṣika. We have seen that liberation as the highest good is conceived minimally as the absolute end of suffering and not as a state of bliss or happiness or pleasure (even in a sublime sense, though pleasure is often taken to be the highest good, as NBH 4.1.57 acknowledges). This is so because pleasure (even in the most Platonic sense) is inseparable from suffering (NBH 4.1.54). Pleasure and suffering are inseparable in the sense that (1) wherever there is pleasure there is suffering and wherever there is suffering there is pleasure; (2) they both arise from the same causal conditions: whatever is a causal condition of pleasure is also a causal condition of suffering and vice versa (this holds even though merit is a causal condition of pleasure and demerit, of suffering); (3) both are colocated: both pleasure and suffering are invariably located in the same person; and (4) both are experienced together: whoever experiences pleasure also experiences suffering and vice versa (successively or simultaneously despite nonsimultaneity of cognitive states) (NV 1.1.2.). NBH goes on to clarify that pleasure breeds hankering (paryeṣaṇā) that can never be fulfilled. Sometimes pleasures come but are short-​lived. Sometimes pleasures do happen but fall short of the mark. Sometimes pleasures come at a very high price of burdensome suffering. Further, and more importantly, pleasures typically lead to the need for more pleasure and often for other pleasures; all these eventually turn into an insatiable thirst (tṛṣṇā). NBH cites an old saying: “Even when one who seeks pleasure finds it, one is quickly entrapped for another pleasure” (4.1.56). NBH cites another old saying: “Even if one succeeds in acquiring the whole earth all the way up to the ocean with all cows and horses, one is still not satisfied (and thirsts for more). How can there be pleasure (or happiness or satisfaction) from desire for possession?” (NBH 1989: 4.1.56, vol. 4, 316). The point is well taken. If it is the very nature of pleasure to drive us for more, pleasure inevitably leads to unfulfillment and dissatisfaction and thus suffering. The paradox of pleasure stares at us with ominous certainty. The irony is that we often find pleasure when we do not pursue pleasure but pursue other things, such as fishing, philanthropy, and so on; but if we pursue pleasure itself, we end up empty-​handed. Even if we find pleasure, there is always thirst for more, which brings dissatisfaction and suffering. Since pleasure is inseparable from suffering, pleasure must be discarded, just as milk mixed with poison must be discarded (NBH 1989: 4.1.54, vol. 4, 314) to put an absolute end to all suffering. Those who think that liberation as the highest good is not only devoid of suffering, but also a state of pleasure or happiness suffer, in this view, from a dangerous clinging for pleasure and a serious delusion. Pleasure or happiness can only come with suffering and, therefore, is not the highest good. This

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is not to deny that pleasure is a fact of life and can be achieved. Our philosophers readily admit that pleasure is common experience, is real, and the body, etc. do serve as the causal conditions of pleasure. Nevertheless, the claim is that the causal conditions of pleasure are also invariably the causal conditions of suffering. We naturally abhor suffering and nothing that involves suffering can be accepted as the ultimate good or goal. Thus a state without suffering is higher than a state that includes pleasure and suffering. Our philosophers are not here making a transition from “X is desired” to “X is desirable” (and something is not desired to something is not desirable), as John Stuart Mill did (Rosenstand 2005: 234). Our philosophers repeatedly point out that pleasure, etc. are commonly desired, but deny that these are desirable. Similarly, various things enjoined in moral and spiritual progress may not be desired by many, but that does not make them undesirable. In fact, NBH grants as an example of false belief that liberation as explained may very well appear to be terrifying (for being shorn of things we commonly like, including consciousness) and not desired by even some who are intelligent (NBH 1989: 1.1.2, vol. 1, 69). Still there is a gap between what is desired and what should be desired as also between what is not desired and what should not be desired, and one does not follow from the other. Suffering is undesirable not because it is not desired. If this were so, pleasure would have been desirable because it is desired (as Mill supposed). For our philosophers both suffering and pleasure are undesirable, though the former is not desired and the latter is (commonly) desired. Thus being actually desired or not being desired is not the proper basis for being desirable or undesirable for our philosophers. Rather the proper basis for both pleasure and suffering being undesirable is that both are harmful (ahita) and our failings, viz., attachment, detestation, and confusion, are causal conditions of both. Thus, being rooted in our failings, neither suffering nor pleasure can be desirable in a moral sense. Accordingly, for moral as well as logical reasons liberation or the ultimate good not only cannot be a state of suffering, but also cannot be a state of pleasure. The above viewpoint is similar to negative Utilitarianism, sometimes attributed to Karl Popper (2012: 548), that the moral standard is minimizing suffering and not maximizing pleasure and that there is no symmetry between suffering and pleasure. Clearly NY holds that the highest good is absolute end of suffering and rejects that this is a state of pleasure. However, for NY pleasure is real and a good and even a basic good, though not the highest good as we have seen. To a limited extent, the NY moral standard of being beneficial without causing more harm than good (see below) can accommodate pleasure. In other words, the NY standard excludes pleasure in the ultimate analysis, but does not necessarily exclude pleasure in ordinary situations. Although all pleasures are inseparable from suffering and fall short of the highest end, one in the householder stage (gṛhastha), for example, is not disallowed from enjoying good things in life, such as food, children, etc., if these do not cause greater suffering (NS and NBH 4.1.44, 4.1.52, NBH vol. 4, 328, etc.). Accordingly, an objection against negative Utilitarianism that a benevolent world exploder, if capable of achieving it

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with minimal pain, is duty bound to destroy all human life to eliminate suffering altogether (Smart 1958) does not apply to the NY position. Further, generally binding obligations, such as nonviolence and care giving (and other restraints and observances), preclude the hypothesis of such a benevolent world exploder. Some hold that liberation is a state of eternal pleasure or happiness.6 This should be distinguished from ordinary pleasures that come and go and are subject to causal conditions that also produce suffering. But this does not apply to pleasure that is not subject to causal conditions. In the Nyāya view the individual self appears to be limited to the confines of the body, but in its true nature is ubiquitous. Ubiquitousness of the self is not originated in liberation but is revealed. Similarly, eternal happiness is not originated in liberation but is revealed (NBH 1989: 1.22; vol. 1, 236). NBH offers a bunch of objections to this view, some of which are briefly stated. Such manifestation or revelation must involve awareness, for lack of awareness will make liberation indistinguishable from the state of bondage. But what is the causal condition of that awareness? Suppose it is said that such awareness too is eternal like happiness so that no causal condition is called for. But then again there is the same difficulty that bondage becomes indistinguishable from liberation. What if we suppose that though happiness in liberation is eternal, its awareness is non-​eternal? Then we have the old question about what is the causal condition of that awareness. What if it is said that the contact between the self and the inner sense (that is accepted by our philosophers as a common causal condition of any state of awareness) is that causal condition? But then at least another causal condition that is not always available is needed. The problem is that the contact between the self and the inner sense would have to be available always and then such awareness should take place always and then we have the familiar problem of bondage being indistinguishable from liberation. What if merit from yogic meditative practice is that additional causal condition? But then the difficulty is that such merit is not everlasting. When the merit is gone, awareness of eternal happiness will be gone too and then we have the old issue of bondage being indistinguishable from liberation. Finally, pursuit of pleasure in all cases accepted by both sides in the debate is invariably bound with attachment and suffering. Where is the rational basis acceptable to both sides to claim that pursuit of eternal pleasure is not bound with attachment and suffering? If there is no such basis and if attachment and suffering are present, liberation would be impossible (NBH 1989: vol. 1, 238–​249). It is thus clear that our philosophers are opposed to accepting pleasure as the highest good even if pleasure is taken in a trans-​empirical sense as eternal happiness.

1.2.  Liberation Without Consciousness Now, our philosophers, in addition to denying that there is pleasure in liberation, also deny that there is consciousness in liberation. While the rejection of pleasure

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or happiness in liberation has support outside the Nyāya and the Vaiśeṣika schools in Indian philosophy, the rejection of consciousness in liberation has little support outside these schools. A common criticism from other schools of Indian philosophy is that for human beings/​ persons a state devoid of consciousness is not worth pursuing and certainly is not the highest good. However, our philosophers have reached this conclusion not as an ad hoc assumption, but as a corollary of other views accepted by them after careful, deep, and persistent critical scrutiny. First, had liberation been a state of pleasure or happiness, consciousness would have been required for that. But rejection of pleasure for reasons explained above opens the door for rejection of consciousness. That is, if liberation is negatively conceived as the end of all suffering, presence of consciousness is dispensable. Why add something that is dispensable? Second, rejection of consciousness is not rejection of existence. The Buddhist ideal of nirvāṇa, rightly or wrongly, is often criticized as advocacy of extinction that does not work. The Buddhists hold that everything is momentary and reject the view of the self as an enduring substance and accept instead a flowing stream of momentary internal states. When the stream is arrested in nirvāṇa by way of eradication of thirst and clinging, nothing remains, it is argued by the critics. But the objectors ask, “Why should one strive to be reduced to nothing?” Whatever the merit of this objection against the Buddhist view, this surely does not apply to the position of our philosophers. They hold that the self is not only enduring, but also an eternal substance and in liberation continues to exist in its own true nature forever, without the possibility of suffering. Third, our philosophers have offered formidable arguments to prove that the self is a nonphysical substance.7 Some philosophers who hold that the self is nonphysical also hold that the self is essentially conscious (e.g., Descartes) or otherwise that the self is the same as consciousness (e.g., Advaita Vedānta). Our philosophers have argued at length for the ontological distinction between the substance and the quality particulars and held that consciousness is a quality particular of the self (Chakrabarti 1999: ch. 6). There is no doubt that the self is conscious some of the time. But where is the evidence, they ask, that the self is conscious all the time? On the contrary, so far as ordinary experience goes, temporary loss of consciousness (in a coma, etc.) is fairly common. All that common experience shows, our philosophers point out, is that we are conscious only some of the time and not all the time. Thus consciousness is an adventitious (āgantuka) quality particular of the self and arises only when the conditions are favorable. These conditions include contact with the body.8 As long as there is contact with the body, however, suffering is inevitable. To stop all suffering and reach liberation, the contact with the body must be terminated; then, due to the lack of a necessary condition, there can be no consciousness as well. Finally, so far as common experience goes, wherever there is consciousness there is suffering. Based on observations of conscious states (such as pleasure, anger, etc.) that are necessarily linked with suffering and are confirming examples acceptable to both sides, and due to the lack of any counterexample acceptable to both sides, it may be prima facie generalized that all conscious states are states of suffering.9 Under

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the circumstances, unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary and none is available in the view of our philosophers, cessation of consciousness is necessary for cessation of suffering. It follows that liberation is devoid of consciousness.10

2.  MOTIVATION AND OBLIGATION NY Consequentialist ethics has faced challenges from the Prāvākara (PK) Mīmāṃsā school of Indian philosophy based on the analysis of the meaning of injunctions, in particular the meaning of the verbal suffixes and verbal noun endings that provide the Sanskrit equivalent of English expressions like “should” or “ought to.” The discussion is not limited to moral imperatives. Other imperatives like “one who wishes to be cured from illness should take the medicine,” “one who wishes to cook should procure the fuel,” and so on are considered as well as moral imperatives like “one should tell the truth,” “one should treat the guest/​the teacher/​the father/​ the mother as God.” Still, since moral imperatives are included, the discussion is relevant to ethics. Both NY and PK and others agree that injunctive suffixes and endings (injunctions for short) induce one to act. The debate is over the exact nature of inducing awareness and the precise meaning of an injunction (vidhi-​artha). In the NY view, such awareness is primarily that of the means of getting what is desired or beneficial. That is, an injunction induces primarily through the state of awareness of the means of achieving an end. For example, “one should tell the truth” as well as “one should treat the guest as God” may be said to induce one to tell the truth or treat the guest as God as the means of realizing the ends of social cohesion (loka-​saṃgraha; Bhāṣāpariccheda with the Siddhāntamuktāvalī and Saṃgraha or BSS:  462–​463; NBH 1989: vol. 5, 237–​240), individual merit (dharma), and so on. PK disagrees and holds that the inducement is primarily from the state of awareness of what is to be done or should be done (Sanskrit expressions like kārya, karaṇīya are ambiguous; PK also links what is to be done or should be done with what can be done or is achievable (kṛti-​sādhya that may remind one of Kant’s linking “ought” with “can”).11 Thus an injunction primarily means and conveys what is to be done or should be done and not what is the means to the end. The inducement is not directly from the state of awareness of the means to the end, but from that of what is to be or should be done and the right thing to do. For example, “one should tell the truth” primarily means that telling the truth is what is to be or should be done and the right thing to do and exhorts through the state of awareness of that. PK argues that when a state of awareness serves as the causal condition of volition, what that state of awareness needs to produce is the desire to act or do or make something. In such a desire what is or should be done or being achievable is the qualifier and the achievable act is the qualificand. And for such a desire the state of awareness of being achievable is the causal condition, for the qualifier in the state of awareness that is the causal condition of a given desire is always the same as the

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qualifier of that desire. That is, a desire in which something is the qualifier is caused by a state of awareness in which that same something is also the qualifier.12 The argument may be explained further as follows. When one has the desire for a mango, a causal condition of that is the state of awareness of a mango. No one has a desire for something unless one has experienced it (or something similar) before and is aware of it. In NY terminology, in the desire for a mango, the latter is the qualificand and mango-​ness is the qualifier, that is, this is a desire for what has or is qualified by mango-​ness. In the same way, in the causally connected state of awareness of a mango, mango-​ness is the qualifier. Thus the qualifier is the same in the state of awareness that is a causal condition and the desire that is the effect. PK points out that when a state of awareness leads to volition, it first leads to a desire to act or do or make in which what is to be done or should be done or being achievable is the qualifier. What is to be done then should also be the qualifier in the state of awareness that is the causal condition. It follows that what is to be done is the primary meaning of an injunction, the state of awareness of which may lead to volition. PK argues further that the state of awareness of being the means to what is desired or beneficial is not the causal condition as NY claims, for then the desire to act or do or make could arise even for something that is not achievable. Indeed, this is why one does not, for example, have the desire to make rain (even if there is drought); though rain is then desired and beneficial, it is still beyond one’s means. NY could reply that the state of awareness of being the means to what is desired or beneficial is still the appropriate causal condition. Despite being so, in such cases as rain above, it does not lead to the said desire because of an obstruction, viz., the state of awareness of not being achievable. However, if the above is accepted, absence of such an obstruction too would have to be accepted as a causal condition and that is uneconomical. In the PK view the state of awareness of what is to be done or should be done or achievable is the causal condition. But in the NY view the state of awareness of being the means to what is desired or beneficial as well as absence of the state of awareness of not being achievable are then accepted as causal conditions. Clearly compared to the PK view the NY view incorporates many more components and lacks economy. Thus the reply is without merit (Tattvacintamani with the Māthurī [TCM]: 18). The PK view is highly developed as presented in the TCM, which, remarkably, happens to be a NY work and a philosophical masterpiece. Since, however, a fuller treatment will take more time, we move on to how the NY position can be defended. One main argument offered against the PK view and for the NY position is that it is an undeniable fact that despite being aware of what is to be done or should be done or achievable, one may not always have volition for that. For example, one may not always have volition for telling the truth despite being aware that telling the truth is what is to be done. This suggests that the state of awareness of what is to be done or should be done or achievable is not the sufficient condition for such volition. It may be granted that the state of awareness of what is to be or should be done or achievable is a necessary condition for such volition to account

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for cases where there is lack of volition for things one desires or is beneficial, but are unachievable (such as rain). It may also be granted that the state of awareness of what is desired or beneficial is not the sufficient condition for such volition. Thus the reasonable position is the following: both the state of awareness of what is to be done or should be done or achievable and the state of awareness of the means to what is desired or beneficial are necessary conditions for such volition. As the common saying goes (TCM: 239), “Even a dull person does not make an effort without a purpose” (prayojanam anuddiśya mandah api na pravarttate). “Indeed, the mere awareness of what is to be done, even if derived from the Vedas, does not suffice for motivation; without awareness of the means to what is desired or beneficial to one’s own self a thousand such states of awareness would fail to motivate” (BSS: 565–​566). It should be noted, however, that one does not always have volition for something that is achievable as well as desirable or beneficial if that thing causes more harm than good. For example, one does not (usually) strive to get food that is mixed with poison. Accordingly, the causal condition of such volition should be amended as follows: the state of awareness of what is to be done or should be done or achievable and the state of awareness of the means to what is desired or beneficial that does not cause more harm than good (BSS: 560).13 However, for a negative injunction (such as one should not eat junk food, one should not have illicit sex, etc.), the causal condition should be reformulated as: the state of awareness of what is to be done or should be done or achievable and the state of awareness of the means to what is desired or beneficial that causes more harm than good (TCM: 197ff.). Further, what is desired or beneficial and achievable should be understood as what appears to be so to someone at a given time. Thus though a kingdom may be a big attraction an infant prince does not (usually) care for it: the kingdom is neither what is desired or beneficial nor achievable to that infant prince at that time (TCM: 172–​173). Similarly, one who has had a full meal does not (usually) strive for food although the latter may be achievable (such a case is problematic for the PK view but not for the NY view), for food is not what is desired or beneficial to that person at that time. Again, one who may be overpowered by emotion and unable to think clearly may strive for what causes more harm than good (such as having poisoned food, illicit sex, etc.) for to that person at that time that choice appears not to cause more harm than good (TCM: 197).14 The above account also helps to show why one is not held to be culpable if, for example, someone accidentally drowns and dies in a well that one has dug up to relieve thirst, or if someone dies due to choking from the food served, or if a bystander dies from injury from a spear thrown at an enemy. In such cases no volition is caused by a state of awareness of digging the well, or serving the food, or throwing the spear as the means to such death (TCM:  212–​220). Now in the Hindu tradition certain activities (such as offering daily prayers) are viewed as constant (nitya) obligations, the fulfillment of which do not produce any merit. Do such injunctions motivate merely from the state of awareness of what is to be done (as PK holds) without necessarily requiring the state of awareness of these activities as the means to a desired or beneficial end? No, says NY. Even for constant obligations

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nonfulfillment is viewed as a sin and demerit. Thus one is also motivated toward such fulfillment as the means to the desired and beneficial end of avoiding sin and not adding to the burden of demerit. Indeed, not adding and reducing the burden of demerit is accepted as necessary for making spiritual and moral progress toward the ultimate goal of the absolute end of all suffering. Thus fulfillment of constant obligation is a means to the ultimate goal of liberation as well. But again, though some Vedic injunctions mention a goal (such as one who seeks heaven should perform the sacrifice X), others (such as those who merely say that one should perform the sacrifice X) do not. Should the latter be held to motivate merely from the state of awareness of what is to be done as PK says? Not so, says NY. Even in the latter case either heaven or liberation should be taken to be understood as the implicit goal or purpose (TCM:  224–​251).15

3.  RESPONSE TO WESTERN MORAL THEORY Before concluding this short survey we shall look at how some issues in major classical Western ethical theories may be addressed from the perspective of NY ethics; this may also throw more light on the latter. There are three influential ethical theories in the West. First, there is Kant’s Deontological theory that promotes duty for the sake of duty regardless of the consequences, claims that moral imperatives are categorical, unconditional, universal, and absolute truths of reason independent of observation, and holds further that each rational agent is an end in himself and never merely a means to an end. One well-​known objection to this theory is that sometimes exceptions to such moral imperatives as that one should tell the truth should be allowed because not making the exception would likely cause more harm. For example (adapted from Kant himself who would argue that telling the truth is binding even in such a case), suppose a Nazi officer asks one regarding the whereabouts of a Jewish family hiding in one’s basement. Since telling the truth is more than likely to lead to the loss of innocent lives, one should, many argue, make an exception and not tell the truth, though that would be in violation of an absolute moral imperative as maintained by Kant. However, for NY ethics moral imperatives are neither categorical nor independent of experience. Further, not only human beings but also animals and even trees and plants have “rights,” but not as ends in themselves but as the means to the common good. Again, in the above situation of one being confronted by a Nazi officer not telling the truth is morally right. The standard of what is enjoined (vaidha) is being the means to what is desired or beneficial and does not cause more harm than good and being achievable. Since telling the truth in that situation is likely to cause more harm than good by way of loss of innocent lives (including possibly one’s own), it is not enjoined in that case; at the same time, since not telling the truth is more likely to be the means of what is desired or beneficial and is achievable, not telling the truth is enjoined in such a case. Second, there is the form of Consequentialism developed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill that is often called Utilitarianism. In this Utilitarian view we naturally seek pleasure or happiness, which is the ultimate end. Pleasure should

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not be understood in the egoistic sense, for anyone’s pleasure counts as much as anyone else’s pleasure. The moral standard is choosing an act or a policy that makes life bearable or pleasant for as many people as possible and causes less harm to as many people as possible. Mill claimed that some pleasures are of higher quality than others, as testified by those who are experienced in both higher and lower pleasures, and we should choose to maximize higher pleasures for the greatest number of people. Morality is not based on a priori rational intuition that, according to some, is mysterious and also not based on sentiment or feeling, which would make morality subjective. Rather, moral choices proceed from empirical cost-​benefit calculations based on the best information we have and subject to revision as more information becomes available. One powerful objection to Utilitarianism is that it may fail to safeguard minority rights. Suppose enslaving a small fraction of the population would ensure greater productivity and competitiveness and bring more prosperity to the vast majority of a nation. It seems that from merely Utilitarian analyses it would not be easy to rule out that such slavery would not be morally wrong, though it would be in clear violation of the principles of equality, liberty, and justice for all. Now Utilitarians have responded to the objection and a proper discussion will take a lot of space. Irrespective of whether this objection is fatal to Utilitarianism, it, however, has no force against NY ethics. First, such an institution of slavery will create an irreparable division and undermine the goal of social cohesion (loka-​ saṃgraha) and thus cause more harm than good. Second, such abuse of fellow human beings is precluded by the rules of restraint (yama) and observance (niyama) as well as the admonition of our failings (doṣa). Third, there is Virtue Ethics that focuses not on right or wrong actions as the Kantian and Utilitarian theories do but on the agent’s character. In Aristotle’s view people can build a firm, virtuous character by following the lead of the wise and repeatedly doing the right thing (and similarly a vicious character by repeatedly doing the wrong thing) and one’s action should proceed from virtuous character. A virtuous choice is a rational choice from the disposition to choose the golden mean that can vary from person to person and avoids the extremes of excess or deficiency (e.g., bravery is the mean between rashness and cowardice) by responding in the right way, in the right amount, for the right reason, and not too much or too little. In this way one can achieve the highest good where one can flourish and excel in what one is meant to do and find happiness. One objection to this view is that some choices that appear to be extreme may be morally right. Suppose a freedom fighter is promised by a corrupt and oppressive ruler a life of luxury and fame in return of his/​her support, but the fighter turns that down and is executed. Has the fighter failed to make a rational choice from the disposition to choose the mean, made an extreme choice, and if so a morally wrong choice? Another objection is that a clever and renowned lawyer, for example, who stays within the law and seems to be happy with his life, but is not significantly concerned with helping others or the common good may fulfill Aristotle’s definition of moral virtue. Such a lawyer may embody the vision of success for some, but for many is not morally virtuous. If Aristotle’s account does not exclude such a lawyer, for many, it is too wide.

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So far as NY is concerned, it shares with Aristotle the importance of building a strong and virtuous character through practice. Much of the rules of restraint and observances and eradication of failings bears precisely on that. However, when it comes to some choices that may or may not be extreme for Aristotle’s theory, they would not be excluded from the NY perspective. Thus the choice of the freedom fighter in the above case would be consistent with the norms of nonviolence, non-​ stealing, and self-​discipline emphasized in NY ethics and would be an act of merit (dharma). Had that freedom fighter compromised with the unjust ruler, that would have been inconsistent with these norms and been an act of demerit (adharma). Such acts of demerit are believed to lead to suffering in hell (naraka) in the afterlife. Accordingly, they would cause more harm than good and fail to meet the standard of the means to what is desired or beneficial without causing more harm than good. The above norms of discipline would also exclude the lawyer in the given case from being accepted as morally virtuous. Talk about hell, of course, is rare in contemporary ethics. However, such talk may be, for the limited purpose of ease of communication with the contemporary thinkers, interpreted, mutatis mutandis, to be about self-​discipline. It may now be seen that though NY ethics is Consequentialist, it may be labeled as soft Consequentialism that is broad enough to incorporate aspects of both Deontological ethics and Virtue Ethics. It recognizes a salient point of Deontological ethics by accepting what is to be done or should be done as a necessary condition for inducement. It also gives credit to an important feature of Virtue Ethics by emphasizing the crucial role of building a good character through restraint and observances and control of our failings. Finally, we take a quick look at a debated issue in medical ethics today, viz., euthanasia and physician-​assisted suicide (PAS). Though these are not discussed in NY writings, we would like to examine the morality of these in the light of NY ethics. Recent advances in medical technology have made it possible to prolong for years the life of someone who is incurably ill or in extreme pain or in a permanent vegetative state, and so on. This has led to the debate over the morality of euthanasia and PAS in such cases. Since these medical technologies were not available earlier, it is not surprising that there is no direct discussion of PAS or euthanasia in traditional Hindu writings. Still the prohibition of suicide and exceptions to such prohibition are discussed by traditional Hindu thinkers.16 If one is incurably ill and/​ or in horrible pain, should one be allowed to choose suicide or PAS if one so wishes voluntarily? Given the principles of NY ethics, the answer to this question should be in the affirmative. Putting an end to suffering is accepted as a high value in NY ethics. Further, in the light of the admonitions about controlling our failings and attachments (including attachment to the body in a particular life: the self is believed to have different bodies in different lives, with the prospect of a new body in the next life), one should not live uselessly and cling to a particular life at all cost. Hence choosing euthanasia or PAS in the said cases will meet the standard of what is desired or beneficial without causing more harm than good and is achievable. At the same time, because of the necessary condition of achievability, euthanasia and PAS must be voluntary. It would be wrong if vulnerable people living in the fringes of the

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society are abused to undergo euthanasia or PAS against their wishes. In fact, that would amount to murder or aiding/​abetting murder that is morally reprehensible (TCM: 211ff.) and a ticket to hell in the afterlife.17

4. CONCLUSION We have seen in this brief study of NY ethics in what sense liberation as the absolute end of suffering is not a state of either bliss or consciousness and is still the highest good and true awareness and purification of the self is the means to it. We have also seen in outline how the kind of Consequentialism developed by our philosophers has been defended against criticism and how such Consequentialism may be useful for addressing some issues in modern moral philosophy. In NY works ethical issues are intertwined with epistemological, ontological, ritual, social, political, linguistic, and other issues. Nevertheless, if one carefully sifts through the vast literature produced by great thinkers, the ethical theory that would emerge is powerful and further exploration may yield new insight, clarity, rigor, and depth in ethical studies.

NOTES 1. Different scholars have estimated the date of NS to be between the sixth century BCE and the second century CE and that of NBH between the second century BCE and the fourth century CE. Discussion of the evidence for estimating the dates will take a lot of place and must be skipped. However, in our opinion, though the evidence for either a relatively early or a relatively late date is not conclusive, the best available evidence supports an early date for at least certain parts of NS. It is also difficult to draw a clear line between what may appear to be older parts and other parts, and the whole work, though extremely condensed, displays exemplary richness and philosophical depth as well as uniform literary and linguistic style. It may also be noted that our aim is not to provide an account of NY ethics as presented in NS alone. We also make use of the commentaries within the limits of the space available. Although the commentaries do make original contributions, there is continuity between NS and the commentaries that do not contradict NS and help to unpack the cryptically stated views. However, we can only provide a brief account of NY ethics in the space available; a much larger book-​length study is needed for thorough coverage. 2. Scholarly estimates of the date of VS vary widely between the sixth century BCE and the first century CE. Again, we do not have the space to discuss the evidence. We think, however, that the best evidence favors an early date. 3. Here knowledge is understood as knowledge of difference (viveka) between the two fundamental principles, viz., puruṣa, the essence of is which pure consciousness, and prakṛti, or nature that evolves as the world of objects (TK 1940: 82).

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4. Uddyotakara in the super-​commentary called the Nyāyavārttika (NV:  424–​426, sixth century CE) has thrown more light on NBH 4.1.3 and clarified how and why different kinds of failings are included in the three kinds mentioned here. In the PDS, we find an eightfold classification of desire including compassion as the desire to relieve the suffering of others regardless of one’s own interest (PDS:  635–​636). 5. The word kāma is used also for other kinds of desire. Here NV interprets it as a man’s desire for a woman. In the Vṛtti (VR, sixteenth century CE) it is interpreted to include both a man’s desire for a woman and a woman’s desire for a man. PDS interprets it as sexual desire that can include both a man’s desire for a woman and a woman’s desire for a man (PDS: 635). 6. In the influential Advaita Vedānta view the very nature or essence of the self is happiness or freedom (ānanda) that is non-​different from being and consciousness, and further the individual self is non-​different from the universal self. Suffering takes place due to ignorance of our true nature and is removed through self-​ realization. Thus, paradoxically, since nothing is ever without the very nature or essence, liberation is accomplishing what is already accomplished. 7. For a detailed study of these arguments, see Chakrabarti (1999: ch. 9). 8. The Cartesian view that the self is essentially conscious is hard to reconcile with the progress in neuroscience that shows the critically important role of the brain in the origin of consciousness. If the brain is necessary for consciousness, this does not necessarily refute psychophysical dualism. But if the brain is necessary for consciousness, it is hard to maintain that the self is essentially conscious and conscious all the time particularly when the self is not associated with the body. But the Nyāya view that the self is not essentially conscious and is conscious only when it is associated with the body is not incompatible with the neuroscience findings about the brain. In fact, the Nyāya accepts an inner sense or organ (manas) without contact with which the external sense organs cannot transmit information. The inner sense is held by some Nyāya philosophers to be a physical substance of intermediate size (Chakrabarti 1999: ch. 8). 9. For the principle of general acceptability of inductive examples, see Chakrabarti (1999: Introduction). 10. For materialists there is cessation of consciousness as well as suffering at bodily death when the self ceases to exist. For our philosophers the self survives the bodily death and goes through the process of rebirths until liberation. Thus our philosophers do not embrace materialism and have, on the contrary, argued at length for rejecting materialism, as already said. It may also be noted that the theory of rebirth is supported by powerful arguments. For more, see Chakrabarti (2006: ch. 5). 11. “Kāryatā-​jñānam pravarttakam iti guravah” (TCM:  6–​7). 12. “Tathā hi jñānasya kŗtau janyāyām cikīrşā-​atiriktam na kartavyam asti . . . Cikīrşā ca kŗti-​sādhyatva-​prakārikā kŗti-​sādhya-​kriyā-​vişaya-​icchā . . . sā ca sva-​ kŗti-​sādhyatā-​jñāna-​sādhyā icchāyāh sva-​prakarāka-​dhī-​sādhyatva-​niyamāt” (TCM:  7–​16).

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13. J. N. Mohanty (2007: 63) has remarked that the PK theory is much simpler than the NY theory. However, the issue here is to give an account of how an injunction causes volition. For that, as explained, the state of awareness of what is to be done alone falls short: there are cases where there is no volition despite the presence of such a state of awareness unless there is also the state of awareness of the means to what is desired or beneficial. Thus the NY view is in a sense more complex but is still justified on the strength of evidence (phala-​bala-​kalpanā). 14. Some have suggested that achievability should be construed as follows. When one observes that something is achievable by another person and one has the relevant characteristics of that person, one is motivated. But the difficulty in this suggestion is that there are situations where there is motivation, but reference to such other persons is ruled out, e.g., when one has motivation for something that is, so to speak, one’s own original thing or perhaps something that happens all too suddenly (BSS: 563). 15. In the view of Udayana (eleventh century CE) the inducement of an injunction is primarily due to its being the intention of a reliable person (in the context of a Vedic injunction, such a person, for Udayana, is God). This account of inducement is more economical, it is claimed, than that of being the means of what is desired or beneficial without causing more harm than good and is achievable. The inducement is of the nature of an inference as follows. X is the means of what is desired or beneficial without causing more harm than good, for X is intended as what is to be or should be done by a reliable person, like Y intended by one’s mother, etc. And for a negative injunction the inference is that X is not the means of what is desired or beneficial without causing more harm than good, for X is not intended as what is to be or should be done by a reliable person, like Y not intended by one’s mother, etc. (BSS:  572–​573; NKV: 319–​352). However, one difficulty in this view is that there are cases where there is motivation, but reference to someone else including a reliable person is ruled out as mentioned above, e.g., when one has motivation for something that is one’s own originality or otherwise something that takes place all of a sudden. Second, it is undeniable that what is desired or beneficial for oneself is substantially influenced by one’s interactions with others, especially those who are trusted. Still that there is an invariable link between what is desired or beneficial for oneself and what is intended by someone else needs to be argued for and that is an additional burden in this view over and above the difficulty of giving an account of a reliable person (explored in detail by NY philosophers). Hence the claim about greater economy is questionable. 16. General prohibition of suicide in the ancient Hindu tradition and law may be gathered from the following. According to the Vajasaneya Samhita (40.3), “Whoever destroy their self reach after death the demonic world covered in blinding darkness” (Kane 1990: 927). Parasara says that one who hangs oneself due to excessive pride, anger, affection, or fear has to be in the hell for sixty thousand years. Vasistha lays down that those who commit suicide are cursed and that death rites for them should not be performed by their relatives (Kane 1990: 924). Gautama too prescribes that if one commits suicide by fasting or cutting off a limb or by burning or by hanging or by taking poison or by jumping off a hill,

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no death rites should be done for such a person (Kane 1990: 926). Nevertheless, exceptions to such general prohibition are also found. Atri holds that suicide is not forbidden for those who are too old or too weak to carry out bodily cleansing or too ill to respond to medicine or surgery. For such a person it will not be a sin to end life by jumping off a cliff or into fire or water or by fasting. There should be a mourning period of three days after the death of such a person and death rites should also be done (Kane 1990: 925). The support of Brahmagarbha, Vivavsvat, and Gargya is mentioned by Apararka for a similar view. If a householder is seriously and terminally ill or too old or has no desire for any sensual pleasure and has no unfulfilled obligations (to the family, teachers, ancestors, and so on), he/​ she may commit suicide by embarking on the final journey (when one keeps on walking until one drops dead), or by entering fire or water or by jumping off a hill. Such death is not only not sinful, but also more meritorious than self-​mortification (tapas), for one should not want to live uselessly (Kane 1990: 927). 17. B. K. Matilal has observed that Indian philosophers very seldom discussed what is called moral philosophy now and labels this as a lacuna (1989: 5). However, judging something to be a lacuna when one looks at a philosophical tradition that is as large, diversified, and great as Indian philosophy is problematic. Even if it is true that moral philosophy in the contemporary sense is largely missing in Indian philosophy, instead of being a lacuna what Indian philosophers have offered while dealing with ethical issues may be a different way of doing moral philosophy that may even help to move moral philosophy forward today and reach new developments. At least much more serious study of Indian discussion of ethical matters is needed before such a judgment can be reliably made. Further, Virtue Ethics emphasizing the crucial role of character in ethics is a major player in contemporary moral philosophy. Great Greek moral philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, to whom Western moral philosophers of today owe a deep debt, also had the same emphasis. Without any doubt, Indian philosophers have recognized the importance of character for ethical concerns and made a lasting contribution to the subject. Finally, we have tried to show that NY ethics that may be called soft Consequentialism may help to address some of the problems in Kantian, Utilitarian, and Aristotelian moral philosophies. Ethical philosophies of other Indian schools, if seriously studied, will also for sure be relevant to modern moral philosophy. What really matters is diving deep into the vast body of Indian philosophy and discovering the treasures there (and Matilal, who devoted himself wholeheartedly to this enterprise, would certainly agree to this).

BIBLIOGRAPHY BSS. 1969. Bhāṣāpariccheda with the Siddhāntamuktāvalī and Saṃgraha, edited by Pt. Pancanan Sastri, 3rd ed. Kolkata: Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar. Chakrabarti, Kisor K. 1999. Classical Indian Philosophy of Mind. Albany: State University of New York Press.

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Chakrabarti, Kisor K. 2006. Introduction to Hinduism and Buddhism, Rev. ed. Kolkata: Oriental Publishing House. Kane, Pandurang Vaman. 1990. History of Dharmasastra: Ancient and Mediæval Religious and Civil Law in India. Government Oriental Series. Class B. No. 6, 2nd rev. and enlarged ed. 5 vols. Vol. 2. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. Matilal, Bimal Krishna. 1989. “Moral Dilemmas: Insights from the Indian Epics.” In Moral Dilemmas in the Mahābhārata, edited by Bimal Krishna Matilal, 1–​19. Shimla, Delhi: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, in association with Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi. Mohanty, J. N. 2007. “Dharma, Imperatives, and Tradition: Towards an Indian Theory of Moral Action.” In Indian Ethics, edited by J. Prabhu and R. Sharma P. Bilimoria, 57–​ 78. Vol. 1. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. NBH. 1989. Nyāya-​Sūtra with Nyāya-​Bhāṣya, edited by Pt. Phanibhushan Tarkavagish. 1–​5 vols. Kolkata: Paschim Banga Rajya Pustak Parsat. NKV. 1980. Nyāyakusumāñjali with Vistāra. In Tirupati, edited by U. T. Viraraghavacharya. Tirupati: Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha. NS. 1989. Nyāya-​Sūtra with Nyāya-​Bhāṣya, edited by Pt. Phanibhushan Tarkavagish. 1–​ 5 vols. Kolkata: Paschim Banga Rajya Pustak Parsat. NV. 1997. Nyāyavārttika (by Uddyotakara), edited by A. Thakur. New Delhi: Indian Council of Philosophical Research.PDS. 1997. Padārtha-​Dharma-​Saṃgraha with the Nyayākandalī, edited by Pt. Durgadhar Jha. Varanasi: Sampurnanda Sanskrit University. Popper, Karl Raimund. 2012. The Open Society and Its Enemies, 5th ed. London: Routledge. PS. 1996. Pariśuddhi, edited by A. Thakur. New Delhi: Indian Council of Philosophical Research. Rosenstand, Nina. 2005. The Moral of the Story: An Introduction to Questions of Ethics and Human Nature. Boston, MA: McGraw-​Hill. Smart, R. N. “Negative Utilitarianism.” Mind 67 (1958): 242–​243. TCM. 1990. Tattvacintamani with the Māthurī, edited by K. Tarkavagish. Delhi: Chowkhamba. TK. 1940. Sāṃkhyakārikā with the Tattvakaumudī, edited by Sivanarayana Sastri. Bombay: Pandurang Jawaji. TT. 1996. Tātparya-​Tīkā. In New Delhi, edited by A. Thakur. New Delhi: Indian Council of Philosophical Research. Vedāntadarśana. 1966. Edited by Swami Visvarupananda. Kolkata: Advaita Ashram. VS. 1991. Vaiśeṣika-​Sūtra with the Upaskāra, edited by Gangadhar Bakhre. Varanasi: Vyasa Prakasan.

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CHAPTER TEN 

Mindfulness and Moral Transformation: Awakening to Others in Śāntideva’s Ethics WILLIAM EDELGLASS

1.  INTRODUCTION: A FLASH OF LIGHTNING IN THE DARK OF NIGHT In Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, the Elder Zossima tells a story about his own moral and spiritual development that is recorded by the hero of the novel, his young attendant, Alyosha Karamazov. Prior to becoming a monk, Zossima was a military officer, living an unreflective life, seeking his own pleasure, often cruel to others. Several years into his military service, fearful of losing the freedom and adventure of his bachelor life, Zossima chose not to pursue the noble and intelligent woman to whom he was attracted. When she married a local landowner, Zossima felt humiliated, insulted his rival, and then challenged him to a duel. The night before the duel, Zossima comes home to his room in an ugly mood. For no particular reason, full of anger, he strikes his servant, Afanasy. The servant’s face is covered in blood, even as Afanasy, with his hands by his sides, makes no attempt to retreat or block Zossima’s blows. The next day Zossima wakes up and perceives everything differently. Standing at the open window he watches the sun rising, feels the late June warmth, hears the birds singing. While sensing the wondrous beauty of the world, he feels mean and shameful for hitting Afanasy. He falls on his bed, crying, overwhelmed by what he has done, overwhelmed by the miserable life he has been living. Zossima goes to Afanasy, falls on his knees and begs forgiveness. He then goes to the duel, stands and accepts the first shot from his rival—​which grazes his check—​and throws his weapon away. Full of joy, and a sense of love and responsibility for all, Zossima resolves to leave his regiment and become a monk (Dostoevsky 1990: II.6.ii).

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There are numerous comparable narratives of awaking to an ethical responsiveness to others in Buddhist literature. For example, in the story of King Maitribala and the five ogres, after experiencing the king’s generosity, the ogres are transformed and, according to tradition, become the first five disciples of the historical Buddha in a later life. These are stories of the arising of a moral awareness, the arising of a responsiveness to the needs, sufferings, and desires of others. In a more modest way, we may feel something similar, with acquaintances and colleagues whose vulnerability and experience we sometimes appreciate—​pausing in our own projects—​as if for the first time. Early in An Introduction to the Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicaryāvatāra), the eighth-​century Indian Buddhist author Śāntideva compares these moments to a flash of lightning in the dark of night (Bodhicar. I.5), when we are suddenly disrupted from our own preoccupations and become attentive to the needs of others.1 The compassionate attention to the other is illuminating, like the lightning that momentarily discloses our surroundings. Zossima’s sense of shame following his treatment of Afanasy, and for how he had been living, marks both an attention to an other and the recognition of the ways in which he was ignorant about what is truly of value and what is deeply nourishing. Zossima understands how his egoism obscured his perception of the lives of others and darkened the perception of his own life. In Zossima we see a compassionate attention to the other that is liberating; it is the beginning of Zossima’s path to freedom from the fear, jealousy, and need for approval and distraction that impelled his pursuit of pleasure, often in the form of exerting his power over others. Zossima’s moral transformation, then, is the radical transformation of his own experience from a constricted life of self-​cherishing to an expansive understanding and care for others. The illuminating and liberating ethical acknowledgment of the other’s suffering that sometimes arises, like a flash of lightning in the dark of night, shows that the mind is not necessarily caught in the dissatisfaction and moral misperception of self-​cherishing. In Way of the Bodhisattva, as well as the other extent text attributed to him, Compendium of Teachings (Śikṣāsamuccaya), Śāntideva invites his readers on a path to nourish the spark of liberating attention to others, and to cultivate it. These works are presented as guidebooks on the path from the darkened perception and constricted life of self-​cherishing to an awakened life, attentive to the needs of others and at peace with oneself. In Śāntideva’s language, this is the path of the bodhisattva, the awakened or awakening (bodhi) being (sattva) who, guided by insight and compassion, works to alleviate the sufferings of others, and in doing so, finds liberation from dissatisfaction and anguish. This path to awakening, characterized by the cultivation of a caring responsiveness to the needs and desires of others, is a path of moral transformation. Śāntideva’s works—​like many other Indian Buddhist texts—​address the moral significance of our actions and intentions, virtues and vices, feelings and thoughts, rules and character, and our moral experience. Indeed, for Śāntideva, there is moral significance not just in our speech and action, but also in our thinking and qualities of attention. For Śāntideva, it is precisely because the moral so permeates our lives that it does not

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make sense to mark off one aspect of our lives and to term it ethics or morality, for there is nothing outside of morality. This does not mean, however, that he does not explicitly reason about the grounds and principles of morality. As Charles Goodman writes: Of all the productions of the Indian Buddhist tradition, the texts that come closest to a worked-​out ethical theory are the two works of Śāntideva: the Bodhicaryāvatāra, or Introduction to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, and the Śikṣā-​samucaya, or Compendium of the Trainings. In many cases, Śāntideva draws on earlier scriptural sources; but in synthesizing them, he creates a system of substantially greater theoretical coherence. The sophistication, generality, and power of Śāntideva’s arguments give him a legitimate claim to be the greatest of all Buddhist ethicists. (2009: 89) My purpose in this chapter is to present Śāntideva’s ethics as it is embedded in his accounts of the bodhisattva path of moral transformation and mental discipline. I will begin with a brief historical introduction to the interdependence of morality, concentration, and insight in Indian Buddhist traditions that is the basis of the bodhisattva ideal and bodhicitta, the awakened mind of wisdom and compassion. I then turn to an explicit discussion of Śāntideva’s account of the perfections of generosity, vigilant moral discipline, forbearance, and vigor. Each of these perfections, I argue, involves the cultivation of moral virtues through the development of a stable, attentive, and compassionate mind. This leads to a more explicit discussion of the fundamental role of mindfulness and the perfection of meditative concentration in Śāntideva’s ethics. For, according to Śāntideva, mindfulness is the very condition for the possibility of pursuing the bodhisattva training. With a stable and attentive mind, it is possible, then, to pursue the perfection of wisdom. Meditating deeply on the wisdom of emptiness, dependent origination, and the distinction between the two truths enables the embodied enacting of this insight in relation with others. Especially important to Śāntideva, this embodied insight allows the aspiring bodhisattva to overcome the fundamental delusion of a separate, substantial self that is at the root of our fearful and confused existence. Śāntideva’s moral thought has elements of both Virtue Ethics and Consequentialism. However, in the end, I argue, his texts are best understood as meditation manuals that, through skillful means, help practitioners facing different situations and with different challenges overcome obstacles to awakening. Because awakening means cultivating particular embodied, skillful, affective, and cognitive ways of being in the world that involve attending with compassionate care to the needs and sufferings of others, the bodhisattva path is fundamentally about moral transformation and the development of moral consciousness.

2. BODHICITTA: A GOOD BEYOND MEASURE In emphasizing a deep relation between responding to suffering and awakening, Śāntideva is situated in a long-​standing tradition of Indian Buddhist thought. In

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this tradition, the Buddha is understood as a doctor and his dharma regarded as medicine. According to this therapeutic metaphor, the four noble truths presented in what is said to be his first sermon, and often taken to be the foundation of Buddhist doctrine, can be understood as a diagnosis of an illness, its etiology, prognosis, and a prescription for healing. The first truth is diagnostic: that dissatisfaction and suffering (duḥkha) characterize our lives. The second truth is an etiology: that the origin (samudaya) of suffering results from craving, typically understood as attachment that is grounded in a delusion of self. The third truth is a prognosis: that the cessation (nirodha) of dissatisfaction and suffering is possible. And the fourth truth is a prescription: a path (mārga) to the cessation of suffering through practice. Some Buddhist traditions have understood the path articulated in the last noble truth as constituted by three kinds of practice: good conduct or moral discipline (śīla); mental discipline, concentration, attention, and equanimity (samādhi); and wisdom, understanding, and insight into the nature of reality (prajñā). But, according to these traditions, the three practices are interrelated; indeed, each is necessary for the others. Cultivating capacities for appropriate speech and action requires the cultivation of mindfulness and concentration. We cannot respond to others in caring ways if we react in anger or fear. At the same time, to cultivate mindfulness and concentration requires attending to one’s comportment, the ways we engage with others through speech and action, and not being oppressed by remorse for one’s past actions, or fears of their consequences. And both concentration and moral discipline are interdependent with wisdom: without concentration there is no possibility for insight into the nature of reality. At the same time, how we understand the world deeply impacts how we engage with others. Most obviously, perhaps, it is ethically relevant whether or not we think some people are by nature inferior to others, or not deserving of our respect. But at a more subtle level, if we understand the ways in which all things arise interdependently we are more likely to have a compassionate attention for others. Thus, wisdom, mindfulness, and moral discipline ought to be understood as three mutually conditioning aspects of a unified path to awakening. But because this path is fundamentally concerned with how we relate to others, it is a path of moral transformation, in which the practitioner becomes increasingly attuned to the needs and pains of other sentient beings. We see this interdependence between our relations with others and meditative excellence in discussions of the four brahmavihāras in the early discourses of the Buddha. The brahmavihāras are the measureless states of karuṇā (typically translated as “compassion”), muditā (sympathetic joy), maitra (loving-​kindness), and upekṣā (equanimity). They are described as states of awareness that arise with advanced meditative practice. Here, it is clear that progress on the path is marked by a concerned responsiveness to the experience of others, taking joy in the joyfulness of others, in a loving-​kindness that is open and patient and understanding. Cultivating excellence in meditation, then, leads to a cultivation of attention to others and other oriented virtues.

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The path in classical Indian Buddhism is most clearly presented as a way of ethical transformation in the cultivation of bodhicitta, the awakening—​or awakened—​mind of the bodhisattva. We see this in the narratives of the previous lives of the historical Buddha, when, having taken a vow to achieve buddhahood, he cultivated generosity, patience, and other moral qualities. These narratives were, in part, a result of the transformation of the historical Buddha from a supreme human being to something more akin to a deity. The bodhisattva served as a kind of transitional figure, the one who is on the path from being an “ordinary person” (prithagjana) to the complete awakening of a Buddha. The Dīgha Nikāya, and other early Pāli texts, describe multiple buddhas. And with the idea of multiple buddhas, then, there must be multiple bodhisattvas on their way to buddhahood. Thus, the meaning of “bodhisattva” evolved from Gautama Buddha in former lives to a general category, a universal ideal. This evolution starts already in the early discourses, where scholars such as Jeffrey Samuels and Bhikku Anālayo, for instance, have highlighted the characteristics of the bodhisattva ideal and the path to its realization (Samuels 1997; Anālayo 2010). This ideal included making a vow to achieve full awakening; over time this vow was understood to be motivated by compassion for the sufferings of sentient beings. The bodhisattva, then, is motivated to awaken in order to skillfully alleviate the pains of others. The idea of the bodhisattva path to realize the vow came to include the development of perfections (pāramitās)—​ such as generosity, moral discipline, patience, concentration, and wisdom—​ that transform minds and bodies defiled by ignorance, aversion, and attachment, into awakened beings. These perfections are presented in postcanonical Theravāda texts, such as the Cariyāpiṭaka and the Buddhavaṃsa, as well as Madhyamaka and Yogācāra works by Nāgārjuna, Asaṅga, Śāntideva, and many others. The bodhisattva ideal, then, as Anālayo notes, was “a pan-​Buddhist phenomenon that drew followers from most, if not all, of the Buddhist schools, including the Theravāda tradition” (2010: 131). Thus, early texts on the bodhisattva path do not indicate a rebellion against Nikāya Buddhism; they were a part of Nikāya Buddhism. These texts, and the associated practices of the bodhisattva path, were composed and copied in monasteries where, it seems, one could also choose to follow the path of an arhat or a pratyekabuddha, and thus not aim to liberate all sentient beings from suffering (Skilling 2004: 143). Peter Skilling suggests that it was not until later that some Buddhists in their practice and rhetoric, valorized the path of the bodhisattva above the others and claimed that everyone on the Buddhist path ought to pursue Buddhahood (2004: 143). For these partisans of the bodhisattva path, it was the great (mahā) vehicle (yāna) to liberation, the Mahāyāna.2 At the heart, then, of what became known as “Mahāyāna” Buddhism, is the figure of the bodhisattva. And the bodhisattva ideal is most fundamentally about a moral transformation, the cultivation of bodhicitta, a mind that is insightful, stable, and deeply attentive to the needs of others. Śāntideva identified as a Mahāyānist when the Mahāyāna had been firmly established as a school and no longer regarded by its adherents as only one of several equally worthy Buddhist paths. Thus, he presents the bodhisattva path as

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the Buddhist path that is necessary to achieve awakening. This path consists of the cultivation of a mind that is stable, insightful, and compassionate. For Śāntideva, and the tradition in which he is working, this mind is called bodhicitta.3 In the first chapter of the Compendium and in Way of the Bodhisattva, Śāntideva follows the distinction in the Gaṇḍavyūha Sūtra between two kinds of bodhicitta (Śikṣā 9/​§8, Bodhicar. I.15). The first form is called aspirational bodhicitta (bodhipraṇidhicitta), the mind that, motivated by a compassionate responsiveness to the suffering of sentient beings, aspires to achieve awakening and alleviate this suffering. That is, “the Mind resolved on Awakening” (Bodhicar. I.15). This mind arises when one is moved by the sufferings of others. But this compassionate attention is not merely a feeling of sympathy. Rather, one is motivated to respond to others and has a sincere intention to cultivate moral virtues, a stable and concentrated mind, and insight so that one can skillfully respond. For Śāntideva, thoughts are important, and he is clear that while this intention alone is insufficient for awakening, it does play a beneficial role, as it orients our comportment in the world (Śikṣā 9–​11/​§8–​10). It is to inspire his readers to generate and deepen their intention to pursue the bodhisattva path that Śāntideva devotes much of the first chapters of the Way of the Bodhisattva to beautiful descriptions of bodhicitta. Bodhicitta, in Śāntideva’s words, is a good beyond measure, the only path to enduring happiness (Bodhicar. I.26). It is, he writes, drawing on an alchemical metaphor, an elixir that transforms an ordinary person into a Buddha (Bodhicar. I.9). It is “a tree that constantly fruits” (Bodhicar. I.12). These inspiring descriptions of bodhicitta at the beginning of his work reflect Śāntideva’s commitment to the idea that the right intention and the right attitude are necessary for making progress on the bodhisattva path. These descriptions, then, are not a “mere preliminary” to the ethics that follows later in the book. Rather, they motivate the aspiring bodhisattva and constitute a necessary condition for moral practice. Having made a resolution, and thereby already begun her radical transformation, the aspiring bodhisattva begins to follow the path, and this results in engaged or practical bodhicitta (bodhiprasthānacitta). This second form of bodhicitta is “the Mind proceeding towards Awakening” (Bodhicar. I.15). Here the aspiring bodhisattva is already cultivating the cognitive and affective orientation to others that enables the skillful response to their suffering. According to most classical commentaries on the Way of the Bodhisattva, aspirational and practical bodhicitta refer to relative or conventional bodhicitta. Indian and Tibetan commentators typically recognize a third form of bodhicitta in the text. This third form of bodhicitta, according to Prajñākaramati, author of the earliest extant commentary, is “buddhahood: the full comprehension of the fact that all things are without a self-​nature, an understanding that follows the complete abandonment of the veils [of mental affliction and confusion]” (Pañjikā, p. 195). According to this interpretation, ultimately bodhicitta is the wisdom consciousness of an enlightened being, the manifestation of a moral transformation that abandons the aversion and attachment that make us insensible to the sufferings of others.

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3.  GUARDING AWARENESS: MORAL DEVELOPMENT AND MENTAL DISCIPLINE To make a vow, in Śāntideva’s intellectual and religious context, included a commitment to following through on a collection of practices that actually enabled the realization of the vow. The Introduction to the Way of the Bodhisattva, as its title suggests, and the Compendium of Teachings, as its author makes clear in the first chapter, are manuals, or guidebooks, that introduce the practices necessary for the moral transformation that is the arising of bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is developed through cultivating the perfections (pāramitās), trainings that transform the mind, making it stable, non-​clinging, compassionate, and insightful. Śāntideva presents a path of six perfections: generosity (dāna), vigilant moral discipline (śīla), patience (kṣanti), energy or vigor (vīrya), meditation (dhyāna), and wisdom or insight (prajñā).4 Like the eightfold path, the six perfections can be divided into trainings of actions (generosity, vigilant moral discipline, patience, and vigor), concentration (meditative absorption), and wisdom. I will turn first to the perfections associated with action, emphasizing, as Śāntideva does, the ways in which these perfections are both about cultivating particular qualities of mind and about addressing the needs of others. Śāntideva orders the perfections according to tradition, starting with the perfection of giving, or generosity (dānapāramitā). Quoting the Ratnamegha at the end of the first chapter of the Compendium, he writes that “giving is the bodhisattva’s awakening” (Śikṣā 36/​§34). Why is generosity so significant? It is because giving is both a form of renunciation from objects of attachment and an immediate addressing of the needs and desires of others. Through practicing generosity we loosen our attachment, first to things, but then to the more subtle objects of our clinging, such as our opinions, status, and identities. This attachment is a cause of not only our own suffering, but also our insensibility to the needs of others. Generosity liberates us from this attachment, opening us to the needs of others, and freeing us from being caught up in our things that need to be protected and defended. As with the following perfections, Śāntideva discusses generosity first and foremost as a quality of mind. Thus, “the perfection of generosity is said to result from the mental attitude of relinquishing all that one has to all people, together with the fruit of that act. Therefore the perfection is the mental attitude itself ” (Bodhicar. V.10). According to this definition, generosity is primarily about renunciation. Indeed, the perfection of generosity to which the practitioner aspires is a radical renunciation. To give even “the fruit of the act,” in which the bodhisattva offers the positive results that might follow in addition to the act of giving, is to give without reserve, outside the economy of exchange. The practice of giving, however, is not only about renunciation, but also, for Śāntideva, about expressing devotion and respect to those who are worthy. For example, in the ritual that constitutes some of the early chapters of the Way of the Bodhisattva, Śāntideva visualizes giving everything imaginable to the buddhas and bodhisattvas in whom he takes refuge. And, most importantly, feeling destitute of

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objects to give, he writes, “I give my entire self wholly to the Conquerors and to their children” (Bodhicar. II.8). In this giving we give up attachment to self, enacting our respect and esteem for buddhas and bodhisattvas, and thus embodying and thereby strengthening our confidence in the training. But Śāntideva is also interested in actually giving to those who are in need. This is expressed most beautifully, perhaps, in his redirection, or dedication, of merit in the final chapter of the Way of the Bodhisattva. Here he presents meditations of redirecting merit so all those who are suffering may find solace: that the cold may be warmed, the hungry fed, the fearful calmed. This act of giving, then, is not just about renouncing that which we cherish, or showing appropriate respect, but also about compassionately alleviating the sufferings of others. Indeed, in some of the most moving passages of the text, Śāntideva explicitly offers himself to respond to the needs of others (Bodhicar. III.6–​21): to be “medicine for the sick” (Bodhicar. III.7); nourishment for the hungry (Bodhicar. III.8); riches for the poor (Bodhicar. III.9); a defender of the weak (Bodhicar. III.17); “the boat, the causeway, and the bridge for those who long to reach the further shore” of buddhahood (Bodhicar. III.17); illumination for those who are in darkness (Bodhicar. III.18); a servant for all those who require service (Bodhicar. III.18); and sustenance for all beings who suffer (Bodhicar. III.21). These lines express the ideals of the bodhisattva: the complete offering of the self, and all one’s possessions and capacities without reserve, to alleviate the sufferings of others. The second perfection is vigilant moral discipline, or śīlapāramitā, a notoriously difficult term to translate. It is often rendered in English as “ethics,” “morality,” or “virtue,” but it also suggests appropriate habits or good conduct. And, as with virtue, it can refer to the qualities of character that result in virtuous practice. However, as Barbra Clayton points out, it would be strange to translate śīla as virtue or morality, which would imply that generosity (dānapāramitā) or patience (kṣāntipāramitā) were somehow not also virtues or did not belong to morality (2006: 75). What then is śīla for Śāntideva? It is the disciplined, vigilant observation of acts of body, speech, and mind, and mindfully acting in ways that meet the needs of others. In both the Compendium and Way of the Bodhisattva, Śāntideva suggests that śīla is cultivated through mindfulness of one’s actions of body, speech, and mind. Indeed, just as he defined generosity as a mental attitude, so Śāntideva defines śīla as “the mental attitude to cease from worldly acts” (Bodhicar. V.11). Worldly acts are those that are motivated by attachment and aversion to benefit the self. What, then, is the mental attitude that ceases from worldly acts? It is a mental attitude cultivated through a disciplining of actions that liberates the bodhisattva from attachment and aversion and thus is not acting based on self-​interest in tension with the interests of others. To develop this mental attitude, then, is to practice mindfulness and awareness (Bodhicar. V:108; Śikṣā 120/​§121). This is what motivates Śāntideva’s discussions of rules that give guidance on how to hold one’s eyes when walking about (Bodhicar. V:35–​38, 80); how to position the body (Bodhicar. V:39), even in sleeping (Bodhicar. V:96); how to smile when engaging with others (Bodhicar.

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V:71); etc. Śāntideva’s prescriptions, many of which draw on the monastic code, are not intrinsically important or morally obligatory by nature. Rather, they are helpful because they call the mind to attend to even minor daily activities. For Śāntideva, then, vigilant moral discipline is not primarily about following rules and avoiding what is prohibited. Instead, moral discipline is manifest in our mindful comportment in the world; it is expressed in affective, cognitive, and self-​ aware dispositions. Because it is primarily about the development of mindfulness, it can be cultivated in any circumstances. Indeed, Śāntideva recommends approaching any situation with the motivation, “How may I practice the discipline of mindfulness in these circumstances?” (Bodhicar. VII.73). It would be a mistake, however, to think that Śāntideva is only interested in moral discipline for the cultivation of mindfulness and awareness. He is also concerned with moral discipline that benefits others and is motivated by compassion. Hence, he writes, “One should speak confident, measured words, clear in meaning, delighting the mind, pleasing to the ear, soft and slow, and stemming from compassion” (Bodhicar. V.79). Thus, the perfection of vigilant moral discipline, as with the perfection of generosity, is simultaneously a cultivation of mental discipline and moral discipline, a cultivation of mindfulness that is also a caring attention to the needs of others. Through the practice of generosity and moral discipline the aspiring bodhisattva loosens attachment to self and cultivates mindfulness and awareness that enables both a more stable mind and attention to the needs of others. However, Śāntideva notes, the fruits of generosity and vigilant moral discipline are undermined through aversion toward others (Bodhicar. VI.1). Aversion—​as manifest in hatred (dveṣa), anger (krodha), repugnance (pratigha), and malice (vyāpāda)—​sets the bodhisattva against precisely those she has vowed to help, namely, other sentient beings. Thus, Śāntideva devotes chapter VI of the Way of the Bodhisattva and chapter IX of the Compendium to the perfection of forbearance, or patience (kṣāntipāramitā). Through the cultivation of forbearance, Śāntideva argues, one develops the capacity to respond with benevolent awareness, equanimity, understanding, and compassionate attention. For this reason, Śāntideva claims, “There is no spiritual practice equal to forbearance” (Bodhicar. VI.102). Forbearance, he argues, is the antidote to hatred and the key to mental discipline and equanimity required by the aspiring bodhisattva. In his meditations on cultivating forbearance, Śāntideva explicitly draws on fundamental tenets of Buddhist philosophy. For example, he encourages the aspiring bodhisattva to reflect on the selflessness of persons, a reflection that will deconstruct the very object of our hatred or anger. If we meditate on the lack of substantial persons, then we are less likely to get upset at someone. Similarly, Śāntideva argues, one antidote to aversion is meditation on dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda). Dependent origination refers to the way in which all phenomena are dependent on multiple conditions for their existence. Our own anger, frustration, and malice arise, in part, because of a lack of understanding of conditions. By employing the concept of dependent origination, Śāntideva hopes to show that the other’s actions as well as our own suffering are both dependent on a number of causes and conditions.

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If the other who appears at first to be the sole cause of our suffering is moved by anger or hatred, then, Śāntideva claims, she is not freely choosing her actions. If we understand how her actions are one element of an unlimited series of conditioned events we are less likely to feel aversion (Bodhicar. VI.24, 33). Indeed, if we are to feel resentment or anger we should focus it not on the other person, he argues, but on the mental defilements that may be causing her to act in hurtful ways toward us (Bodhicar. VI.41). Śāntideva seeks to motivate his audience with the argument that hatred and anger destroy our peace and pleasures, and alienate our friends (Bodhicar. VI.3–​5). But ultimately, he argues, forbearance as the patient enduring of suffering, the forgiveness of those who harm us, and the mental discipline achieved through reflecting on dependent origination and the lack of a substantial self, leads to mindfulness, awareness, and equanimity, and is necessary for the achievement of bodhicitta. Indeed, Śāntideva insists, the very obstacles that hinder us provide the necessary opportunities to pursue our training as aspiring bodhisattvas (Bodhicar. VI.102). “After all,” Śāntideva notes, “a person in need who turns up at a suitable time is not a hindrance to generosity” (Bodhicar. VI.105). For this reason, “since he helps me on the path to Awakening, I should long for an enemy like a treasure discovered in the home, acquired without effort” (Bodhicar. VI.107). I ought to worship my enemy as the “True Dharma,” for he is the condition for my spiritual development (Bodhicar. VI.111). In certain respects, then, my enemies are the equals of enlightened teachers, for they also are necessary conditions for progress along the path (Bodhicar. VI.114). What we see here, as throughout the Compendium and the Way of the Bodhisattva, is Śāntideva’s method of presenting arguments and meditations to help frame each situation in the way that is most conducive to awakening. If we are suffering, it is an opportunity for practice. And, according to Śāntideva, our own suffering, when understood appropriately, motivates compassion for others who suffer: “The virtue of suffering has no rival, since, from the shock it causes, intoxication falls away and there arises compassion for those in cyclic existence” (Bodhicar. VI.21). For Śāntideva, then, the various forms of suffering we encounter are not obstacles that prevent us from speedily accomplishing the path to wisdom; sufferings occasioned by others provide us with the necessary opportunities to realize liberation from attachment and suffering in general motivates us to care about the needs and desires of others. (Śāntideva does recognize that depending on what stage of the path we might be on, some suffering might be beyond our capacity to work with; I address this point in my conclusion.) Śāntideva makes clear that cultivating the perfections of generosity, moral discipline, patience, and meditative absorption and wisdom requires strength, energetic commitment, and vigor (vīrya; Bodhicar. VII.1). Perhaps this is why, according to tradition, in his final words the Buddha advised his disciples to practice with energetic discipline, to “strive with vigilance” (apramāda). Indeed, vigor is required as a supplement to all the perfections as it enables their actual practice. Thus, Śāntideva’s discussion of forbearance is followed by his account of the perfection of vigor (vīryapāramitā).

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Śāntideva defines vigor as “the endeavor to do what is skillful” (Bodhicar. VII.2). He opposes vigor to four negative tendencies: laziness or sloth, clinging to what is vile, despondency, and self-​contempt or self-​doubt (Bodhicar. VII.2). He proposes two sorts of antidotes to these obstacles to progress on the path, cognitive and affective. First, there are ideas to motivate the aspiring bodhisattva in her progress. For example, to counteract sloth—​the laziness of indulgence in pleasures, sleep, dependence on others, and an apathetic response to the sufferings of dependent existence (Bodhicar. VII.3)—​Śāntideva recommends meditation on the sufferings of cyclic existence, of the inevitability of death (Bodhicar. VII.4–​13), and of a human birth as a precious opportunity for practice (Bodhicar. VII.14). This emphasis on the sufferings of conditioned existence is also employed to disengage the aspiring bodhisattva from attachment to practices, habits, and objects that are not beneficial to her development. In addition to cognitive antidotes to overcome obstacles to vigor, Śāntideva recommends particular affects to motivate the bodhisattva. One should, he argues, cultivate desire (chanda) for liberating self and others from suffering, perseverance (sthāma) in the practice of the perfections, delight (rati) in the pleasures of learning and virtuous activity, and letting go (mukti) of the attachment to passing pleasures and distractions (Bodhicar. VII.31). Moreover, to increase vigor, Śāntideva claims, one must draw not only on renunciation, dedication, and self-​mastery, but also on desire, pride, and pleasure (Bodhicar. VII.32). Desire, pride, and pleasure are often associated with defilements that lead one away from the bodhisattva path and toward the sufferings of self and others. But Śāntideva’s discussion of vigor emphasizes that particular ways of feeling are necessary conditions for bodhicitta, especially delight in virtuous activity, pride—​or confidence—​in one’s capacities, and desire for the good of others. Pleasure and desire are often characterized by Indian Buddhists as afflictive; for Śāntideva these feelings are to be transmuted, and employed in the service of others. Indeed, Śāntideva writes, desire for the benefit of sentient beings, is “the root of all skillful deeds” (Bodhicar. VII.40). Acting according to this desire leads to delight as a karmic consequence and delight as the transformed mind that takes pleasure in altruistic activity (Bodhicar. VII.42). There is, Śāntideva insists, a sweetness to the fruit of skillful action (Bodhicar. VII.64), but perhaps even more importantly, in the very activity itself there is delight and pleasure (Bodhicar. VII.63). While thirst (tṛṣṇā) is almost exclusively employed to refer to attachment as a mental defilement in Indian Buddhism, Śāntideva writes of the thirst the bodhisattva feels for virtuous action (Bodhicar. VII.66).5 It is this pleasure that the bodhisattva takes in caring responsiveness to others that, according to Śāntideva, overcomes the heavy indolence of despondency and apathy. Similarly, Śāntideva encourages meditations to cultivate pride in one’s abilities to act compassionately, to overcome obstacles, and not to be dissuaded by others (Bodhicar. VII.49). Śāntideva understands pride as the confidence that one can actually awaken, a confidence he believes all sentient beings are justified in. This belief is grounded in the argument that because there is no substantial existence,

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there is ultimately no difference between ordinary beings and awakening, between saṃsāra and nirvāṇa. Thus, each of us should have confidence that we can act compassionately, make progress along the path, and achieve awakening.6

4.  MORAL DIMENSIONS OF MINDFULNESS AND CONCENTRATION What Śāntideva’s discussions of the perfections of generosity, vigilant moral discipline, forbearance, and vigor show, is that to understand morality is to recognize the way in which the qualities of our minds condition how we engage with others. In this section I show how Śāntideva’s discussions of mind training similarly lead to moral action. Indeed, Śāntideva begins his discussion of the bodhisattva’s perfections in the Way of the Bodhisattva, claiming, “One who wishes to guard his training must scrupulously guard his mind. It is impossible to guard one’s training without guarding the wandering mind” (Bodhicar. V.1). Guarding the mind is the very foundation of the practice of the bodhisattva. As Śāntideva says, “If I let go of the vow to guard my mind, what will become of my many other vows?” (Bodhicar. V.18). What does Śāntideva mean by “guarding the mind?” It is, Śāntideva writes, to cultivate both mindfulness and awareness (Bodhicar. V.23). “Mindfulness” (smṛti) and “awareness” (samprajanya) are technical terms in Indian Buddhism that in different texts possess somewhat different meanings. “Smṛti” is the Sanskrit word that in Pāli is sati, particularly well-​known today from the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, typically translated as the Sutta on the Foundations of Mindfulness. The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta directs the practitioner to attend to four foundations of mindfulness, namely, the body, feelings, mind, and objects of the mind. Thus, a particular aspect of the body is chosen—​for example, the breath, or the posture of the body, or bodily actions, or specific parts of the body, or its constituent elements—​and the practitioner is encouraged to maintain attention on the object of awareness. This attention then makes possible the insight that the body, feelings, mind, and objects of mind possess the three marks of saṃsāric existence, namely, they are impermanent, empty of substantial self-​existence, and ultimately cannot satisfy us. In chapter XIII of the Compendium, Śāntideva takes up these same four foundations of mindfulness and exhorts his readers to analyze each and understand its impermanence and ultimately that it is empty of inherent existence. But, to hold the object of attention for analysis requires a capacity for both attention and recollection. Thus, for Śāntideva, smṛti and samprajanya have slightly different connotations. Smṛti, which is derived from the verbal root smṛ, to remember, refers not only to an awareness of an object of attention, but also includes a sense of recollecting the object. Samprajanya, on the other hand, has more of a cognitive and evaluative quality of observation. Śāntideva defines “samprajanya” as “the observation at every moment of the state of one’s body and one’s mind” (Bodhicar. V.108). “Samprajanya” is a cognate of “samprajñā”—​a kind of complete wisdom—​ which suggests a form of understanding. Jay L. Garfield employs “mindfulness”

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to translate “smṛti” and “samprajanya” together, because, he writes, it “captures the unification of these cognitive functions under the rubric of calling to mind and vigilantly retaining in mind.” As Garfield notes, even though “mindfulness” works as a translation for both terms, these two terms still have distinct meanings. “It is one thing to attend, and another to guard that attention with vigilance, but,” Garfield continues, “it is important to note that these functions are cooperative, each enabling and reinforcing the other” (2012: 3). Attention and awareness are necessary conditions for acting skillfully because they enable us to not merely react to external conditions with fear or anxiety or desire. Instead, we can step back and attend to the conditions that have made possible whatever might otherwise disturb us. And we can attend to our own motivations, and the feelings and past experiences that might be pushing us to react in one way or another. In short, we can be aware of the attachments and aversions that might drive us to act in unhelpful ways. When we are attentive, we can discern how to respond most appropriately. Sometimes, a mindful response might lead us to transgress prescriptions or proscriptions of particular actions. Indeed, on presenting 12 forms of mindfulness to be maintained, at the beginning of chapter VI of the Compendium, Śāntideva suggests the aspiring bodhisattva should “aim to maintain all these forms of mindfulness . . . even at the cost of relinquishing other [recommended] actions” (Śikṣā 118/​§118). Ultimately, Śāntideva argues, it is mindfulness that enables the practitioner to avoid unskillful actions that cause suffering. Mindless actions and mindless speech result in our own pain as well as the pain of others. Thus, Garfield points out, “Not only is there an important reciprocal relation in this tradition between the cognitive and the moral, but mindfulness, per se, lies at the foundation of everything” (2012: 2). For Śāntideva, then, the way of the bodhisattva, fundamentally a path of moral development, requires an attentive, stable mind. Mindfulness is the very condition for the possibility of pursuing any of the perfections. As he writes in the Compendium: “The doctrine of the bodhisattvas simply amounts to the preparation of the mind: and this is a mind not unstable” (Śikṣā 123/​§123). The mind, Śāntideva argues, can be compared to an elephant. A rutting, wild elephant can cause great suffering, but when tamed there is no danger and indeed, the elephant can benefit others (Bodhicar. V.3). The pains of fear, anxiety, worry, embarrassment, etc. all arise through an untamed mind. And they lead us away from attending to the experience of others. Thus, he writes, “By these two, virtue and meditation, interacting one on the other, comes the complete perfection of the action of the mind; the bodhisattva’s doctrine amounts to this, the cultivation of the mind, because all things have their root in the mind” (Śikṣā 121/​§121). It is through the cultivation of mindfulness, then, that Śāntideva suggests we can find liberation from mental defilements. Thus, awakening requires mindfulness: “One who desires to protect her person, must reach the root of mindfulness and must ever have mindfulness at hand” (Śikṣā 119/​§120). The path of the bodhisattva is one of cultivating mindfulness. However, cultivating mindfulness, while it leads to virtuous activity, also requires virtuous activity. As Śāntideva writes

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in the Compendium, commenting on the Candrapradīpa Sūtra, in order to achieve meditative concentration it is necessary to develop awareness (samprajanya) and mindfulness (smṛti) of our conduct. That is, it is necessary to be vigilant of our actions of body, speech, and mind. And, at the same time, this vigilance requires the cultivation of meditative concentration (Śikṣā 121/​§121). Indian Buddhist communities developed numerous fine distinctions and a similarly refined vocabulary for a wide variety of mental states and the exercises or activities to achieve such states, all of which are translated with the very general English term “meditation.” The many Sanskrit technical terms for different stages and practices of meditation, including dhyāna, samādhi, bhāvanā, samāpatti, etc., do not have uniform translations. The term employed by Śāntideva to refer to the perfection of stabilizing and calming the mind, dhyānapāramitā, has been rendered as “meditation,” “meditative absorption,” “meditative concentration,” “contemplation,” or simply left untranslated. Śāntideva begins his discussion of meditative absorption in the Way of the Bodhisattva by noting that without calming the mind one is inevitably caught by mental defilements (Bodhicar. VIII.1). For it is the calming of distractions and the overcoming of self-​cherishing that leads to the equanimity necessary for responsiveness to others. He recommends temporarily removing oneself from social life in order to train the mind. Only after one has calmed the mind, Śāntideva writes, is one prepared to generate bodhicitta through meditation (Bodhicar. VIII.89). Generating bodhicitta requires the neutralization of attachment, particularly desire and self-​cherishing. For Śāntideva, and most of his commentators in Tibet, two of the most important meditations for the achievement of bodhicitta are the equality of self and others (par ātma samatā), and the exchange of self and others (par ātma parivartana).7 The meditation on the equality of self and others is constituted by a deep attention to the fact that all sentient beings experience happiness and suffering (Śikṣā 3/​§2; Bodhicar..VIII.90–​91). For Śāntideva, we all take suffering and pain to be bad and its alleviation good. Because despite their immense diversity, sentient beings are the same in their desire for happiness and aversion toward suffering, Śāntideva argues, there is no adequate reason to prioritize my own desire for happiness and my own aversion from suffering over anyone else’s. Indeed, he argues, we should treat the other’s suffering as no different from my own suffering, equally making demands and appeals to me for alleviation and medication. There is no morally significant difference, Śāntideva insists, between my suffering and the suffering of others; I should relieve both kinds of suffering. To realize this care for the suffering of others, Śāntideva suggests, I ought to regard others as myself. Regarding others as myself is not simply a change in perspective, an understanding of the needs, desires, aversions, and concerns of the other: regarding others as myself is primarily the cherishing of the other as I would cherish myself. By exchanging positions with the other I come to value the happiness and needs of the other over my own. This meditation, then, seeks to reorient the mind from seeking to use others as means to my ends, to offering myself as a means to the satisfaction of

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the desires of others (Bodhicar. VIII.138–​139). This devotion to the needs of the other, according to Śāntideva, is simultaneously the response to my own deepest needs. For attachment to self is precisely what causes my own suffering as well as the suffering that I cause others (Bodhicar. VIII.129, 134). Desiring the benefit and working to achieve the happiness of others, on the other hand—​that is, overcoming self-​cherishing—​is what liberates me from suffering. Indeed, Śāntideva writes, the very care for the other becomes a care for myself as the distinction between selfish and selfless actions is dissolved (Bodhicar. VIII.173).

5.  THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM As we have seen, Śāntideva discusses each perfection as an antidote to a particular mental affliction; generosity is an antidote to attachment, vigilant moral discipline is an antidote to mindlessness, forbearance is an antidote to anger and hatred, vigor is an antidote to apathy, and meditative absorption and concentration are antidotes to a reactive and wandering mind. But for Śāntideva, as for other Indian Buddhist intellectuals, the root cause of all other defilements, and thus the root cause of our own suffering and our insensitivity to the suffering of others, is ignorance. Wisdom is the highest perfection, then, because it acts as an antidote to the ignorance that is the condition for all other mental afflictions. Indeed, according to Śāntideva, without understanding the lack of inherent existence of phenomena, and most particularly, the lack of substantial existence of the self, the aspiring bodhisattva cannot loosen the fortress walls that we build around the self and that make us insensible to the pains of others. Thus, Śāntideva writes, all the preceding trainings were preliminary preparations for the perfection of wisdom (prajñāpāramitā; Bodhicar. IX.1). Śāntideva’s presentation of wisdom is informed by his understanding of Madhyamaka Buddhist metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology, especially the intertwined doctrines of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda), emptiness of inherent existence (śūnyatā), and the distinction between conventional truth (saṁvṛti-​satya) and ultimate truth (paramārtha-​satya). This understanding is grounded in an interpretation of Nāgārjuna’s Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way (Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, second-​third century CE), perhaps the most significant Indian philosophical work for later traditions of Mahāyāna Buddhism. While there is no evidence that Nāgārjuna himself thought he was inaugurating a new school of Buddhist philosophy, later doxographers in India, Tibet, and China characterize him as the founder of the Madhyamaka, or Middle Way, School, and the Fundamental Wisdom as its foundational text. Nāgārjuna’s purpose in this text is to argue that all phenomena are dependently originated, and to the degree that they depend on a multiplicity of conditions, they lack the substantial, enduring, essentializing, autonomous nature we ascribe to them. Thus, not only trees and stones, tables and books, but also the Buddha, the four noble truths, dependent origination, and other fundamental Buddhist doctrines are empty (śūnya) of the inherent or self-​nature (svabhāva) that by linguistic and social convention we attribute to them. This does

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not mean that trees and stones, tables and books, dependent origination, etc. do not exist. Rather, Nāgārjuna argues, they are not somehow ultimately natural kinds; they exist otherwise than we take them to exist in the realm of language and conceptual objectification. Our words and concepts do not ultimately have the traction with the world that we take for granted. Things are not independent, but empty precisely of the independent nature that they seem to possess. This emptiness, this lack of substantial existence, this absence of an autonomous nature is ultimately the truth about phenomena. However, this ultimate truth of emptiness is itself dependent on the mental imputation of a conventional nature. Thus, Nāgārjuna argues, emptiness is also dependently originated and therefore emptiness is also empty. Without meditative insight into the emptiness of emptiness, one will still have a positive opinion to which one is attached, and be unable to achieve liberation. Śāntideva shares Nāgārjuna’s basic metaphysical framework. His commitment to Buddhist ideas of dependent origination and the lack of substantial existence of the self informs his approach to moral life. The self is a multiplicity of phenomena of perception, feeling, intention, discriminating consciousness, and the body. There is no autonomous moral agent, freely choosing how to act in the world, and thus no locus of responsibility. Rather, the self is itself always dependent on the forces in which we are embedded—​in our own communities and in the natural world. Thus, for example, he argues for patience when others who are angry treat us poorly, for their actions are themselves dependently originated; they are not autonomously, freely intending to harm us. And he argues for a recognition of the delusion of a substantial self, and thus, to prioritize the relief of my own suffering and neglect the sufferings of others is arbitrary. Moreover, as Garfield has argued, it does not make sense for the kinds of beings we are and the world in which we find ourselves (2015: 313). Ultimately, though, this irrationality that is the ground of our motivations makes it harder to achieve the alleviation of our suffering. Insight grounds the view that I should work to alleviate the sufferings of others just as I am concerned with my own suffering. While Śāntideva employs Buddhist insights in his reasoning throughout his texts, like Nāgārjuna, he insists that it is particularly meditative insight into emptiness that finally liberates bodhisattvas from attachment, even to opinions and identities. “Without emptiness,” he argues, “a mind is fettered” (Bodhicar. IX.48). And, he notes, if you are interested in becoming a bodhisattva, then you need to gain insight into the emptiness of phenomena. Because when you have understood the emptiness of all phenomena then you understand the emptiness of the self, and this insight undermines defilements at their root (Śikṣā 225/​§242). Wisdom of emptiness is necessary, then, to be liberated from ignorance, aversion, and attachment, because it enables a deep understanding of the emptiness of self. Thus, chapter XIV of the Compendium, on “Self-​Purification,” concerns arguments for the lack of existence of the essential, substantive nature we attribute to phenomena. And, for Śāntideva, as for Nāgārjuna, insight into emptiness is precisely an understanding of the emptiness of emptiness: “When there is no perception of something falsely projected as existent, there is no understanding of the non-​existence of that entity. For it follows

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that, if an entity is not real, the negation of it is clearly not real” (Bodhicar. 139). Śāntideva, then, recognizes a moral dimension to the self-​subversion of conceptual reification (Edelglass 2007). To move beyond a merely rational understanding of Buddhist wisdom, the practitioner needs to enact the overcoming of attachment through a compassionate engagement with others. What Śāntideva shows with his considerable attention to the distinction between the two truths, dependent origination, and the emptiness of emptiness, is that the compassionate engagement with others is a way of being in the world that conforms to the world as it actually is. Bodhicitta, then, is realized with the arising of wisdom and the caring responsiveness to others. As Śāntideva argues in both the Compendium and the Way of the Bodhisattva, wisdom needs to be enacted intersubjectively, and morality can only be perfected when informed by understanding.

6.  VIRTUES AND CONSEQUENCES IN ŚĀNTIDEVA’S ETHICS The Compendium and the Way of the Bodhisattva, Śāntideva’s guidebooks to the path of radical transformation, begin from the place of an ordinary person who becomes attentive to the needs of others. This path of liberation from emotional and cognitive obscurations is long, slow, and arduous. It is a path of the cultivation of moral, intellectual, and meditative excellence through practices that transform the mind from self-​ cherishing to radically compassionate. Śāntideva’s emphasis on cultivating perfections that are dispositions to act, feel, think, and attend in ways that cultivate bodhicitta, show some similarity between the morality of the Compendium and Way of the Bodhisattva and Virtue Ethics. Thus, Damien Keown draws on Śāntideva to make the claim that “Aristotelianism provides a useful Western analogue . . . [for] . . . elucidating the foundations and conceptual structure of Buddhist ethics” (2001: 196). According to this interpretation, bodhicitta is the telos of moral development, analogous to the role of eudaimonia in Aristotle’s ethics. For Śāntideva, just as with Aristotle, as one cultivates the perfections one takes greater pleasure in virtuous action. And indeed, as with Virtue Ethicists, Śāntideva possesses great confidence in the possibility of transforming character through proper habituation. Thus, while actions of body, speech, and mind do have a “ripened consequence” (vipākaphala)—​the fruit of an action, such as the suffering or happiness we experience in this life or a future birth—​Śāntideva is much more interested in the secondary consequence (niṣyandaphala) of our actions. This more subtle fruit of our actions is manifest in the quality of our minds. For instance, if I am angry and act with cruelty, the ripened consequence may be that I suffer some specific harm in the future. But the secondary consequence is that my mind will change and be more easily angered and overcome with cruelty. Every thought, every word, every action, according to this view, makes us more likely to act, speak, and think in a similar way. Cultivating the perfections, then, involves actions that are

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responsive to others—​for example, giving to the needy or being patient with those around us—​but also, importantly, form who we are. They transform our minds from the grasping, deluded, and suffering mind of an ordinary person, to the open, responsive, calm mind of bodhicitta. Śāntideva’s ethics is oriented toward a telos—​bodhicitta—​that is identified as the perfection of our nature, and this perfection is realized through cultivating virtues by making appropriate choices of attention, energy, and action.8 Nevertheless, it would be misleading to interpret Śāntideva simply as a Virtue Theorist in any traditional sense. For example, in contrast to the role of eudaimonia in Aristotle, bodhicitta is not an end in itself; the aspiring bodhisattva cultivates bodhicitta motivated by compassion to alleviate the suffering of other sentient beings. Moreover, Śāntideva is not suggesting practices for the practitioner’s good, or the good of those who are nearest and dearest. We need to prioritize the good of the other over one’s own good. However, in prioritizing the good of the other, according to Śāntideva, we are in fact acting for our own greater benefit. But the benefit to the self is a secondary consequence; it is not the goal. And indeed, the goal of Śāntideva’s ethics is universalist: to free all sentient beings from suffering. Śāntideva, like Mill and other Consequentialists, takes suffering to be manifestly bad and freedom from suffering to be a good for which no argument is necessary. And Śāntideva seems to think the consequences of this fact are not just relevant to oneself, but reason and morality demand a response to all suffering. Thus, he asks, “When happiness is liked by me and others equally, what is so special about me that I strive after happiness only for myself? When fear and suffering are disliked by me and others equally, what is so special about me that I protect myself and not the other?” (Bodhicar. VIII.95–​96). And the very first verse of the Compendium asks, “Since I and others abhor pain and fear alike, what distinction can I rightly make for self, that I should preserve it and not another?” (Śikṣā 3/​§2). When Śāntideva does recognize a benefit to suffering, it is generally because this instance of suffering leads to a greater alleviation of overall suffering. Indeed, he writes, “If the suffering of one ends the suffering of many, then one who has compassion for others and himself must cause that suffering to arise” (Bodhicar. VII.105). In contrast to Virtue Ethics, then, Śāntideva is making a Consequentialist argument that the suffering of the self is less significant than the overall reduction of suffering. And this Consequentialist reasoning appears elsewhere in his texts. For example, he writes, we should sacrifice ourselves for someone who is equally or more responsive to the sufferings of others; we should not sacrifice ourselves for someone who is less compassionate. “That way,” he argues, “there is no overall loss” (Bodhicar. V.87). Śāntideva’s Consequentialist reasoning and his universalist commitment to the welfare of all sentient beings as the goal of the path and the grounding of the perfections has led some scholars, such as Goodman, to interpret him as an act Consequentialist (2009: 89–​103). Interpreting Śāntideva as an act Consequentialist helps make sense of his claim that to alleviate suffering a bodhisattva, informed by wisdom and motivated by compassion, can transgress any moral rules. This is the doctrine of skillful means (upāya kauśalya).9 According to this doctrine, because diminishing suffering and

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increasing peace and happiness is the ground and justification of ethics, being skillful (kauśalya) in the method, strategy, or means (upāya) for reducing suffering overrides any moral rules. Thus, Śāntideva writes in the Way of the Bodhisattva, “even what is proscribed is permitted for a compassionate person who sees it will be of benefit” (Bodhicar. V.84). In the Compendium, Śāntideva makes clear that motivated by compassion and informed by wisdom—​two very important caveats—​it is appropriate to transgress not only monastic vows, but also the moral precepts, such as those against killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, and lying (Śikṣā 163–​165/​ §167–​168). Indeed, he cites examples of all these from various Mahāyāna sūtras, and the circumstances under which they are allowed.10 Often these transgressions are attributed to the Buddha, who in previous births, motivated by compassion, abandoned the precepts if it was efficacious in leading others to the dharma or alleviating their suffering. Because they lead to a reduction of suffering, these transgressions, if enacted with wisdom and compassion, are morally right. As Goodman points out, this widely accepted view, which justifies acting in ways that might be considered vicious if a bodhisattva sees that it will diminish suffering, does not fit well with Virtue Ethics. But in a Consequentialist framework they can stand as exemplary moral acts.11 It is unsurprising that Śāntideva has been interpreted through the hermeneutic frameworks of Western ethical theories. Clearly, there are elements of Virtue Ethics and Consequentialism in both the Compendium and the Way of the Bodhisattva. The perfections are cognitive, affective, embodied dispositions that are cultivated to act virtuously and transform the mind. And Śāntideva’s ethics is grounded in the premise that suffering is bad, and universalized to maximize the alleviation of suffering for all sentient beings. Clearly, drawing on Virtue Ethics and Consequentialism to interpret Śāntideva can help disclose aspects of his moral theory and the practices he recommends. But to understand Śāntideva’s ethics simply as a form of Virtue Ethics or a kind of Consequentialism would obscure some of its distinctive features.12 These include the ways in which the common tension between other-​oriented and self-​interested motivations is dissolved, the unique and necessary role of reason in relations with others, the primary importance of meditation in ethics, and Śāntideva’s appreciation for difference and diversity among practitioners even as he defends a particular path of moral transformation. In conclusion I will elaborate briefly on these last two points.

7.  CONCLUSION: MORAL TREATISE AS MEDITATION MANUAL Śāntideva, as with other Indian Buddhists, conceives of the bodhisattva path as a set of practices that function as antidotes to the “three poisons” that cause us suffering and diminish our responsiveness to the sufferings of others. These three poisons are attachment, aversion, and delusion, which are the source of all the other mental defilements, such as jealousy, avarice, pride, sloth, hatred, and schadenfreude. The

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trainings that Śāntideva recommends, then, are intended to neutralize particular defilements. Thus, meditating on the dependent origination of the anger and actions of others can neutralize our resentment, frustration, anger, and hatred toward them. Meditating on the preciousness and brevity of human life can neutralize our laziness in moral development. Meditating on the actions of body, speech, and mind can neutralize our lack of awareness that leads us to react in ways that produce more suffering. Meditating on the equality of self and others can neutralize our insensitivity to the sufferings of others. Meditating on the exchange of self and others can neutralize our self-​cherishing. Meditating on dependent origination, the distinction between the two truths, and the emptiness of emptiness can neutralize the delusion of inherent nature, especially the fundamental delusion of our own substantial self. The Compendium and the Way of the Bodhisattva are meditation manuals that serve as guidebooks to the bodhisattva path because they offer meditative antidotes to mental afflictions. To deeply cultivate the meditations that lead to bodhicitta requires that they be embodied; they need to be enacted with others. Thus, Śāntideva’s texts consist of arguments concerning moral theory and practice. Aversion to others, prioritizing the self over others, insensibility to the suffering of others, all need to be overcome through actual engagements. Thus, Śāntideva says, yes, one needs to spend some time cultivating meditative concentration and mindfulness in solitude, without the distractions of social life. And in solitude one ought to cultivate mindfulness or pursue meditations that counteract self-​cherishing or overcome the existential delusion of a separate self that is the basis of attachment. But even while Śāntideva describes the perfections as qualities of the mind, these qualities of mind can only be fully cultivated through engaging with others. To cultivate the awakening mind requires both wisdom and compassionate caring for others. Because the path of the bodhisattva is a set of trainings to neutralize mental defilements, depending on the situation or the practitioner there will be a different emphasis on which meditative practices to pursue. In some situations, if one finds one’s mind attracted or repelled in unhelpful ways, Śāntideva recommends meditating on being “like a block of wood” (Bodhicar. V.48–​53). In other situations, however, it might be appropriate to increase desire, or zeal, for example, if one is feeling lethargic (Bodhicar. VII.40). Throughout, Śāntideva is attentive to such differences—​ differences of capacity, differences of temperament, different challenges that require different responses. And he is sensitive to the vulnerability of our bodies and minds, that being overwhelmed or pushing ourselves too far is counterproductive. One needs to be sensitive to the appropriate difficulty of a practice and not take on too much; at whatever level one is, one should find suitable practices. Starting to practice with minor challenges will make them easy, he suggests, and eventually make it possible to practice with major challenges without being overwhelmed (Bodhicar. VI.14). Indeed, Śāntideva writes, “The Guide enjoins giving only vegetables and the like at first” (Bodhicar. VII.25). That is, the Buddha himself suggests that when starting out on the path one should only give away that which is possible to give without resentment, such as vegetables, that can nourish

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the body of another and are beneficial. “Later,” he continues, “by degrees, one acts in such a way that one is even able to give up one’s own flesh!” (Bodhicar. VII.25). Thus, in contrast to moral theories that lead to one or another act that ought to be done regardless of who the agent might be, Śāntideva argues that one should carefully discern whether or not a given practice or act is beyond one’s abilities, and then act accordingly (Bodhicar. VII. 47–​48). And if a task is taken up that exhausts one, it should be set aside until strength and energy and zeal are revived (Bodhicar. VII.66). Thus, he is not suggesting that anyone can simply be mindful even in a situation of immense physical suffering, such as forced labor, extreme heat or cold, or the weakness of the body and mind that comes with starvation. Rather, Śāntideva is making the more modest suggestion that we ought to try to make the most of the situations we find ourselves in to cultivate mindfulness and a caring responsiveness to others. At the heart of Śāntideva’s ethics, then, is the skillful means of discerning what is suitable at any given time, and recognizing that there will be differences in practices for different practitioners. And his texts exhibit the skillful means of trying to reach a multiplicity of readers where they are. This helps us understand why sometimes Śāntideva inspires fear, sometimes desire, and sometimes equanimity. And why he moves freely from evocative poetic language, to the very technical discourse of scholastic Buddhist philosophy. It would be a mistake, however, to interpret Śāntideva’s appreciation for difference and multiplicity together with his commitment to the idea that language and thought cannot grasp ultimate reality as an acknowledgment that all moral claims and practices are equal. While there is no ultimate grounding of ethics in a transcendental Being or value, it is still the case that we find ourselves embedded in a world of suffering and that some modes of being can lead to awakening and others leave one entangled in the confusion, aversion, and attachment of saṃsāra. Śāntideva’s meditations invite the reader to experience the path from ordinary existence to awakened compassion. Meditating on his vivid descriptions of a life of fear, loss, and clinging attachment can indeed provoke a sober reflection on the reality of our lives. And meditating on his inspiring expressions of the compassion and calm of one who has taken refuge and is pursuing the bodhisattva path gives a taste of what we might imagine to be the wisdom and compassionate caring for others that constitute the awakened mind.13 For Śāntideva, the bodhisattva path, then, is about moral transformation through the cultivation of mindfulness that is embodied and enacted as wisdom and a caring responsiveness to others.

NOTES 1. Śāntideva’s dates are sometimes given as 685–​763 ce. However, this specificity is misleading. 685 was the year that the Chinese pilgrim, I-​Tsing, left India. I-​ Tsing visited the great Buddhist university, Nālandā, where Śāntideva was active, and makes no mention of him in his writings, suggesting Śāntideva was not

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widely known. In 763 Śāntarakṣita travelled to Tibet and quotes from the Way of the Bodhisattva in his Tattvasiddhi. For a detailed discussion of Śāntideva’s dates, see Pezzali (1968: 38–​40). Also, see J. W. de Jong’s response to Pezzali (1975:  179–​181). 2. Because the early Mahāyāna was not in opposition to any particular institution or organization, Jonathan Silk points out, it would be a mistake to conflate “Hīnayāna” with a particular Buddhist tradition, such as one of the early sects, including Theravāda. Silk interprets “Hīnayāna” as a “rhetorical fiction,” best translated as “small-​minded”: “The term embodies a criticism of certain types of thinking and of certain views, but does not refer to institutional affiliations” (2002: 369). 3. In Indian Buddhist texts the verbal noun “bodhi” refers to the characteristic quality of being a buddha, namely, awakened. Thus, contemporary translators render it as “enlightenment” or “awakening.” Citta means “mind,” but may also have a broader range of meanings. For a discussion of the term “bodhicitta,” and its various translations, see Brassard (2000: 7–​8). 4. Some presentations of the bodhisattva path have ten perfections, including skillful means (upāya-​kauśalya), vows (praṇidhāna), power (bala), and knowledge (jñāna). In fact, Śāntideva addresses these as well in both his texts, but not as distinct perfections. 5. Indeed, Śāntideva compares the delight and pleasure of virtuous activity along the bodhisattva path to the pleasures of intoxicants and sexuality: “One should be addicted solely to the task that one is undertaking. One should be intoxicated by that task, insatiable, like someone hankering for the pleasure and the fruit of love-​ play” (BCA VII.62). 6. According to Śāntideva’s accounts of the lack of substantial existence of phenomena, the various mental defilements that are obstacles on the path are empty of inherent existence. Thus, every sentient being is, in some sense, already liberated, as this very world is just as much nirvāṇa as it is saṃsāra. For a detailed discussion of Śāntideva’s approach to inherent liberation, and the diverse interpretations of this approach in Tibetan traditions, see Williams (2000: 1–​28). 7. While these meditations are often associated primarily with Śāntideva, they have precedents in other Mahāyāna authors, at least as far back as Nāgārjuna’s Precious Garland. 8. For an extended discussion of Buddhist ethics and Virtue Ethics that is significantly grounded in Śāntideva, see Mrozik (2002). 9. The term “skillful means” (upāya kauśalya) has several other meanings, the most important of which are concerned with teaching the dharma in ways that are appropriate for a particular student, and with compassionate action (Harvey 2000:  134–​135). 10. Śāntideva cites the Ratnamegha, which argues that when a man is intending to commit one of the five deadly sins that lead to severe suffering for the agent—​ patricide, matricide, killing an arhat, shedding the blood of a Buddha, and causing disharmony in the Saṇgha—​it is appropriate for a compassionate person to kill him (Śikṣā 164/​§168).

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11. For a discussion of skillful means in Śāntideva, see Clayton (2006: 102–​109). 12. For a longer discussion of the relationship between Buddhist ethics and Western moral philosophy that draws in part on Śāntideva, and why it would be a mistake to interpret Śāntideva purely according to a particular Western moral theory, see Edelglass (2013). 13. Thus, Garfield reads the Way of the Bodhisattva “as a treatise on the distinction between the phenomenologies of benighted and of awakened moral consciousness” (2015: 300).

BIBLIOGRAPHY Anālayo, Bhikkhu. 2010. The Genesis of the Bodhisattva Ideal. Hamburg: Hamburg University Press. Brassard, Francis. 2000. The Concept of Bodhicitta in Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra. Albany: State University of New York Press. Clayton, B. 2006. Moral Theory in Śāntideva’s Śikṣāsamuccaya: Cultivating the Fruits of Virtue. Abington, UK: Routledge. de Jong, J.W. ‘‘La Légende De Śāntideva.” Indo-​Iranian Journal 16 (1975): 161–​182. Dostoevsky, F. 1990. The Brothers Karamazov. Translated by R. Pevear and L. Volokhonsky. New York: Everyman’s Library. Edelglass, William. 2007. “Ethics and the Subversion of Conceptual Reification in Levinas and Śāntideva.” In Deconstruction and the Ethical in Asian Thought, edited by Y. Wang, 151–​161. New York: Routledge. Edelglass, William. 2013. “Buddhist Ethics and Western Moral Philosophy.” In The Blackwell Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, edited by S. Emmanuel, 476–​490. London: Blackwell. Garfield, J. L. ‘‘Mindfulness and Ethics: Attention, Virtue and Perfection.” Thai International Journal of Buddhist Studies 3 (2012): 1–​24. Garfield, J. L. 2015. Engaging Buddhism: Why It Matters to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Goodman, Charles. 2009. Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Harvey, P. 2000. An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Keown, Damien. 2001. The Nature of Buddhist Ethics. New York: Palgrave. Mrozik, S. “The Value of Human Differences: South Asian Buddhist Contributions toward an Embodied Virtue Theory.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics 9 (2002): 1–​33. Pezzali, A. 1968. Śāntideva: Mystique Bouddhiste Des Viie Et Viiie Siecles. Florence: Vallecchi Editore. Prajñākaramati. 1995. “Pañjikā, in a Mahāyāna Liturgy.” In Buddhism in Practice, edited by D. Lopez Jr., translated by L. Gomez. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Samuels, J. “The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravāda Buddhist Theory and Practice: A Reevaluation of the Bodhisattva-​Śrāvaka Opposition.” Philosophy East and West 47 (1997): 399–​415.

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Śāntideva. 1990. Śikṣāsamuccaya, edited by C. Bendall and W. H. D. Rouse. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Śāntideva. 1995. The Bodhicaryāvatāra. Translated by K. Crosby and A. Skilton. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Silk, J. “What, If Anything, Is Mahāyāna Buddhism? Problems of Definitions and Classifications.” Numen 49 (2002): 355–​405. Skilling, P. 2004. “Mahāyāna and Bodhisattva: An Essay Towards Historical Understanding.” In Photisatawa Barami Kap Sangkhom Thia Nai Sahatsawat Mai, edited by P. Limpanusorn, 140–​156. Bangkok: Thammasat University Press. Williams, P. 2000. Studies in the Philosophy of the Bodhicaryāvatāra: Altruism and Reality. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

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Three Vedāntas: Three Accounts of Character, Freedom, and Responsibility SHYAM RANGANATHAN

1. INTRODUCTION Moral philosophy is a philosophical investigation of the right procedure or good outcome. A superficial depiction of Indian thought is that it is primarily concerned with ethics (dharma) that leads to freedom (mokṣa). All Indian moral philosophers believe this, some claim. The problem with this pithy generalization is the idea that ethics leads to freedom has at least two distinct readings that are inconsistent with each other. The first is the idea that (C), we should treat freedom as the end, and ethics as the means to bring this about. Accordingly, the end, freedom, justifies the means, ethics. This is teleological and Consequentialist: it prioritizes the end or good in moral explanation. It is also a story about moral justification. Then there is the thoroughly procedural idea that (P), ethics, in and of itself, causes a good end—​ freedom. This is the moral theory that we could call Yoga or Bhakti. It stresses the discipline of procedure, but it also defines right procedure by a regulative ideal: when we are devoted to it, we approximate it and thereby instantiate it. The regulative ideal here—​the Lord—​is right, though perhaps not good, but devotion to it brings about our own good by changing our life so that we approximate lordliness. We attain mokṣa in proportion to our approximation to the Lord. This is the opposite from a Consequentialist and teleological account of ethics, as here the right takes priority in explanation. It is also a story about moral causation. Often, freedom is depicted as a condition of morality: it would seem that we have to be free in order to be responsible for our actions so freedom has to come first. We could call this freedom first. Yet this freedom first view is remarkably like the Consequentialist and teleological account of the relationship of ethics to freedom, as

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it prioritizes the good of freedom in the rationalization of the responsibility of ethics. However, if freedom is a good in itself, then treating it as a condition of responsible action would leave our freedom to luck. If we were free it would have nothing to do with anything in our control. But if freedom is a good, we do not want to leave it to luck: we want to ensure it. But then we have to treat responsibility as the condition of freedom. This is Yoga, or Bhakti insofar as devotion to a regulative ideal accounts for how sheer procedure can have a good outcome such as our freedom. The history of Vedānta philosophy—​philosophy of the latter part of the Vedas—​ largely endorses the latter option. But this option is itself an argument: either (C) or (P); (C) does not protect freedom but (P) does, therefore (P). We find this argument implicit in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad and later restated explicitly in the Bhagavad Gītā. I will call this the “moral transition argument” (MTA). The argument depicts a dialectic that takes us from teleology to proceduralism. Making a case for MTA involves undermining the idea that we are free—​rather, we have to do something to become free. But if we are not free, how or who is responsible for our choices? An option is to treat our dispositions, our psychology, or character as responsible for choice and action on the way to freedom. But character or disposition is itself a state of restriction where choices are constrained by our psychology. To treat this as the center of responsibility that has to protect freedom seems to lead to new problems of accounting for how we can protect freedom without already being free to do so—​and if we do gain freedom by virtue of this restraint, is this not a new kind of luck? What if we end up with a bad character: would not this undermine our expansion, development, and personal growth? Here we bump up against the paradox of development: we need to be responsible to bring about our own freedom so that our freedom is not left to luck, but it seems that this requires freedom as a condition, otherwise it is not clear how we could be responsible. This appears to threaten the MTA and the very idea of development. One option is to win freedom by denying the requirement that anything more needs to be done for the sake of development. With this option we reject the reality of our character along with ethical requirements. Another option is to affirm the reality of character and moral requirements, but to recognize that the reality of character is itself a limitation on potential, which means only some individuals with good characters will be able to protect and safeguard their freedom—​only some will be in a position of development. Finally, we might affirm that a devotion to an abstract, non-​proprietary regulative ideal is sufficient to account for the protection of freedom, in which case our character is a work in progress. But then we re-​ understand ourselves as part of the project of Development that is oriented around the regulative ideal. These three options are the respective views of Śaṅkara (Monism), Madhva (Dualism), and Rāmānuja (Qualified Monism)—​the three famous commentators on the Vedānta Sūtra, a purported summary of the import of the later Vedas. It is not uncommon to reduce the importance of these three thinkers to that of interpreters of a common Vedic corpus, including derivative smṛti literature such as the Bhagavad Gītā and the Vedānta Sūtra. This is to treat them as mere philologists

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interpreting texts in accordance with their beliefs. The problem with this approach is that it not only reduces the stature of these thinkers to that of hacks imposing their views on texts, but also deprives us of an appreciation of the rationale and justification for the approaches they take. Śaṅkara’s, Madhva’s, and Rāmānuja’s differences are not especially normative, as they do not largely differ on the content of ethics, but their projects are metaethical as they disagree about what DHARMA has to offer. The tradition of philosophy they endorse and explicate is characterized by the MTA. The term that the Vedānta philosophers all want to explicate in light of the MTA is “Brahman,” which means “growth,” “expansion,” “evolution,” or “development” (Monier-​Williams 1995: 737). This term figures prominently in the literature that Vedānta authors look to—​such as the Upaniṣads—​and it arises in this tradition exactly when there is a move away from the teleology of the old Vedas, which motivates dharma by good outcomes granted by the virtuous Gods toward Deontology and Bhakti. The usual gloss on Brahman identifies it with “God” and further identifies this God with some version of Theism. Certainly, the Lord is an important element in the moral theory of Yoga and Bhakti as the regulative ideal of procedure—​ Development. But Vedānta is not Virtue Ethics, and the quick identification of Brahman with Theistic ideas of God obscures the logic of the underlying moral orientation. In Virtue Ethics, the ideal moral agent is good and right action flows from the character of the agent. Theism is the version of Virtue Ethics where God is the ideal moral agent, who sets the conditions for right action. In Bhakti, right action sets the conditions for the good, and the Lord defines right action. Goodness, such as freedom, not rightness, flows from the Lord. Whereas the theist’s God is good, the bhakta’s Lord is right. What is basic for Vedanta is Development: it is a further question whether Development is the Lord—​most agree on this in some form or another. In this chapter I propose to review the basic distinctions of moral theory that give rise to the MTA. I will trace the development of this argument in the Vedic and derivative literature. I next review the three Vedāntins’ attempts to resolve the paradox of development and respond to the objection that all they were doing was commenting on tradition and engaging in a theological project.

2.  MORAL THEORY First I want to review the permutations of THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD that constitute four basic moral theories, distinguished along two axes: (1) justification vs. causation, and (2) the prioritization of the good vs. the prioritization of the right. This sets the stage for the explication. Teleology prioritizes the good (outcome) over the right (procedure). Consequentialism justifies action by deference to the consequences—​ that is, the good outcome is the reason to do something that respects this outcome, on the Consequentialist account—​and Virtue Ethics claims that the right action is caused

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or produced by the virtues—​a state of goodness. Proceduralism prioritizes the right (procedure) over the good (outcome). Deontologists can, and often do define the right procedure in terms of a good outcome. We see this clearly, for instance, in the Mīmāṃsā Sūtra (MS; I.i.2) where dharma is defined as an injunction that produces welfare. But the reasons that Mīmāṃsā authors endorse the right action is not the consequence, but because it is legitimate on procedural grounds—​namely, that it is specified by śruti (what is intuited). Memory or tradition must be legitimated by this (MS I.i.5, I.iii.1). We find the same kind of move in Kant, for instance: the right action is defined by an end, whether it is the Kingdom of Ends, or the Principle of Humanity that counsels us to treat humans as the end, and not merely the means. Yet, Kant as a Deontologist gives us a parallel reason for endorsing the right thing to do: we do duty out of conformity to the law, which has to do with our self-​determination. Deontologists do not have to deny that our duties produce good results by definition. They merely deny that the good results are the reason for doing our duty. Indeed, if the desirable results define our duty, we need some other justification, to avoid begging questions. The claim that Deontologists cannot talk about the good in their justification of duties (Sreekumar 2012) is a confusion: duties are defined by THE GOOD for them and hence to talk about justifying duty is to talk about THE GOOD. Bhakti is the Indian contribution to all of this. It mirrors Virtue Ethics, in providing a causal story. Whereas Virtue Ethics claims that the good (virtue) causes the right action, Bhakti claims that the right action causes the good outcome. The bridge between the right action and good outcome is devotion to the regulative ideal—​the Lord. The outcome of this devotion—​its good—​is the perfection of the practice. The practice, in turn, is defined by the ideal—​the Lord. A most interesting feature of Bhakti is that it is the most procedural of options. Whereas Deontologists can and often must define ethics in terms of good outcomes, Bhakti reverses the direction of explanation: the good outcome is caused by the right practice. There is no independent good that we can define. What makes for a right practice is that it constitutes devotion to a regulative ideal. The devotee is one who worships and emulates the regulative ideal, and the good is merely the perfection of this practice. While one could try to justify this practice by the end, or the regulative ideal, the bhakta does not. Devotion is its own reward. The perfection of the practice is our freedom from evil (Gītā 18:66).

3.  THE VEDAS The early Vedas are primarily concerned with sacrifice. This is exemplified in the chants (Mantras) and manuals (Brāhmaṇas). The latter portion of the Vedas, Forest Books (Āraṇyakas), and Dialogues (Upaniṣads) introduce the idea of Brahman and ātman (self). If we look at the linguistics of a term such as “Brahman,” we find that it has many referents—​all worth taking seriously. The first of the significances listed in the Monier-​Williams Sanskrit–​English Dictionary for this term are “growth,” “expansion,” “evolution,” and “development” (1995: 737).

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If the Upaniṣads are chronologically later than the part of the Vedas we understand as ritualistic (the usual view), then, at some point, questions of the self and development were not central to Vedic thinking, but later they became central (for chronology and breakdown of the Vedas, see Santucci 1976). In the earlier Vedic worldview, we find Vedic gods, and the sacrifice. According to these parts of the Vedas, nature is explained by a diversity of forces, all identified as gods, and our goal in life is to appease these forces of nature. This is naturalistic in two senses. First, the basic explanations of life on this account are natural explanations. As Quine notes, the role of a god and a theoretical particle are on equal footing when we look at things naturalistically: they both play a role in empirical explanation (Quine 1990). But here we find that many kinds of gods that the Vedic people identified—​the heavenly bodies, as well as forces such as the wind (Vayu) and fire (Agni)—​are natural forces that account for life in nature. Second, the goods that the early Vedas identified are the beneficence of nature. When the forces of nature are good to me, I reap benefit. The benefit comes at a cost: the sacrifice, where a victim and other possessions are given to the Gods. This is a strange scenario where I try to direct an evil that I myself wish to avoid to something innocent. Stranger still, I understand practical rationality as seeking to avoid an evil while gaining a blessing. Evils include those brought about by demons (rākṣasa; Ṛg Veda 1.21, 6.28, 10.87, 10.88) and humans who break contracts and friendships (Ṛg Veda 10.88). Finally, it seems that the evils have to be given their due. Not only must I put off my death and demise by offering up a victim to the gods, but also during the course of a sacrifice, the blood of the victim should be offered to evil demons (rākṣasas). By offering blood to the demons, we keep the nourishing portion of the sacrifice for ourselves (Aitareya Brāhmaṇa 2.1.7: 59–​60). The entire system is characterized by ressentiment—​the definition of goods in terms of evils. Evil is nothing that can be eliminated from our worldview: it has to have its due respect and place to justify the entire system. The pressure to sacrifice to the gods and to give demons their due appears to be nothing but the natural pressures of metabolism. According to the Aitareya Āraṇyaka, it is Agni (fire) that is the consumer of food (I.1.2.ii). The sacrificial offering is just food (I.1.4,vii). If it is ultimately fire that is hungry, and the sacrifice is how we enact feeding our debt to fire, then the sacrifice is the ritualization of metabolism: the burning of calories. The sacrifice hence functions as a model for our animal biology. It is also the uneasy legitimization of the appropriation of some other living body for our ends. But why must there be a sacrificial animal that is nonhuman? We humans arguably make just as good a meal as a goat. The Vedic texts answer that in the first instance, humans are the sacrificial objects for gods. Yet things change once gods dissect a human. They find that part of the human that is fit for being the object of sacrifice is converted into a horse (quick moving). But the same is true of the horse: having killed the horse, the gods discover that the part worthy of being sacrificed is now an ox (slower moving). Each time a new convention is set up for who is to be sacrificed, until a strange turn of events occurred: the part worthy of sacrifice turns into rice,

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and that is where it ends (Aitareya Brāhmaṇa 2.1.8: 61–​62). What is not worthy of sacrifice is self-​directed. Philosophically, this is an insight into the irreducibility of evil on a teleological front. It is because there is such a thing as a bad outcome that I strive for a good one, on a teleological approach, but then I cannot get rid of evil from my moral explanations. It remains an irreducible feature of my worldview. Blood of sacrifice is its due.

4.  MTA PART 1: DEATH AND DEONTOLOGY How do we get rid of evil? I take it that the move to a procedural approach to ethical questions is one way to reject evil as an explanation of moral action. If I think about the right in a manner that does not appeal to evil, I think about the right as a way to conduct my life without having to give the demons their blood. The worst of the evils that we seek to avoid via natural means is death. It is our final and ultimate lack of autonomy and freedom to determine ourselves. But how do we overcome this seeming inevitability? One way is to try to put off dying, but that does not get rid of it so much as stalls it. The other is to embrace the lack of control as part of the well-​lived life. We do this by losing control to ourselves: self-​control, self-​governance. Death, hence, is something that we can transform from an event that happens to us to something we employ as a matter of self-​understanding. Death ceases to be an evil when we die to ourselves. It is part of our own self-​development. The movement to thinking about basic philosophical questions in terms of self (ātman) and development (Brahman) is part of the switch. So we find throughout the Upaniṣads a movement away from thinking about practical questions in terms of sacrifices to the Gods, and toward understanding the self in terms of development. While the term “Brahman,” development, does not figure prominently in the famous Kaṭha Upaniṣad, it is in many ways an analysis of what this development of the self looks like—​a development that embraces the loss of control that is Death. In the Kaṭha Upaniṣad, we find that the young boy Nachiketa is condemned to death by his father (conducting a solemn sacrifice to the gods) in response to the boy’s pestering question, “To whom will you sacrifice me?” “To death” is uttered by his father—​in irritation. As it is said in a solemn sacrifice, the boy is duly sacrificed, and travels to the abode of the God of Death, Yama—​who happens not to be there. On returning after three days, Yama offers the young boy three boons to make up for his lack of hospitality. Two boons are readily granted: the first is returning to his father and the second is knowledge of a sacrifice that leads to the high-​life. Last, Nachiketa wants to know: what happens to a person after they die—​do they cease to exist, or do they exist? Yama tries to avoid answering this question by offering wealth—​money, progeny, and the diversions of privilege. Nachiketa rejects this, on the grounds that “no one can be made happy in the long run by wealth,” and “no one can take it with them when they come to you [i.e., Death].” He objects that such

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gifts are short-​lived. Death is inevitable, so he wants the answer. The boy is persistent and Yama relents. He begins his response by praising the boy for understanding the difference between the śreya (control) and preya (utility): the foolish are concerned with the preya (what Yama tried to give the boy), but the wise with control. Implicit in this praise of control over utility is the MTA: only the foolish are guided by ends. The wise want to take control over their own destiny—​they do not want to leave it to luck. This control over one’s own destiny ensures that one’s freedom is unhindered. Yama continues with his allegory of the chariot. Philosophy is filled with interesting allegories of the chariot: all proving something different. The Buddhist Questions of King Milinda uses the analogy to press home the idea that the self is nowhere to be found in the contents of experience. Plato uses the model to explicate the nature of the soul. All souls are comprised of a charioteer and winged horses. The charioteer (the person) is the intellect, but the characters of the horses differ. Gods have noble horses, while humans are stuck with one good horse, and one troublesome horse (Phaedrus 246a–​54e). This is Plato’s trip-​partite model of the soul, according to which the soul is reason, spirit (the attitudinal component of the self), and desire (Republic Book IV). All of this is distinct from the body on Plato’s account. Moreover, there is nothing leftover that is the self on Plato’s account: the soul is the self. This cuts a sharp contrast with a Vedānta account of the Self as distinct from the soul. According to Yama, the body is like a chariot in which the Self sits. The intellect (buddhi) is like the charioteer (reason). The senses (indriya) are like horses (desire), and the mind (mānasa) is the reins (spirit). These last three components correspond to Plato’s tripartite account of the soul, which are distinct from the Self. Yet, over and above this there is the Enjoyer (bhoktṛ, who consumes the fruit—​phala—​ of action—​karman—​when it is ripe) who is the union of the self, senses, mind, and intellect. The objects of the senses are like the roads that the chariot travels. People of poor understanding do not take control of their horses (the senses) with their mind (the reins). Rather, they let their senses draw them to objects of desire, leading them to ruin. According to Yama, the person with understanding reins in the senses with the mind and intellect (Kaṭha Upaniṣad I.2). This is (explicitly called) yoga (Kaṭha Upaniṣad II.6). Those who practice yoga reach their Self in a final place of security (the Preserver’s, Vishnu’s, abode). This is the place of the Great Self (Kaṭha Upaniṣad I.3). There is no evil here. The story is noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, the young boy, far from natural death, has to confront Death ahead of time. And whereas typically the point of sacrifice to the gods is to avoid problems of misfortune that tend toward one’s own death (by finding a suitable proxy who is then sacrificed), the boy himself is the sacrificial victim. But having been deprived of his autonomy by this untimely death, he has an audience with Death, not as one who suffers the misfortunes of Death, but as one who is honored with gifts from Death. The gifts given by Death to the one who faces Him ahead of time includes not only a restoration of relationships with loved ones, and an understanding of the sacrifices necessary for the high-​life, but also the secret of life: death (the loss of autonomy) as an event (which we call

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dying) occurs only to those who do not take control of their senses, mind, and intellect. Those who can take control of these elements, and thereby control their body, are responsible agents avoiding accidents. This is what it is to face Death ahead of time: it is to live life in the knowledge of the possibility of dying, and thereby to avoid dying. Death ahead of time is life after Death (though not life after dying). This is yoga. It is also a matter of taking the good of our freedom away from luck: we are free by self-​determination. There is a long tradition of interpreting the Upaniṣads as teaching a mysterious doctrine about a nonempirical self. It is often couched in theological language of being chosen by a God. Just as God chooses his people, the ātman, we are told, chooses a person (cf. Müller’s translation of the Kaṭha Upaniṣad I.2.23–​25): That Self cannot be gained by the Veda, nor by understanding, nor by much learning. He whom the Self chooses, by him the Self can be gained. The Self chooses him (his body) as his own. But he who has not first turned away from his wickedness, who is not tranquil, and subdued, or whose mind is not at rest, he can never obtain the Self (even) by knowledge! Who then knows where He is, He to whom the Brahmans and Kshatriyas are (as it were) but food, and death itself a condiment? This translation consists of distortions, including the gratuitous insertion of “Veda.” Worse, it makes the issue occult. The doctrine is unmysterious if we have a taste for moral philosophy. For the topic is ethical. To understand oneself is to understand oneself as responsible for oneself. This is Death’s lesson. Here we come across an insight of the Vedic tradition. We need to do something with Death (i.e., the loss of autonomy). If we do not take control of our loss of autonomy, we lose our autonomy. The earlier Vedic tradition thought that the way to remove it from the public realm (our death, or loss of autonomy) is to inflict it on another. But the later view is that to take control over the loss of autonomy is for us to take it away from the public realm (what we can all see), where it is a threat, and privately house it as a loss of autonomy (where it is not visible to others). The private housing of a loss of autonomy is the loss of autonomy to oneself: self-​ governance or self-​control. This is a self-​imposed limitation on our person that is our public freedom. For this reason, the Indian tradition has often connected Death with Duty. Indeed, the latter tradition identifies the God of Death as Dharma (Duty, Virtue). Reciprocally, the tradition also calls Death by the same term it uses for ethical responsibility, direction, or self-​control: yama. To understand the self via yama is to take hold of the public freedom for us to be ourselves, by privately limiting ourselves. This is to understand the self prescriptively in terms of what it ought to do, and not in terms of what it contingently does. So Death concludes: This self is not obtained by speech, nor by intellect, nor by much revelations about sacrifices (śruti). He or she whom the Self chooses, gains him or herself. Deliberately choosing the self (ātmā vi-​vṛṇute) is governing oneself (tanuṃ svam) verily (am). One who has not first turned away from evil policies (duścara), who

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is not peaceful and subdued, or whose mind is not at rest, can never obtain the Self by insight! Such a confused one will not know where the Self went—​The self for whom privilege (Brahmins [the priestly caste] and Kṣatriyas [the governing caste]) is the main course, and death the sauce. (My translation, Kaṭha Upaniṣad I.2.23–​25.) The account of evil presented by Death resembles the Platonic claim that evil is a deprivation of goodness, insofar as we start not with evil as a primitive, but as something derivative. There are portions of the Upaniṣads that sound like this. For instance, Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.2.1 states that priority is to be given to sat (reality, but also the good) from which all arose. But this is not the final word on the issue, for Death eliminates talk of goodness in favor of control (śreya) and self-​governance (tanuṃsvam). Whereas goodness is an outcome or state of affairs, self-​governance is the justifying condition of outcomes and states of affairs. To countenance ourselves as essentially self-​governing is to treat ourselves as the explanation of good and evil. Evil arises from irresponsibility (failed practice, duścara). It is not an explanatory primitive of our universe. But neither is goodness basic, if the right is prior to the good and it is our righteous behavior that explains the good. So, evil is a privation of rightness—​not goodness—​on Death’s model. What ethical theory do we have here in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad? It is a form of Deontology. Deontology holds that right action, though definable by some outcome that is good, is justified by some non-​teleological consideration. Usually, Deontologists appeal to the requirements of self-​governance—​self-​control—​as the justification for duty. Here, we find abstraction from sense experience as the duty to be performed (i.e., the right thing to do), and the reason to engage in it is that one thereby is self-​justifying, and self-​controlling. The Deontological reading is bolstered by the primacy of the passenger’s role in the analogy of the chariot. It is the job of the passenger to bring under its control the various elements of the chariot. The proper behavior of the chariot in total is the duty, but the reason for endorsing the good fortune of not driving into a ditch has to do with non-​teleological considerations of being in charge, which is to say, responsible. If this were a version of Consequentialism, Death would be appealing to an end as what justifies action. Then any course of action would be fine so long as it gets you there. The actual means of getting there would be incidental and secondary. To make the teleological approach work, we would have to discount the means (sense-​ control and self-​governance) as inessential to the moral story. But the means (the duty) in this story are the states of goodness that the wise endorse.

5.  MTA PART 2: THE BHAKTI OPTION AND THE GĪTĀ Here is a generalization: Deontology not only is the account presented in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad, but is also quite broadly the default ethical frame of the Vedānta—​in the primary, textual sense. The Upaniṣad’s move toward talking about self (ātman) and

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development (Brahman) is part of the shift to proceduralism. The Kaṭha Upaniṣad does us the favor of analyzing the relationship here. Development is the totality of the chariot and its travels, and the self is the one whose interest it protects so that things go well. Development (Brahman) and the self in this view have a practical identity. If practical rationality is the primary question that the Upaniṣads are trying to answer, then we can even say that they have a metaphysical identity. This theme, of moving to Deontology from teleological considerations, characterizes the shift in philosophers interested in the Vedas. We also find this move in the MS, which aims to situate its ethics as an account of the Vedas, characterized by Mantra and Brāhmaṇa sections. Jaimini, the author of this sūtra, defines dharma as an injunction that is characterized or leads to artha (prosperity, utility; MS I.i.2). However, the reason we engage in dharma is not artha. We engage in dharma because it is enjoined by the Vedas (śruti), or permitted by the tradition (smṛti) built around it (MS I.iii.1–​3). The importance of śruti hence comes into force in Vedic thinking as a nonnatural means of justifying duties that are naturalistic (cf. MS I.i.5). With the formulation of the idea of śruti, we have a way of pulling the Consequentialist underpinnings from under Vedic ethics, and converting it into Deontology. Why would Pūrva Mīmāṃsā authors make this shift? Why not justify Vedic injunctions by means of their outcomes? It looks like the philosophers from this tradition were done with teleology. The Gods are virtuous, it seems, but their bounty is fickle. Sacrifices to the Gods are motivated by the ends, but there is no causal relationship between the sacrifice and the ends. Indian philosophers seemed to recognize what is rarely noted that justifying your actions by the ends does not ensure the ends. Indeed, the project of treating the ends as a condition of right actions leaves it to luck. These insights constitute the MTA that treats our own development toward freedom as the primary moral challenge. Pūrva Mīmāṃsā authors appear to resolve the MTA by identifying the good as the content of the right. When we do the right thing, we bring about further goods in the future, according to them. With this moral frame, we can do away with the Gods altogether in an explanation of moral action (Bilimoria 1989, 1990). We protect our future goods by capitalizing on present goods. But the Deontological option does not complete the transition of the MTA: it rests part way. If we completely move away from teleological explanations we have to invoke Bhakti—​Bhakti defines right action not by goodness, but by a regulative ideal. One reason that you might want to move further away from teleology toward Bhakti is a concern that the goodness of one’s own actions is itself a kind of luck, which one has to protect and ensure. But then we need a way to think about right action that leads to good action that does not assume the goodness of action. Responsibility has to somehow generate goodness from scratch to ensure that no luck is involved in one’s good fortune. Vedānta authors too, as early as the Upaniṣads, were apparently moving away from teleology, but their break with teleology was more pronounced in two respects. First the model that we find in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad, at least, rejects the idea of tradition as morally relevant: practical rationality is about moving away from your surroundings and experiences, as well as teleology as a justification, which was part

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of the earlier tradition. Second, we also have an invocation of the idea of yoga as analytically tied to preservation. In the Yoga Sūtra, yoga, the practice, is specified in terms of devotion to the Lord. In being devoted to the Lord, I act like the Lord, I thereby bring about my own lordliness and there is no other outcome of note. This is part of the metaphor of kaivalya being the result of practice: it is the goodness of the perfection of the practice. But in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad there is the extra outcome from yoga: Vishnu’s realm of preservation. If Bhakti were part of the Kaṭha Upaniṣad story, there would be no extra outcome. However, if we were to identify the practical agent with the charioteer, or some subsidiary component in the chariot model—​whether our mind or intellect—​then the ātman as the passenger would be the regulative ideal that defines the practice of the intellect or mind. The perfection of this practice would be the realization of the practical interests of the passenger as something that the subsidiary components instantiate when they are devoted. Vishnu’s realm (safety) would not be an extra outcome but merely what it is for the subsidiary components to be devoted to the interests of the passenger who now takes on the position of the Lord. We, in contrast, become jīva-​s—​the ones doing the living. Interpreting the allegory of the chariot as presented to us by Death as something where we figure not as the passenger—​the big self who is practically identical with Brahman—​but with a subsidiary component, uses the Kaṭha Upaniṣad material as a resource for making a case for Bhakti. The Bhagavad Gītā from start to finish is the MTA as a dialectic that goes from teleological considerations, through Deontology (karma yoga) to the extreme proceduralism of bhakti (yoga) via a metaethical bridge of jñāna yoga; it uses the analogy of the chariot. Many ideas of the Kaṭha Upaniṣad, whether it is the withdrawal of the senses, or attention to self-​control over outcome as a means of successful living, are front and center in the Gītā. The authors of the Mahābhārata must have been quite conscious about playing up these parallels (Jezic 2009). But they also identify Vishnu (Krishna) with the intellect (charioteer) and Arjuna with the passenger, or ātman. This is a twist that shifts the center of prime agency away from the passenger to the intellect. Why not identify Krishna with the ultimate self, and Arjuna with a subsidiary self? The dialogue actually makes these identities clear, but the inversion of literal roles is a criticism of the earlier model: we do not get practical rationality off of the ground by taking ourselves seriously as the ultimate self, but by taking ourselves seriously as the subsidiary to be devoted to the ultimate self: Bhakti. Perhaps for all these reasons, Vedānta authors such as Śaṅkara and Rāmānuja treated this text as an Upaniṣad, though it is technically a smṛti—​a secondary text. The Gītā begins with Arjuna’s teleological arguments as to why he should not fight in a war that he has been unable to avoid. First, if he was to fight the war, it would result in death and destruction on both sides, including the death of loved ones. Even if he succeeds, there would be no joy in victory, for his family will largely have been decimated as a function of the war (Gītā 1.34–​36). Second, if the battle is between good and evil, his character is not that of the evil ones (the Kauravas),

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but yet, fighting a war would make him no better than his adversaries (Gītā 1.38–​ 39). Third, war results in lawlessness, which undermines the safety of women and children (Gītā 1.41). All three arguments are teleological. They lean in various ways on the outcome’s failure to either justify a course of action or cause right action. Krishna’s first response is to mock Arjuna. Arjuna’s sense of honor is one way to get him back on the horse, so to speak, if virtue is a worry or a concern (Gītā 2.2–​3, 2.33–​37). Those who fight valiantly and die in battle gain paradise, he argues (Gītā 2.36–​37). This would be a Consequentialist consideration. But he also appeals to a very peculiar metaphysical view: as we are all eternal, no one kills anyone and so there are no real bad consequences to prevent by avoiding a war (Gītā 2.11–​32). With this, he seems to go farther than the Kaṭha Upaniṣad, which seems to claim that life after death is only for the self-​controlled. This marks the end of Krishna entertaining teleological arguments. Krishna apparently takes it as his job in the Gītā to turn around the ethical scenario. Teleology in the face of a dynamic, multiparty game cannot determine a unique result. The outcome depends on the choices of many players and many factors, which are out the control of any single player. This is debilitating, especially if we are to choose a course of action with the consequences in view. But if the practical challenge can be flipped, then ethical action can be identified on procedural grounds and one has a way to take charge of a challenge via a simplification: the criterion of moral choice is not the outcome. It is rather the procedure. This might seem dumb. If I resort to procedure, it would seem imprudent for then I am letting go of winning (the outcome). But there are two problems with this response. First, the teleological approach in the face of a dynamic circumstance results in frustration and nihilism—​ or at least, this is what Arjuna’s monologue of despondency shows. So trying to justify one’s action by way of an outcome in the face of uncertainty is not a winning strategy. Indeed, when one thinks about any worthwhile pursuit of distinction (whether it is the long road to becoming an award-​winning scientist, or recovering from an illness), the a priori likelihood of success is low, and teleologically this gives reason to downgrade one’s optimism, which, in turn, depletes one’s resolve. This, in turn, curtails actions that can yield success. So focusing on the outcome backfires in cases of indeterminacy where good outcomes matter the most. Call this the paradox of teleology. Second, if we can distinguish between the criterion of choice and the definition of duty—​Deontology—​then we have a way to choose duties that result in success, for procedural reasons. Hence this insulates the individual from judging the moral worth of their choice in terms of the outcome and hence avoids the paradox of teleology while pursuing a winning strategy (Gītā 2.40). The essence of the strategy, called yoga, is to discard teleology as a motivation (Gītā 2.50). Indeed, one abandons the very idea of good (śubha) and bad (aśubha; Gītā 12.17). The entire dialectic of the Gītā takes the structure of the MTA, but this is one of those locations in the text where teleology is explicitly rejected in the elucidation of right procedure. To this end, Krishna distinguishes between two differing moral theories: karma yoga and bhakti yoga. Karma yoga is Deontology: doing what is ethical (a good

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thing) without the motive of consequence (Gītā 2.38, 47, 18.47). The ethical so defined might have beneficial effects, and the ethical so understood is a beneficial effect, as Krishna never tires of pointing this out (Gītā 2.32). Indeed, the ethical can be cashed out in terms of the kinds of sacrifices that give the gods (such as those governing our metabolism) their due and the gods, in turn, support their votaries—​ a reciprocal arrangement of nourishment (Gītā 3.11). But the criterion of moral choice (the justification of one’s action) on karma yoga is not the outcome. Bhakti yoga, in turn, is Bhakti ethics: endorsing the right and the ethical as defined by devotion to the regulative ideal that results in one’s subsumption by the regulative ideal (Gītā 9.27–​33). How this begins, the Gītā prescribes, is by devotion to the ideal, regardless of the moral valence of one’s actions (Gītā 9.30). This results in dharma itself (Gītā 9.31). Metaphorically, this is described as a sacrifice of the outcomes to the ideal. This is exactly how bhakti in the ordinary context, or devotion to an ideal, such as music, for instance, results in accomplishments: one gives up the claim to the outcome of one’s practice and instead prefers devotion to the ideal of music. One thereby does not own one’s mistakes in performance or practice (as though one must be defined by them), but moves past them in the ever closer approximation of the ideal. Krishna sets himself up as the regulative ideal of morality in the Gītā in two respects. First Krishna describes his duty as lokasaṃgraha (the maintenance of the welfare of the world; Gītā 3.24). To this extent, he must get involved in life to reestablish the moral order, if it diminishes (Gītā 4.7–​8). Second, he acts as the regulative ideal of Arjuna, who has become confused about what to do. The outcome of devotion (bhakti) to the moral ideal—​Krishna here—​is freedom from trouble and participation in the divine (Gītā 18), which is to say, the regulative ideal of ethical practice—​the Lord of Yoga (Gītā 11.4). This, according to Krishna, is mokṣa—​freedom for the individual. Liberation so understood is intrinsically ethical, as liberation is about participation in the cosmic regulative ideal of practice—​what Vedic authors called Ṛta. Krishna also famously entertains a third yoga: jñāna yoga. This is the background moral framework of bhakti yoga and karma yoga: what we would call the metaethics. Jñāna yoga, for instance, includes knowledge of Krishna himself as the moral ideal, whose task is to reset the moral compass (Gītā 4.7–​8, 7.7). It involves, as specified in the fifth chapter, calling upon the idea of asceticism as an ancillary to ethical action—​a code, quite literally, for the rejection of teleological considerations in practical rationality. The ideal subsumes all of us, and hence a radical equality of persons follows (Gītā 5.18). A popular idea tied to the Sāṅkhya school is that jñāna yoga is a distinct path on par with the other two. As jñāna yoga is the metaethics of the Gītā, there is some truth to this. Substantively however it embraces the other two approaches as a matter of conceptual analysis. The conceptual coherence of karma yoga and bhakti yoga is accounted for via jñāna yoga. One of the very important themes of the Gītā as an articulation of Bhakti is that the Lord is right, though not good (Gītā 10.4–​5). This is a central logical requirement of a bhakti ethic—​if the Lord were good, we would have no explanation

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of how we can bring about the good by pure responsibility. Luck would apparently be an irreducible feature of the moral picture as goodness would be nothing in our control. But if the regulative ideal is merely right, then we can bootstrap goodness, out of our devotion to the right. The alternative is to think teleologically about ethical questions, where we expect goodness to be a given condition of right action. But this has problems. Aside from the fact that goodness would be left to luck, we would be trapped by the moral symmetry principle: that all of our choices can be evaluated by our outcomes. Omissions and commissions with the same outcome would thereby have the same moral worth, which means that sitting out a challenge is not a real choice (Gītā 3.5). There is more than one way to take this. One is to read this as an account of the determinism of moral reality (Brodbeck 2004). But another complementary way to read this is as an invocation of the moral symmetry principle: any choice can be evaluated by its outcome. The problem with this is that we apparently are responsible for everything that goes wrong, but with no obvious way to fix the problem as goodness, which is a condition of right action, is left to luck. Bhakti, in contrast, is a solution: understand the rightness of actions as part of an emulation of the regulative ideal. This has immediate results, according to Krishna: those who are so devoted are friendly and compassionate. They do not understand moral questions from a selfish perspective (Gītā 12.13). Importantly, they renounced teleological markers of action: good (śubha) and evil (aśubha; Gītā 12.17). Yet, they are devoted to the welfare of all beings (Gītā 12.4). What explains this transition is the role of śraddhā—​commitment, often also identified with faith: “The commitment of everyone, O Arjuna, is in accordance with his antaḥ karaṇa [inside helper, inner voice]. Everyone consists in commitment. Whatever the commitment, that the person instantiates” (ch. 17.3). Everyone apparently acts in accordance with some ideal, but the bhakta is one who chooses the moral ideal of practice (Gītā 11.4). This is not proprietary: it is inclusive. As noted in my explication of the ethics of the Yoga Sūtra in this book, this logic of devotion points to the Lord being an abstraction from oneself that also subsumes oneself and all people. As an abstraction, it is a universal, and not a particular. But it is thereby nothing that one can understand selfishly. Its relevance is for all people. Here we find the same logic: the Lord is the one who is responsible for the maintenance and protection of the world (Gītā 3.24), but this is not a matter of goodness or luck: this is a matter of the regulative ideal of practice as such. This regulative ideal (when instantiated) produces a stable environment that makes room for actors, including oneself. The regulative ideal so understood is a separate person. So understanding it involves deprivileging oneself. Hence the devotee understands all moral outcomes as a function of the regulative ideal. So “He who is free from the notion ‘I am the doer,’ and whose understanding is not tainted—​slays not, though he slays all these men, nor is he bound” (Gītā 18.17). Moreover, “That agent is said to be illuminated who is free from attachment, who does not make much of himself, who is endued with steadiness and zeal and is untouched by successes and failure” (Gītā 18.26).

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At this juncture, Krishna introduces a virtue theoretic account of duty. Duty, caste duty specifically, is that suited to one’s nature (18.41). It is hence defined by the goodness of one’s character—​consistent with Deontology. He also recalls the procedural claim: better one’s own duty poorly done than another’s well done (18.47). This is at odds with Virtue Ethics, for it is inexplicable how, given virtue or a natural disposition, one could fail to do what is appropriate to one’s nature. It is easy to read the Gītā as defending and articulating a caste morality, and it is indeed a theme that shows up in the text. Yet, philosophically, it does not cohere with a radical proceduralism. So there is a tension. Krishna’s first method of reconciling the two is to assign virtue theoretical considerations to the identification of duty, and distinguish this from an account of why we should attend to our duty. Krishna claims that the right thing to do is specified by context-​transcendent rules that take into account life capacities and situate us within a reciprocal arrangement of obligations and support, including the gods (Gītā 3.5–​13, 33–​35). These are moral principles. He also further argues that good things happen when people stick to their duty (Gītā 2.32). The arguments for sticking to our duties are twofold: Deontology and Bhakti. But yet, an undercurrent of the argument is to move away from thinking in terms of outcomes—​including duties—​as thinking in terms of outcomes leaves goodness to chance. Here we find Krishna moving the argument along. Bhakti allows the individual to be subsumed by the moral ideal (18.55). But this subsumption not only leads to renouncing outcomes to the ideal, but also should in the final analysis give rise to giving up acts themselves as a sacrifice to the ideal (18.57). In the western tradition, going beyond duty in the service of an ideal of morality is often called supererogation. Here, Krishna appears to be recommending the supererogatory as a means of embracing Bhakti. This leads to excellence in action that surmounts all challenges (Gītā 18.58). This move, however, treats Deontology, and its substance—​ moral rules and principles—​ as matters to be sacrificed for the ideal. This culminates in the famous claim: “Relinquishing all Dharma, seek Me alone for refuge. I will release you from all faults” (Gītā 18.66). This is an explication of dharma as Bhakti (Gītā 9.31): do not worry about THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD, approximate me (the regulative ideal) and you will be spared bad outcomes. It leaves behind dharma as Deontology.

6.  THREE ORTHODOX OPTIONS The Gītā elaborates the MTA to a conclusion that keeps features of the tradition intact while providing a criticism of these very features. The feature of this tradition that it keeps intact are duties defined by the expectations of the Vedic tradition—​ duties defined along caste and character. These are good in some measure as they allow for the protection of further goods. Duty so understood is very much like the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā idea of duty that leads to artha. Duty so understood can be given a justification as karma yoga. But in moving toward Bhakti, it treats what we think

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of as duties as grist for the mill of contemplative practice that approximates the regulative ideal. The bridge is a metaethical discipline—​jñāna—​and the practical end is bhakti. The substance of this account, however, is the story of development, personal growth, and expansion past the very particular and contingent aspects of life—​our outcomes that are in many ways the output of luck. The story we find here in the elaboration of the MTA is Brahman. The Gītā hence does not leave the philosophical question of accounting for development set out in the Upaniṣads, but provides an account that stretches out the MTA. The main aim here is rooting out luck. The model that sets the stage for this exploration of the MTA is that of the chariot we find in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad and there it is employed as a model for rooting out luck from an account of the good life. Yoga connects both developments but is at the heart of this story, and Brahman or development is the philosophical idea that is depicted here. But Brahman as an idea is a concept and philosophical concepts are controversial. The controversial matter that is left unresolved by the MTA is just the paradox of development: we want responsibility to protect and procure the good of freedom; otherwise whether we are free or not is a matter of luck, but apparently we need to be free in order to be responsible. How do we resolve this? Krishna’s comments at Gītā 18.66, where he encourages Arjuna to not worry about THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD and seek the regulative ideal as the solution, seems to only deepen the problem. In one way it responds to the paradox by suggesting that the regulative ideal will bridge the gap between responsibility and freedom. Divine grace will pick up the shortfall. But in another way it leaves the problem unsolved for we must choose to engage the regulative ideal, which presumes our freedom to do so. The famous Vedānta philosophers are the ones who try to answer this question by thinking synoptically about the philosophical considerations in the tradition. The Brahma Sūtra is by no means the only text they talk about, and for finding out their rationale for their position it might be the least expressive. What is helpful is to keep the MTA and the associated paradox of development in view, for here the three positions on character and responsibility come to life as responses to both.

6.1.  Śaṅkara Śaṅkara attempts to resolve the tension by adopting the official (Deontological) line about what dharma is, in order to be subversive. He does this by assuming the unofficial ethical theory as the better story, without calling it dharma. Ethics, on Śaṅkara’s account, are the rules that govern desiring individuals. Such selves are bound by karma. But as karma is action, analyzed in terms of choices that result in consequences, the individual self is as though constituted by karma, as it is hell-​bent on objects of desire. For such individuals, Śaṅkara holds that dharma is obligatory, for dharma on this account regulates our actions and choices, relative to outcomes (Gītā Bhāṣya 2.11). Dharma so understood are the rules that the charioteer would be wise to adopt in driving, so as to regulate its relationship to sense objects. Indeed, on these grounds such practices as Vedic animal sacrifice are to be sanctioned (Brahma Sūtra Bhāṣya III.i.25), for they are part of the normative

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order that works with those who are desire-​motivated. But for those interested in freedom (mokṣa), dharma is an evil (Gītā Bhāṣya 4.21). If the Self as passenger is the regulative ideal, and dharma is not for it, but its servants, then choosing devotion to the passenger would mean being through with dharma. Śaṅkara, to no surprise, enthusiastically endorses Krishna’s claim at Gītā 18.66 that one should abandon all dharmas and come to him. Technically, this is moral irrealism, especially as in Śaṅkara’s telling, there is no effort to recover an alternate account of dharma (such as Bhakti) tied to the criticism of Deontology. Śaṅkara’s rejection of ethics also has to do with his identification of the self with epistemic freedom. In the preamble to his commentary on the Brahma Sūtra he makes the very influential argument that the true Self is the pure subject, and that the natural self is a confusion of this pure subject and the objects of knowledge. The argument is reminiscent of the Sāṅkhya Kārikā (SK), which claims that dharma leads only to the higher worlds, but not to freedom (SK 44–​45): it is the distinction between the self and objects of awareness that leads to liberation (SK 62). Freedom is an epistemic virtue on this account. This is because the Self is ultimately a knower and not one who does—​just like the ātman in the chariot.

6.2. Rāmānuja Rāmānuja’s account is oddly similar to Śaṅkara’s. They both seem to identify the practical agent with a subsidiary component of the developing entity (the chariot). But whereas Śaṅkara sees this as reason to abandon one’s identity as a part of a whole, Rāmānuja affirms this as integral to our identity. The passenger of the chariot hence becomes our regulative ideal, our inner-​controller, and we a part of its corporate body (Rāmānuja’s Gītā Bhāṣya 18.15; Vedārthasaṅgraha §14). The totality, Brahman, is the same as this passenger insofar as they have the same interests. We are small selves: it is the ultimate self. Our essential role is hence to serve the regulative ideal, whether we know this or not. The way to fail at this task is for the individual to identify with their bodies (Vedārthasaṅgraha §99). We are rather modes of Development (Vedārthasaṅgraha §117). We do not have an essential character apart from being an essential feature of Development. As members in the set of Brahman, we manage to govern ourselves if we identify with Brahman properly understood. This identification with the normative self is what Rāmānuja calls “bhakti“(devotion), which he identifies as a penetrating knowledge (jñāna). In time this transforms into para-​bhakti, which is an elated state of knowledge as joy in which the knower is free from the sorrows of saṃsāra (Vedārthasaṅgraha §§238–​242). This is a state of release in which we know the distinction between natural forces and our essence. But in this state of self-​awareness our membership in Brahman reveals the self as an agent without having to identify with our past (Śrī Bhāṣya II.iii.38). We are hence liberated from our former troubles in knowledge and our body is likewise free from bearing the brunt of our personal identity. Whereas Śaṅkara opts for typically deflationary accounts of the characteristics of the self (confined to its epistemic virtues), Rāmānuja is sanguine and inflationary with respect to the characteristics of the real Self. The inflationary mood leads

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Rāmānuja to depict this primary self as ethically and axiologically exemplary. Among these characteristics are love, compassion and parental considerations, and opposition to evil (cf. Carman 1974: 65–​76). These are our traits, when we submit to the regulative ideal. Are Deontology and Bhakti in conflict with each other? Krishna at Gītā 18.66 apparently thinks so. The austere (yogic) commitment of bhakti takes one away from dharma and toward Krishna, the moral ideal. But Rāmānuja resists this claim by two alternative glosses. First, Arjuna can abandon a conventional account of dharma as defined by “śāstric injunction” where ethical claims (of the śāstras, or treatises of traditional learning) are directed to maintaining ritual purity and voiding ritual impurity. Given that dharma in the Gītā is largely a śāstric matter of conventional expectations defined by socially beneficent outcomes, this amounts to a rejection of its Deontology. Or, second, Arjuna may not worry about his inadequacies at performing bhakti yoga, and seek Krishna directly so that he will be relieved of imperfections (Bhagavad Gītā Bhāṣya 18.66). As bhakti yoga, the performance of duty as worship to the ideal is, in the context of the Gītā, working things out with Krishna; this is a way to repackage Bhakti. Why does Rāmānuja not merely agree with Śaṅkara that Krishna is right: give up on dharma? Rāmānuja’s explication has the force of redefining what dharma is. It becomes bhakti, and not karma yoga. If the regulative ideal is morally excellent, as Rāmānuja depicts it, then devotion to it is an ethical practice. Does Rāmānuja always hold this line? It is not clear that he does. He defends the śāstric injunctions, such as animal sacrifices (Brahma Sūtra Bhāṣya III.i.25), as Śaṅkara does at this point, as part of the requirements of dharma. But at many other points (cf. Vedārthasaṅgraha §13), he emphasizes a theme of bhakti ethics: our natural constitutions do not define us, but our interest in serving the ideal does. It is the same highest self in all beings. Personhood hence cuts across species.

6.3. Madhva According to Madhva in his Mahābhāratatātparyanirṇaya (Explication of the Mahābhārata, henceforth MT), there are three kinds of things: individual selves (jīvas) the ultimate self (Brahman), and inanimate things. These are completely distinct (MT 1.70–​71). There are an innumerable number of jīvas (MT 1.19). However, there are three levels of jīvas. The bottom level is evil, the middle level is neither completely evil nor completely good, and the top level is good. Their character is eternally set and different. Only jīvas in the top level are eligible for liberation owing to capacity for devotion to Vishnu or Brahman (MT 1.121). Brahman, in contrast, is not a jīva. Dharma or ethics is not sufficient for freedom, but devotion to Brahman is necessary and sufficient (MT 1.109). The middle levels of jīvas experience ups and downs, and the lowest are eternally in hell. Jīvas are conditional agents. The outcomes of their choices are delivered by Brahman. It is Brahman that makes people transmigrate (MT 1.100). In Madhva’s works, we see an echo of the Kaṭha Upaniṣad: Brahman cannot be obtained by

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discourse or mere intelligence—​only one who is chosen by God attains freedom (MT 1.78). One implication of this, on Madhva’s account, is that exalted personages, such as Lakṣmī, the Goddess of Good Fortune (thought to be the consort of Vishnu), is one essentialized, unchanging self—​a jīva (MT 1.82–​83). The other implication, on Madhva’s account, is that Brahman (Vishnu) is not an essentialized self. There is no character that defines Brahman’s makeup. This is inexplicable until we recall that “Brahman” means development. So indeed, Brahman has no essentialized character, as it is open ended, and self-​governing. Because Brahman is not constrained by its character (not having any), it is in a position to facilitate the experiences of essentialized individuals. According to some commentators, this seems to imply that Brahman is above ethics (Buchta 2014). This is an inaccurate conclusion, not based on Madhva’s reasoning. Brahman is above virtue insofar as there are no character traits that define Brahman. But being above virtue is not the same as being above ethics. Brahman, on Madhva’s account, has no essential character: it is the one self-​governing item that determines its destiny by virtue of its freedom, and not its identity. It is Bhakti incarnate. Everything else requires Brahman to realize their ambitions. Freedom (Brahman) plus the right character means good things happen. Freedom plus the wrong character means bad things happen. In the chariot model, the jīva is the subsidiary element, whose freedom is not ill spent if devoted to the regulative ideal. Unfortunately, our character is an essential trait, which means it never changes. It is our personal identity.

7.  DO YOU HAVE CHARACTER? According to Śaṅkara, you do not have a character (what Madhva or even the Jains would call a “jīva”)—​not a real one at least, but one constructed from mixing up the epistemic freedom of your true self with objects of awareness (Preamble, Brahma Sūtra Bhāṣya). Your Self is definable by epistemic virtues that we all share, and ethical considerations (which might individuate us) pertain to a very subsidiary form of existence—​your person (for a useful sorting out of the fine distinctions between these ideas, see Ram-​Prasad 2013). According to Madhva, your character is essential—​eternally real—​unless you are Brahman, in which case you are freedom and undefined. Rāmānuja, in contrast, takes the view that your individuality is moldable. It is equivalent with your practical functioning, and can and ought to be brought in line with the governing principle via devotion (cf. Ram-​Prasad 2013: 90–​ 91). We might not be perfect, but devotion to the regulative ideal changes us for the better: do not worry about dharma and your inadequacies, just be devoted to the regulative ideal. Some have argued that character is not real, because our dispositions are context sensitive (Harman 2001). Rāmānuja and Śaṅkara might agree, but would for the same reason suggest that our state of character is inessential to us. If the dialectic of the Vedic thought is to move away from teleological considerations, then virtue is far

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from what we should be worried about. It is at best the end of the ethical life: not the condition (Rāmānuja). Or, it is just a kind of worldly status, irrelevant to the free individual (Śaṅkara). Madhva’s position is an interesting standout, as it tries to make use of virtue as an explanation of the problem of evil: evil comes about because of an individual’s character, which is essential. If our three philosophers were explicating the same tradition, it would seem that they would arrive at the same conclusion. But because the tradition in the form of the MTA leaves open the paradox of development, there is room for a philosophical choice about how to reconcile the need to protect freedom from luck, but yet explain responsibility by freedom. “Development” is the term that promises to answer this tension: development is at play in the resolution of this paradox, but this leaves open disagreements about how to characterize development with respect to the individual and from here we find at least three options: character irrealism along with moral irrealism (Śaṅkara), character essentialism with Bhakti as the moral realism (Madhva), and character functionalism with moral realism set out by Bhakti (Rāmānuja). Of the three accounts, Rāmānuja champions the MTA to its extreme conclusion in Bhakti and it thereby undermines our confidence in teleological matters. Understanding ourselves in terms of our contingent strengths—​ virtues—​ is to be downplayed because these are at best an output of an approximation to the regulative ideal of practice—​the Lord. We are thereby modes of Development, and the Lord is the center of Development. Madhva’s character essentialism would not fly with this model for that would be to treat our character as unaffected by devotion to the regulative ideal. Śaṅkara’s attempted redescription of the moral predicament as already solved by Development follows the MTA, but rests with the identification of morality with good practices, which Krishna tells us not to worry too much about. Indeed, yogis and bhaktas would regard rules as general guides and hardly dispositive, for it is the devotion to the ideal that defines right action. The difference between Śaṅkara and Rāmānuja lies on Bhakti’s status as a moral theory. At the point of Gītā 18.66 where Krishna articulates Bhakti as a criticism of dharma on Deontological lines, Śaṅkara sticks to the letter of what Krishna says but not with his dialectic. Rāmānuja sticks with the dialectic but has to downplay the wording of Bhakti at Gītā 18.66.

8.  DRIVING PAST THE IDEA THAT VEDĀNTA IS THEOLOGY NOT ETHICS A global criticism of Vedānta is that it is not philosophy but something like theology. Yet, understanding Vedānta as advocating Theism is a mistake as Theism is a version of Virtue Ethics that is, in turn, a version of teleology. Vedānta is a rejection of teleology. It is rather an affirmation of proceduralism that identifies Development—​ a practical notion—​as primary in moral and cosmological explanation. Many Indian moral philosophers adopt such a stark moral realism. Buddhists are fond of calling everything dharma: philosophers such as Nāgārjuna identify saṃsāra (the world of

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trouble) with nirvāṇa (the world of liberation), but this thereby affects an identification of dharma of the conventional world with the association of Buddhas and mokṣa. Part of this argument involves a characterization of ultimate truth as empty, and the reason that moralists should be ok with Emptiness is that it depicts reality as filled with possibilities. Because everything is empty, things can change, says Nāgārjuna. We need to mediate conventional accounts of morality with our appreciation of Emptiness to bring about lasting improvement (Mūlamadhyamakakārikā XXIV 8–​ 14). The Vedānta approach, in contrast, is to identify the ultimate not in terms of its lacking an essence or svabhāva, as Nāgārjuna does, but rather as having a svabhāva, autonomy, own being, or essence: Development. Like Emptiness, it is an ethical postulate, but unlike Emptiness we understand it not in terms of its lack of a teleological character, but rather in terms of its procedural quality. But this allows us to be critical of teleological conventions, whereas Buddhists of Nāgārjuna’s sort require it to fill out the contingent content of Emptiness. We have to have faith in these conventions in order to mediate the Emptiness of possibility on Nāgārjuna’s Buddhist account, and failing to have faith in these conventions leads to a dangerous play with Emptiness, like one who handles a snake dangerously. The Vedāntin, however, might wonder what right we have to take conventional morality seriously in its own right. Conventional morality too, endorsers of the MTA would hold, should be viewed critically. A move to proceduralism is not a blind acceptance of convention, but a concern for rightness, and not all rules and conventions are right. Calling the Vedānta option an alternate mysticism or theology shows a lack of explanatory insight into the model. What we have in it is a deliberate moral philosophical choice in characterizing the basic explanation as Development. The Jain tradition apparently has a similar take: dharma is itself Movement, which is superficially like Development. But the Jain tradition identifies the self with virtue and motion has its ethical explanation by way of virtue as a disposition, and Vedanta philosophers reject this categorically, though Madhva identifies some selves by their character. The MTA provides us reason to be suspicious of prioritizing THE GOOD in an account of ethics, and Virtue Ethics especially of the Jain variety is the ultimate prioritization of good in ethical explanation. We could imagine a Euthyphroian skepticism: either we have an independent criterion of virtue, or we simply endorse whatever disposition possesses us as good. If we opt for the latter, we have no way to discern whether our dispositions were good or not. If we opt for the former, we have a way of distinguishing the virtuous dispositions from the non-​ virtuous depositions, but this shows that something else is at stake in moral choice aside from the goodness of our character. The same type of argument applies to ends too. The buck stops with proceduralism for it separates the goodness of the ideal from its rightness, and explains the rightness in terms of its ability to bring about goodness if we take it seriously. The good outcomes of sticking to proceduralism are independent evidence of rightness. But Buddhists of Nāgārjuna’s variety might claim that their view is not so different. The rightness of conventional Buddhist dharma is born out of its ability to mediate the Emptiness of possibilities prudently. But the main difference is that the Buddhists

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have to really take their moral rules seriously, while the Vedāntin is free to view them with some suspicion. Especially if dharma is general, we need to apply dharma in cases, and the decision to apply rules in contexts has to be informed by something other than the conventions for the latter in actual cases can conflict. Bhakti here provides a way to think about the practice of making choices that go beyond convention. Development, the procedural characterization of reality, is the open-​ended practice of applying conventions as a basic feature of the existential condition. The usual counterclaim to viewing the project of Vedānta as an open-​ended life project guided by procedural considerations is that Vedānta is primarily concerned with interpreting or making sense of tradition—​the Vedic tradition. Philosophy is interested in reason and argument, and what you find in Vedānta is appeal to culturally familiar scenarios and tradition—​smṛti—​in light of revealed truths—​śruti. The trouble with this criticism is threefold. First, it assumes a standard of reason that is apparently incompatible with Vedānta. But the question in philosophy is typically: what is reason? So Vedānta cannot be dismissed from counting philosophically because it appeals to considerations that are different from familiar canons of reasoning for philosophy constitutes a disagreement about what the proper canons of reasoning are. Second, if philosophy has nothing to do with smṛti and śruti, then contemporary analytic philosophy with its heavy reliance on cases and intuitions could not be philosophy. After a general criticism of axiology during the years of logical positivism, analytic philosophers resumed philosophical exploration into value. At the same time, they began—​en masse—​to appeal to culturally familiar (traditional) scenarios (smṛti) that were judged against intuitions (śruti) that authors appealed to. These intuitions were not supposed to be memories or traditions: they are quite literally depicted as perceptions (śruti) and when philosophers appeal to them, they talk about them as what suitably sophisticated individuals (ṛṣis) could know. Of course, the scenarios and intuitions in the case of western philosophers are culturally different from those of the Vedāntins, but the categories of smṛti and śruti are the same in both cases—​ they serve to set out the data and adjudicating criteria of philosophical theorizing. One difference one might suppose is that when we read Vedānta authors at face value, they depict śruti as revelation, but the intuitions of analytic philosophers are not revelation. This impression arises from not taking analytic philosophers at face value. If we did, it seems as though analytic philosophers are a bunch of mystics relying on a mysterious faculty of intuition in no way like empirical intuition (Kagan 2007). But, more plausibly, what we have in the rhetoric of cases and intuitions is an appeal to common experience and sentiment. If you do not think that Vedānta makes for good moral philosophy or good philosophy because of its interest in śruti and smṛti, I would suggest that you should probably ignore much of analytic philosophy too (cf. Thomson 2007). I myself am tempted to ignore it, in part because I see no value in memory as providing data for philosophical reasoning: this confuses sociology with ethics. Yet, in this respect, Indian thinkers were more progressive. They typically treated memory and tradition as something to be vindicated by intuition, and intuition as something that has to be defended. In the contemporary analytic case, it is not always obvious that the

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intuitions themselves are thought to require defense. It appears in many cases that they are treated as dispositive and in need of no further vindication (Weinberg, Nichols, and Stich 2001). Of course, the idea that we have intuitions we can rely on is implausible too, unless we could generate these intuitions by a methodology that moves past error. This is perhaps what Death’s model of the Chariot does for us. We can take our intuitions seriously if we are self-​governing, and have reason not to if we are determined by experiences and memories. The self hence reveals itself to the self who chooses it. This constitutes our moral intuitions against what we choose. But if Deontology requires us to define duty in light of good outcomes, it too becomes subservient to tradition and memory, which set out the parameters of the outcomes that we can aspire to. Bhakti as an alternative provides a fixed intuition—​the regulative ideal—​that we are to train ourselves on—​and one that does not rely on our ordinary, conventional memories. It makes new ones, or Rāmānuja appears to say, results in the enjoyment of new ends, which were not part of the conventional world we start out in. Hence, the philosophical relevance of this debate in ethics that we find in Vedānta not only has normative implications, but also metaethical implications for how we generate cases and intuitions for practical rationality. The disagreement about whether to identify ethics (dharma) with Deontology (karma yoga) or Bhakti (bhakti yoga) among Vedāntins can be read as a disagreement about whether we should generate intuitions via self-​governance (Deontology) or via devotion to the ideal (bhakti). Bhakti seems here a conservative alternative as it requires devotion to the Lord. But this is conservative in proportion to the nature of the ideal—​the more it has going for it, the more we have to change in order to fit with it. If the Lord is eternally free and underdetermined, we need to locate our identity in our character for all time (Madhva). Change here is an illusion. If the Lord is identifiable primarily by epistemology, then we seem to have to jettison ethics and the need of a character (Śaṅkara). If the Lord is defined by moral and epistemic excellences, then we can allow our character to be the price we pay for our self-​improvement (Rāmānuja). Third, philosophy begins with explication and explicators attempt to discern the theory implicit and entailed by a perspective that explains its usage of controversial terms, such as “morality,” “ethics,” “dharma,” or “Brahman.” The simplified explanation of a perspective’s use of a term such as “Brahman” is the perspective’s theory of Brahman. Vedānta is the project of explicating the term “brahman” and what the conflicting theories of Brahman amount to converge on the common concept BRAHMAN:  DEVELOPMENT. That this question has defined a tradition of philosophy informed by the MTA does not make it any less of a philosophical project.

9.  CONCLUSION: RESPONSIBILITY? The core of what we understand as Vedānta is a moral argument, the MTA. This argument entails a further paradox or lacuna, which I called the paradox of development. Accordingly, we need to protect freedom by our activity so as to make sure that freedom is not left to luck, but it appears that we have to be free in order

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to be responsible. The major schools of Vedānta that we associate with Śaṅkara, Madhva, and Rāmānuja are explicatory efforts to make sense of Development—​ Brahman—​and in accounting for this common interest, each of the major schools proposes a resolution of this paradox. Śaṅkara’s proposal is to deny any real need for responsibility, and hence all character, good or bad, is to be renounced. Madhva’s approach is not only to affirm the need for responsibility, but to also bite the bullet: if you do not have a good character, you are out of luck. Rāmānuja denies that character is a very deep feature of ourselves, but rather a function of our freedom as modes of Development. On his account, responsibility is required to protect our freedom, but this is not anything very different from Development, of which we are a part. These are philosophical solutions to a philosophical problem that is not about India or about theological matters. The MTA constitutes the foundation of a moral theory from the ground up, and it connects the ancient Vedic tradition to the medieval Indian Vedānta philosophers. To understand Vedāntins backward as mere commentators on a tradition is to fail to appreciate how the problem was set before them and how their works are philosophical solutions to this problem.

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Kagan, Shelly. 2007. “Thinking about Cases.” In Ethical Theory: An Anthology, edited by Russ Shafer-​Landau, 82–​93, of Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Original edition, Cambridge. Madhva/​Ānandatīrtha. 1993. Mahābhāratatātparyanirṇaya. Translated and edited by K. T. Pandurang, Vol. 1. Chirtanur: Srīman Madhva Siddhantonnanhini Sabha. Monier-​Williams, Monier. 1995. A Sanskrit–​English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged, with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-​European Languages, “Greatly enlarged and improved” ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Originally published Oxford University Press 1872, enlarged 1899. Moore, George Edward. 1903. Principia Ethica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Müller, F. Max. 1879. The Upanishads. In The Sacred Books of the East Vol. 1, 15. 2 vols. Oxford:  Clarendon Press. http://​www.sacred-​texts.com/​hin/​upan/​index.htm; accessed July 2014. Quine, Willard Van Orman. 1990. “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.” In Classics of Analytic Philosophy, edited by R. R. Ammerman, 196–​213. Indianapolis: Hacket. Ram-​Prasad, Chakravarthi. 2013. Divine Self, Human Self: The Philosophy of Being in Two Gītā Commentaries. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Rāmānuja. 1968. Vedārthasaṅgraha (Edition and Translation). Translated by S. S. Ragavachar. Mysore: Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama. Rāmānuja. 1991. Śrī Rāmānuja Gītā Bhāṣya (Edition and Translation). Translated by Svami Adidevanada. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math. Rāmānuja. 1996. (Śrī Bhāṣya/​Brahma Sūtra Bhāṣya) Vedānta Sūtras with the Commentary of Rāmānuja. Translated by George Thibaut. Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 48. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Śaṅkara (Ādi). 1983. Brahma Sūtra Bhāṣya. Translated by Swami Gambhirananda. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama. Śaṅkara (Ādi). 1991. Bhagavadgita with the Commentary of Sankaracarya. Translated by Swami Gambhirananda. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama. Santucci, James A. 1976. An Outline of Vedic Literature. Aids for the Study of Religion Series, no. 5. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press for the American Academy of Religion. The Satapatha-​Brâhmana, According to the Text of the Mâdhyandina School. 1882. Translated by Julius Eggeling. The Sacred Books of the East, Vols. 12, 26, 41, 43, 44. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Sreekumar, Sandeep. “An Analysis of Consequentialism and Deontology in the Normative Ethics of the Bhagavadgītā.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 40, no. 3 (2012): 277–​315. Thomson, Judith Jarvi. 2007. “Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem.” In Ethical Theory: An Anthology, edited by Russ Shafer-​Landau, 590–​599, of Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Weinberg, Jonathan M., Shaun Nichols, and Stephen Stich. “Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions.” Philosophical Topics 29, nos. 1–​2 (2001): 429–​460.

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Applied Ethics Applied ethics concerns the exploration of THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD via case-​types. Environmental ethics, for instance, explores ethical questions from cases that arise from a concern for the environment. Nursing ethics explores ethical questions from cases that arise from nursing. Bioethics explores ethical questions from cases that arise from biology. Legal ethics explores ethical questions from cases that arise from the law. Medical ethics, for instance, explores ethics via cases that arise from medicine. India has a tradition of applied ethical reasoning quite separate from formal moral theorizing that constitutes the basis of professional philosophy in the Indian tradition. The tradition of applied ethics in each case follows a profession or sphere of concern that gives rise to specific varieties of cases. Examples of Indian traditions of applied ethics include the ethics of medicine, state and war craft, and law as understood in the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā tradition. In this book, Dagmar Wujastyk explores the Indian tradition of medical ethics associated with traditional Indian medicine: Ayurveda. The problem that such cases present is a conflict between public standards of decency and morality and the goals of a physician to bring about success in treatment: the means to the latter might conflict with the former. This led to the formulation of a secondary set of practical guidelines for medical practitioners, which are at odds with the formalized public presentation of professional medical ethics. Francis X. Clooney in his contribution on the Mīmāṃsā text Garland of Jaimini’s Reasons, explicates an approach to ethics that is at once Deontological and Particularist—​eschewing the idea of context-​transcendent principles in favor of case-​based resolutions to ethical problems. The cases that this text presents are constituted by a cultural landscape saturated by the procedural considerations of this tradition. While the cases typically involve the resolution of competing procedures, they also bring the human in focus as a mere inhabitant of a moral landscape, and by no means the only one. The Particularist tendencies of this tradition vitiate against the attempt to understand the morality of this text by principles.

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Medical Ethics in the Sanskrit Medical Tradition* DAGMAR WUJASTYK

1. INTRODUCTION In this chapter, I explore ethical guidelines and moral discourses on the practice of medicine as described in the foundational texts of the classical Indian medical tradition of Ayurveda. The classical Indian medical compendia contain many guidelines on the ethics and etiquette for the practice of medicine. Their advice on right professional conduct is two-​tiered: At one level, physicians were supposed to conform to social norms that maintain a public image acceptable to society. At another, physicians’ professional success was based on their ability to treat their patients successfully, and this meant that several public ethical values had to be broken or circumvented. This led to the formulation of a secondary set of practical guidelines, which are in tension with the more formalized public presentation of professional medical ethics. Translating and discussing a selection of Sanskrit texts of the core Ayurvedic treatises, I survey the tension between these two levels of Ayurvedic medical ethics. To begin with, I will briefly outline the ways in which ethical issues are approached and integrated into modern Ayurvedic education and practice. I will then survey the contexts in which medical ethics and etiquette are discussed in the classical Ayurvedic sources. This will include an examination of who the agents in an Ayurvedic medical setting were and what conduct was expected of them, particularly in regard to their relations with each other. I will then focus more closely on a specific aspect of the doctor-​patient relationship, namely, the question of which role veracity played in the Ayurvedic physician’s communications with the patient. I will show how an Ayurvedic ethic of truthfulness could coexist with an ethic of medical expedience that allowed for untruthfulness in certain circumstances.

2.  MEDICAL ETHICS IN MODERN AYURVEDIC EDUCATION Ayurveda is one of several medical traditions that enjoy the status of being a national system of medicine in India. National systems of medicine are supported and

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regulated by the government and self-​statutory bodies and are divided into two formal groups, the first being biomedicine (also variously called “Western medicine” or “allopathy”) the other being the “Indian systems of medicine.” Currently, the second group includes Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy, and Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan medicine).1 Ayurveda is the most prominent among the Indian systems of medicine, boasting the greatest number of colleges, hospitals, dispensaries, and graduate practitioners.2 A study of the government-​ approved syllabi for Ayurvedic colleges shows that Ayurvedic education provides the students with concurrent medical knowledge, as both traditional Ayurvedic and biomedical subjects are taught side by side.3 Ayurvedic subjects are taught through a selection of readings from the classical Sanskrit medical treatises, beginning with the oldest ones known to us, the compendia of Caraka (ca. first century CE) and Suśruta (ca. third century CE), but also including later works, such as the seventh-​century works by Vāgbhaṭa, the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā and the Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha, the thirteenth-​ century Śārṅgadharasaṃhitā, the sixteenth-​ century treatise Bhāvaprakāśa, and the eighteenth-​century Bhaiṣajyaratnāvalī, and, finally, modern synopses and new interpretations of the Sanskrit works.4 The latter are nearly exclusively written by Indian authors and often published expressly for the purpose of college education. Biomedical subjects are taught using textbooks also used for regular training in biomedicine.5 The syllabi for courses in Ayurveda are revised periodically, and this includes changes in the use of source materials, though readings from the earliest Ayurvedic texts always form part of the courses. However, one can note shifts in focus on particular contents within them. The Sanskrit medical treatises cover a wide range of topics: They catalogue the causes, nature, and effects of diseases and the materia medica to counteract them, but they also provide perspectives on other aspects of human life. For example, the Carakasaṃhitā discusses the relation between physical matter and sentience; it gives instructions on how to conduct debates and outlines how to behave well.6 The early compendia also include many guidelines on right medical practice, which were again and again reiterated in later works and also appear in modern Ayurvedic education. For example, the 2009 syllabus for the postgraduate Ayurvedacharya degree comprised modules on various aspects of Ayurvedic ethics based on readings of the Ayurvedic classics.7 Postgraduate students of Ayurveda were supposed to study the “vaidyasadvṛttam,” the “physician’s right conduct,” not only by memorizing aphorisms on this topic, or by reading fables written specifically for this purpose, but also by consulting the relevant passages in the Ayurvedic classics. The syllabus also included a module on forensic medicine and medical jurisprudence, which referred to categorizations found in the classic treatises. The topics to be studied were listed in the syllabus as follows: “Ethics as in Classics, Types of Physicians and Methods of Identification, Pranabhisara and Rogabhisara Physicians, Qualities of Physician, Responsibilities of Physicians, Chaturvidha Vaidyavrutti, Duties of Physician to his Patient, Vaidyasadvrittam, Apoojya Vaidya, Accepting Fees, and Relationship with Females.”8 This pretty much covers the Ayurvedic classics’ treatment of the subject of medical ethics and should give students a good idea of the values endorsed by the Ayurvedic authors.

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However, other guidelines on ethics were also included in the syllabus, namely, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) official guidelines on professional ethics, which include a list of legal issues and guidelines that Ayurvedic practitioners share with biomedical doctors.9 The CCIM’s guidelines are not derived from the teachings of the Ayurvedic works, but from international guidelines first established by the World Medical Association (WMA). When the CCIM was established in 1971, one of its main objectives was to prescribe the standards of professional conduct, etiquette, and a code of ethics to be observed by the practitioners of Indian medicine. Eleven years later, the CCIM issued the “Practitioners of Indian Medicine (Standards of Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Code of Ethics) Regulations, 1982,” which was based entirely on international standards set by the WMA. For example, the CCIM declaration, which is to be signed by the practitioner-​to-​be and forwarded along with the rest of his or her application form for registration (and which therefore is legally binding), copies the wording of the Declaration of Geneva, first issued by the WMA in 1948.10 The CCIM’s other guidelines on professional conduct and standards of medical practice, in turn, seem to broadly follow the WMA’s Declaration of Helsinki of 1964. India was one of the founding members of the WMA. However, the Indian delegation consisted exclusively of members of the Medical Council of India (MCI), the statutory body regulating biomedical education and practice, and did not include representatives of Ayurvedic medicine.11 Since the MCI was involved in drafting the WMA guidelines, it is not surprising that it adopted the WMA’s guidelines as its own. In turn, the CCIM, which was modeled on the example of the MCI, adopted the same guidelines, probably in a bid to establish the Indian systems of medicine as on par with the rival system of biomedicine.

3.  MEDICAL ETHICS IN THE AYURVEDIC TREATISES While modern Ayurvedic practitioners are legally obliged to abide by the rules set out by the WMA and CCIM, their ideas on right medical practice are still likely to be influenced by values propounded in the Ayurvedic works. One can find many guidelines in the Ayurvedic works concerning the duties or obligations physicians, carers, and patients had to each other. The early treatises, in particular, provide a catalogue of rules of professional conduct that physicians were bound to, including guidance on appropriate interactions with both patients and colleagues. These provide the reader with a fairly detailed impression of both the ideals of medical practice as well as of hierarchical structures within which medicine was practiced.

3.1.  The Pillars of Medicine: Physicians, Attendants, and Patients The Indian classical medical treatises identify four agents or constituents of medicine in a standard formula: the physician, the medicine, the attendant, and the

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patient.12 Together they form the “four pillars” or “quartet of pillars” (catuṣpāda or pādacatuṣṭaya) of treatment. In definitions of the four pillars, we learn about the qualities desired in each, their relations to each other, and their respective place within medical hierarchy. Vāgbhaṭa’s account of the four pillars of medicine is perhaps the most succinct: The physician, the medicines, the attendant and the patient are called the quartet of pillars of medical treatment. Each one has four qualities. The physician is skilled, has received the meaning of the teachings from a preceptor, has witnessed practice and is clean. The medicine has numerous preparations and many qualities, is palatable and suitable. The attendant is affectionate, clean, able and intelligent. The patient is wealthy, obedient to the physician, provides information and is resolute. (Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha Sūtrasthāna 1.27–​29 and Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 2.21–​25ab) 3.1.1. The physician  The characteristics the medical authors attribute to the good physician within their four-​pillar definitions can be broadly divided into two categories: The first group of characteristics pertain directly to the physician’s medical knowledge and proficiency in practice, the “hard skills” of the medical profession. The second group encompasses more general virtues, such as learnedness, and also includes “soft skills,” such as personality traits, social graces, and personal habits desired in a physician. These groups are therefore distinguished according to what makes someone a good person (or at least one who behaves well within a certain social context) and what qualifies him as a doctor. The boundaries between the two groups are somewhat fluid. There is also some overlap in what could be deemed either a person’s general positive characteristic or a more specifically medical one (e.g., attributes such as diligence, dexterity, and calmness). All the medical authors require the physician to have studied and fully understood medical science on one hand, and to have extensive practical experience, both through observation and through performing treatment or surgery, on the other. The physician’s command of both theory and practice is the sum total of his competence, on which the success of his treatments—​to cure or to prevent illnesses—​rests.13 His knowledge and skill are complemented by his adherence to etiquette (on which, see below). This normative behavior ensures patients’ trust and the physician’s status within society and sets him visibly apart from untrained physicians.14 Caraka is alone among the medical authors in demanding a kind and affectionate attitude toward the patient. He states: Kindness and compassion for those who are ill, affection for the remediable and equanimity towards those in their natural state, this is the quartet of a physician’s conduct. (Carakasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 9.26) This, however, follows a long passage on how the physician is the most prominent and important of the four pillars and how he should be shown respect, praise, and deference due to his superiority.

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3.1.2. The attendant (and other carers)  Perhaps unsurprisingly, attendants receive less elaborate attention in Caraka’s description of the four pillars. Caraka’s ideal attendant knows how to attend, is skillful, clean, and full of affection (cf. Carakasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 9.8). Suśruta would have them friendly, accepting, and strong, ready to care for the sick, obedient to the physician, and unwearying, and Vāgbhaṭa’s attendants are affectionate, clean, able, and intelligent.15 These lists show strong affinity with accounts from the Buddhist Pāli canon on how monks should behave as carers.16 However, Kaśyapa envisages rather more distinguished attendants who, apart from being healthy, strong, clean, and swift, are also able to prepare medicinal decoctions and excel in their knowledge of medical practice, their skill, and their experience in all treatments. These perfect attendants are devoted to their master, are unsqueamish, and come from a good family. They are straightforward, self-​controlled, and patient, having conquered anger and other vices (Kāśyapasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 26.7). Conversely, we know what an attendant should not be like: bad attendants would be vulgar, dirty, badly behaved, disloyal, impractical, and impious. They would be unskilled in nursing, unaccomplished in all treatments, and reluctant to work. This does not, however, bring us much closer to an idea of the dos and don’ts of medical attendance: it is difficult to tease out an actual ethic of nursing from the descriptions of attendants and other caregivers in the medical works. The characteristics the medical authors describe seem more like selection criteria that the physician should heed when setting up his medical team. The question of what behavior might be grounds for dismissal, on the other hand, is not touched on. Neither are we offered any insight into moral conflicts that nursing might present to an attendant. We do not learn much about an attendant’s actions during treatment, or about his or her interactions with the patient. And since there is no description of an attendant’s actual actions, there is also no moral evaluation of them. One reason for this may be that the medical authors envisaged attendants as absolutely subordinate to, and dependent on, the physician, with no agency or will of their own, so that nothing they do is done on their own initiative; they merely follow the physician’s orders. It is as if the attendant were a physical extension of the physician, his unthinking hired hand, applying and thus embodying some of the physician’s theoretical knowledge. Yet, intelligence and knowledge are described as attendants’ prerequisites in the four-​pillar definitions, so perhaps their work entailed more agency and hence more moral choice than can be inferred from the descriptions available from the medical classics. 3.1.3.  The patient  The patient is omnipresent in the medical classics as a carrier of disease and its symptoms. Patients are the subject of the physician’s study and scrutiny, and the recipients of the physician’s diagnosis and administrations. And yet, we learn surprisingly little about them, and even less about the interaction between them and the physician. The medical treatises offer no case histories that would flesh out the patient’s image. In Caraka’s, Suśruta’s, and Vāgbhaṭa’s four-​pillar definitions, the patient—​the ātura (suffering, diseased), vyādhyupasṛṣṭa (afflicted

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by illness), vyādhita (ill), or rogin (sick)—​is quickly described. Caraka’s patient is mindful, obedient, fearless, and gives information on his disease. Suśruta’s list is a bit more extensive. His patient is long-​lived, resolute, curable, wealthy, prudent, pious, and attentive to what the doctor says. As we have seen, Vāgbhaṭa picks “wealthy, obedient to the physician, providing information and resolute” from Caraka’s and Suśruta’s characteristics. Kaśyapa has similar things to say about the patient, and adds that the perfect patient has a curable disease. Obedience to the physician is at the core of the patient–​physician relationship. Following the physician’s orders is important for the success of therapy, which in turn reflects on the physician’s competence. The medical authors seem to envisage a fairly passive patient who simply receives the physician’s (or the attendants’) administrations and advice. Patients are required to take up a certain regime for the duration of treatment (though adhering to the tenets of svasthavṛtta—​healthy lifestyle—​is recommended to all at all times), but therapy generally seems to consist of things done to them rather than by them. Patient participation—​apart from in the shape of patients giving the physician information on their condition—​does not figure as a desirable element of therapeutic interaction. Patient resistance, on the other hand, is clearly categorized as unacceptable: A patient who will not follow the physician’s orders may even be abandoned by the physician. Indeed, one may argue that the medical authors’ image of the patient is very much derived from the perspective of the physician’s needs. Most of the patient’s good characteristics—​wealth, curability, obedience to the physician, and fearlessness—​pertain to the physician’s convenience: a good patient is one who makes the physician’s job easy and worthwhile.

3.2.  Right Professional Conduct Specific instructions on correct professional conduct are found in various contexts in the Ayurvedic compendia. The most detailed discussion of the ethics and etiquette of medical practice occurs in the Carakasaṃhitā in the context of a medical student’s entry into his apprenticeship.17 The relevant passage in Vimānasthāna 8 describes an initiation ceremony in which the teacher addresses the prospective medical student, explaining the formal procedures of medical education (particularly the duties of the student toward his teacher) and the rules for subsequent practice.18 The teacher’s speech begins by urging the medical student to adopt a philanthropic attitude as well as a wider concern for the happiness of all living beings, but above all to be committed to preserving or establishing a patient’s welfare. A greater part of the speech, however, is dedicated to the etiquette of physician–​ patient interaction. Both a physician’s general appearance and conduct, and his behavior to his patients, are guided by the principle of conformity and modesty. He should be inconspicuous, pleasant, and nonthreatening in any way. The teacher’s description of how to behave in the patient’s house is quite detailed and reads like a step-​by-​step guide to the proper house visit. The first rule is to come to the patient’s house accompanied by someone who is known and welcome.

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The physician’s behavior during his visit should be composed and modest. It is imperative for him to observe everything closely so that he can arrive at a diagnosis. He should be extremely attentive to the patient’s needs and to his care, and not let himself get distracted by other occurrences in the household. He must respect the confidentiality of anything he witnesses during his visit to the patient’s home, and this discretion includes not only information about the patient’s condition, but also any other information regarding the patient’s home. The physician must generally take care with how to deal with information on the patient’s condition: if a patient’s condition is terminal and his death near, he may not divulge this information to the patient himself if he judges that informing him will cause damage to the patient, or to his relatives (we will explore this further below). Finally, the teacher warns the student not to boast of his knowledge and achievements, since this would alienate his patients. The emphasis on modesty in attire and bearing that characterizes the model physician in this speech may reflect his uneasy status in society. He is a figure of authority whom patients trust and respect and whose services they depend on. But at the same time he is someone who practices a trade, moreover one that has connotations of impurity. Then again, he is educated and powerful with his specialized knowledge, which makes the hierarchy less clear. In any case, the physician must make sure his patients’ needs are met, and this includes making them comfortable with his presence. Adhering to confidentiality, for example, is very much part of this policy of posing no threat, and being agreeable to the patient. Patients may resent their very need of the physician, and may fear his power over them, and he must assuage these fears. In short, a physician must tread carefully. By behaving in certain ways, he is creating a public image of himself that allows him to fit into society, and to be accepted by his patients. This is as much the key to his success as his medical knowledge and skill. The professional skills of a doctor must therefore include an understanding of social circumstances and an aptitude to adapt to them. In this part of the speech, then, the teacher is revealing an essential part of medical practice. Perhaps not all of it must necessarily be understood in the light of pleasing clients to secure their custom. While the rules of conduct may be partly aimed at the prudential goal of making a living, one could certainly also make the argument that the prescriptions may pertain to an external manifestation of a Deontological-​ like, Virtue Ethic. It is Deontological insofar as it specifies rules of conduct in terms of good practice. But it is Virtue Theoretical as it characterizes the rules as the dispositions of the good physician. Modesty in dress and behavior can reflect true freedom from vanity and arrogance. The physician may also cultivate a real sense of responsibility for the patient’s welfare that does not spring from self-​interest, but from a sense of duty and the rights of others. In any case, self-​interest and a sense of duty need not be mutually exclusive, since they can be directed at the same ultimate, or intermediate goal: the welfare of the patient. The speech also reveals a naturalism in which there is a predictable order to life. Certain actions bring about certain effects—​if you do A, B must follow. The benefits

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of wealth, fame, and heaven after death that a physician reaps from his right works are not only his just, but also his expected reward. If the above guidelines (which are echoed in many of the other Ayurvedic works) provide information on how physicians were meant to behave in professional situations, some of the teacher’s advice reflects a tension that exists between the aim of treating patients successfully and the aim of treating them in ways patients would find acceptable from a social or a religious point of view. We will explore this tension and the ways which the Ayurvedic works advocate to deal with it in the following.

3.3.  Veracity in The Doctor–​Patient Relationship Laying out a framework of guidelines for professional ethics, Tom Beauchamp and James Childress, the authors of Principles of Biomedical Ethics, identify four clusters of moral principles they consider central to biomedical ethics. These are: 1. respect for autonomy (a norm of respecting the decision-​making capacities of autonomous persons), 2. nonmaleficence (a norm of avoiding the causation of harm), 3. beneficence (a group of norms for providing benefits and balancing benefits against risks and costs), and 4. justice (a group of norms for distributing benefits, risks, and costs fairly).19 While the principles of nonmaleficence and beneficence are firmly anchored in historical traditions of Western medical ethics (such as the medical ethics that has its roots in the Hippocratic medical traditions and those that developed from them), the principle of respect for autonomy marks a fundamental shift in the history of the doctor–​patient relationship from medical paternalism to an emphasis on patient’s rights. Medical paternalism, the dominant model of the doctor–​patient relationship until well into the second half of the twentieth century, is based on the principle that a doctor should act benignly in accordance with his or her conception of the patient’s needs for treatment, information, and consultation. This model rejects the notion that a patient has a right to information and hence to autonomy in judgment. In practice, this means that it is up to the doctor’s discretion whether he or she will or will not disclose medical information to a patient or a patient’s relatives or guardians, and to what extent he or she will do so. In a paternalistic doctor–​ patient relationship, the doctor may opt for comprehensive, accurate, and objective information if he or she judges his patient fit to receive such information. He or she may, however, also choose the under-​or nondisclosure of information, or even give false information, depending on the circumstances. Assuming that the doctor–​ patient relationship is of a fundamentally benign nature, a doctor’s well-​considered and deliberate choice to give partial or wrong information is perfectly in accord with accepted standards of usage in the paternalistic model. Speaking untruths, which in other contexts might be seen as morally reprehensible, may be considered an action of positive moral value. In the Indian classical medical writings, the doctor–​ patient relationship is described as firmly paternalistic. As we have seen, in most of the medical treatises a

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good physician is characterized by his knowledge and skill, while a good patient is characterized by his obedience to and faith in the doctor. The ancient Indian doctor knows best, at least if he is a good doctor. And he will decide for the patient what needs to be done, while the patient is expected to comply with the doctor’s instructions. In this top-​down relationship between doctor and patient, information management, including under-​and nondisclosure, deception and lying, is a matter of the doctor’s discretion. Generally, the medical authors advocate honesty as a requisite virtue of a good doctor in accordance with their general instructions on right conduct. It should be noted that while many of the instructions concerning proper professional conduct may seem self-​serving and mainly indicative of how physicians wished to be perceived by the public, right conduct is not solely a matter of etiquette and social rules for the medical authors; it is part of a metaphysics that understands individual human behavior as having far-​reaching consequences for the individual, for society, and for the environment at large. By contrast, bad conduct is seen as one of the root causes of illness and unhappiness in the individual, and it has similarly serious implications for human society as a whole. And yet, we also find instructions in the medical treatises that advise the physician to use deception. Three circumstances can be identified, in which the physician not only has license to withhold information or to actively lie, but is positively encouraged to do so: (1) to shield patients and their relatives from upsetting news, (2) to ensure patient compliance, and (3) to bring about a certain therapeutic effect. In the following, I will explore these scenarios more closely, and examine the tension between the Ayurvedic ethic of truthfulness and its coexisting ethic of medical expedience. 3.3.1. A physician’s honesty: Truth, but not the whole truth  There are several contexts in which a physician’s honesty is discussed in the medical classics. One of these is the medical student’s initiation already mentioned above, descriptions of which are found in the Suśrutasaṃhitā, the Carakasaṃhitā, the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya saṃhitā, the Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha, and the Kāśyapasaṃhitā.20 Suśruta gives particular emphasis to the virtue of honesty in his version of the initiation, calling the student to abandon untruth, and to be totally devoted to truth as part of his studentship: Then, having lead the pupil three times around the fire, he should say to him with the fire as witness: “Having abandoned passion, anger, avarice, arrogance, conceit, envy, harshness, slander, untruth, laziness and disgrace, you must have short nails and hair, be clean wear ochre clothing, and by all means be totally devoted to truth, religious observance, celibacy and respectful salutation. Standing, walking, lying down, sitting, eating and studying as permitted by me, you should do what is pleasant and wholesome to me. Your behaving otherwise is unrighteous, your knowledge will be unproductive, and you will not attain renown.” (6; Suśrutasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 2.6) Caraka mentions honesty twice in his version of the medical student’s initiation in Vimānasthāna 8.13. The first instance parallels Suśruta’s passage, relating to a

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medical student’s behavior during his apprenticeship and describing the spartan habits he should adopt while studying with his teacher: You should lead the austere life of a student, wearing a beard, speaking the truth, not eating meat, resorting to that which is pure, unselfish and not carrying weapons. The second pertains to the medical student’s behavior once he is a practicing physician: You should speak gently, purely, justly, joyfully, in a wholesome manner, truthfully, affectionately and moderately. In the Kāśyapasaṃhitā (Vimānasthāna 2.4), truthfulness is listed as one of the desired qualities of a pupil, but it is not mentioned in the same chapter’s description of the method of practice. Finally, the Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha’s summary of the student’s initiation (Sūtrasthāna 2.1–​7) makes no mention at all of honesty or dishonesty as a virtue required of the student or the practicing physician. Caraka’s instruction to “speak . . . truthfully” in the latter half of Vimānasthāna 8.13 follows the statement, “As a physician who wishes for success and wealth and the attainment of fame and heaven after death,” and thus relates to medical practice and physicianship rather than to a student’s conduct during his time of study. As we have seen from the above, Caraka is alone in this specification of a physician’s conduct. However, “speaking truthfully” may be qualified, as Caraka advises the following stance for communication with patients in the very same passage: And even if you know that the life-​span of the diseased is diminished, you should not speak of this in a situation in which by speaking about it, you would harm the diseased or another. This would seem to imply that Caraka differentiates between lying and withholding the truth. “Speaking truthfully” then means telling the truth, but not necessarily the whole truth. The validity of this theory of truthfulness, however, rests on a crucial assumption: when Caraka advises not to tell all that is to tell, he specifies that the disclosure of information should be subject to the potential damage a patient might suffer from hearing it. This reflects a fundamental paradigm of medical paternalism, namely, beneficence, according to which the consideration of a patient’s well-​being is central to any communication or interaction between doctor and patient. Under the rules of paternal beneficence, not telling the whole truth in order to shield a patient from harm represents the ethically correct choice of action. 3.3.2. Ensuring patient compliance  In this section, I would like to discuss a more active use of deception or untruth by the doctor as part of his therapeutic method. I have stated above that the medical authors propose deception as an appropriate course of action to facilitate medical treatment by ensuring patient compliance. A passage from Caraka’s Cikitsāsthāna (the section on therapeutics) gives an example of how deception may be used by a physician to make sure that patients get the treatment they need. This passage has already been commented on by Francis Zimmermann (1999 [1987]) in his landmark publication The Jungle

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and the Aroma of Meats, where he discusses it in the context of the tension in the Ayurvedic classics between a therapeutic system of purity, based on nonviolence, abstinence, and vegetarianism, and a therapeutic system of force and virility, in which there exists a certain amount of violence through the use of meat and purging, for instance. Counter to what one might expect from texts that position themselves within a brahmanic context, now widely associated with vegetarianism,21 the early classical medical treatises present the use of meat, either as part of diet or as part of a medicinal preparation quite casually and do not discuss it at all as an ethical issue vis-​à-​vis vegetarianism or other food rules.22 Carakasaṃhitā Cikitsāsthāna 8 is about therapies against consumption or wasting disease, and the passage that is relevant to our discussion provides the reader with a list of meats that are declared particularly nourishing and strengthening for those who are emaciated and worn out. The catch is that what is considered the most nourishing type of meat by Caraka, namely, the meat of meat eaters, seems to have also been regarded as an unacceptable food by his contemporaries. Thus, Caraka warns the reader that patients may refuse to eat this meat, or may vomit when told what it was. To avoid this, he advises to deceive the patient by presenting the carnivore’s meat as the meat of a more acceptable animal, and provides a list of replacement names: One who knows the rules should give those who are dehydrated and whose flesh is wasting the prepared meat of meat eaters, which is particularly nourishing. To one who is dehydrated, he should give peacock and other meats under the name of peacock: vulture, owl and blue jay, well-​prepared according to the rules. He should give crows under the name of partridge, and fried snakes under the name of fish; as well as earthworms under the name of fish entrails. A physician should give cooked jackals, large mongooses, cats and young jackals under the name of hare. To increase flesh, he should give lions, bears and hyenas, tigers and meat-​ eaters of such a kind under the name of antelope. To increase flesh, the doctor should give the seasoned meat of elephant, rhinoceros and horse in the name of buffalo. Valued for its pungent, hot and light properties, the meat of particular kinds of beasts and birds, whose bodies are abundantly covered in meat, is the best provider of flesh. (Carakasaṃhitā Cikitsāsthāna 8. 149–​157) Caraka concludes: He should employ deception about those meats that are not liked because they are unusual, because that way they can be eaten easily. Knowing what it was, feeling disgusted, the patient would not even eat, or would cause what was eaten to come up again. Therefore, he should let such meats be administered after they have been disguised (as something else). This practical advice Cikitsāsthāna 5.7:

is

echoed

by

Vāgbhaṭa

in

Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā

The meat of vultures and birds of prey, donkeys and camels is wholesome when prepared so as to be unrecognizable; when recognized, it is abhorred and therefore would cause vomiting instead of strength and vigor.

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Suśruta also devotes a similar passage to the treatment of consumption, which he calls śoṣa rather than rājayakṣman. Suśrutasaṃhitā Uttaratantra 41.35–​36 and 39 have direct reference to the preparation of carnivores, as well as of some other animals. While Suśruta here does not, like Caraka, advise to give particular meats under other names, he does hint at using deception when giving certain meats: One should give the meat of crows, owls, mongooses, cats, earthworms, beasts of prey, hole-​dwellers and moles, and vultures under various pretexts, fried in mustard oil with rock-​salt. Suśruta has more to say about the meat of meat eaters in Cikitsāsthāna 1.82cd–​83ab, where he discusses it in the context of treating patients with wounds. Here, the meat of meat eaters is said to promote the growth of flesh—​probably for covering deep wounds: A man should eat meats of meat eaters according to rule. The flesh of one whose mind is pure grows through meat. Ḍalhaṇa, Suśruta’s commentator, specifies meat eaters as lions, for instance. He also explains “one whose mind is pure” (viśuddhamanas), as “one whose mind is not beset by sorrow, anger etc.,” but adds that another commentator Jejjaṭa interprets viśuddhamanas differently: “The meats of lions etc. are given under disguise, thus of ‘one whose mind is pure.’ ” Jejjaṭa’s comment, as quoted by Ḍalhaṇa, links Suśruta’s passage on the treatment of wounds and Caraka’s passage on the treatment of rājayakṣman by bringing terms into context that are not actually common to these passages (viśuddhamanas occurs only in the Suśrutasaṃhitā, and chadmopahita only in the Carakasaṃhitā).23 When Caraka writes that one should give patients meats under false names, he explains that persons will not want to eat something that they are not used to (anabhyāsa). Caraka’s commentator Cakrapāṇidatta brings this matter to a more complex level, when he glosses anabhyāsa—​“lack of habit”—​with abhakṣyatva—​ “not to be eaten,” a technical term found in reference to food laws of brahmanic law literature.24 And indeed, most of Caraka’s items fall into the categories of forbidden foods found in Manu’s Dharmaśāstra. Manu’s categories also include animals that are not meat eaters. This could explain why Caraka mentions horses and elephants in a list otherwise consisting of carnivores.25 Caraka’s list of meats also corresponds to a list found in the rules of discipline for Buddhist monks in the Pāli Canon (Vinayapiṭaka, Suttavibhaṅga, Pacittiya 8.4). If the meats listed by Caraka were subject to food laws his contemporaries generally adhered to, their use in therapy would have serious ethical implications. Patients might, for example, consider themselves irredeemably ethically tainted by the use of such substances—​or they might understand it as a minor misdemeanor, easily made up for. Intentionality might play a role in establishing whether an offense was committed: It might make a difference that the patients did not know what they were taking.26 Finally, the physician might be considered tainted by administering impure food, either through being in contact with it, or by committing a bad deed through making someone

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else take such food. However, this discussion goes beyond both Caraka’s and Cakrapāṇidatta’s treatment of the subject: neither actually comments on or discusses food laws. This omission is somewhat surprising, given that diet is such a central concern in Ayurveda. An acknowledgment and debate of existing food laws would therefore prima facie seem a necessity. Yet, Caraka’s prescriptive menu of meats not only runs completely counter not only to brahmanic prohibitions, but also does so quite casually. What made such a cavalier attitude possible? It is conceivable that the mentioned religious food rules were simply of no particular importance to the society Caraka (or later Cakrapāṇidatta) lived and worked in. A comment made by Cakrapāṇidatta in a different context (ad Carakasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 8.29) may give a clue to why common ethical prohibitions may have been disregarded by Caraka: For the rules of Ayurveda do not teach the achievement of righteousness (dharma). Rather, they teach the achievement of health.27 However, the medical authors, and Caraka among them, do on many occasions display both a knowledge of and, more importantly, agreement with brahmanic customs,28 and the correspondence of Caraka’s list of foods to foods forbidden by Manu (or by the Buddhist canon) is too extensive to be coincidental. Perhaps the question is, which came first: the custom not to eat certain foods (and remember, it is that the meats are “uncustomary” (anabhyāsa) that Caraka refers to), or the brahmanic (or Buddhist) prohibition? Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered here, so that we are only left with the observation that it does not seem Caraka’s intention to link his choice of prescribed meats with religious significance or deeper meaning. To return to the initial topic of deception, it should be noted that the passage in Caraka’s Cikitsāsthāna 8 is not composed as an ethical discourse in general. While it indicates that a physician may need to make allowances for a patient’s attitude or feelings toward a substance—​a concern that is rarely expressed in the medical texts—​ it does not present this as an ethical dilemma for the physician, but simply as a matter for practical consideration. Caraka is not asking moral questions about truthfulness or whether a physician should give a substance to patients that they object to. He simply promotes deception as a tool to ensure patient compliance. However, Caraka’s commentator Cakrapāṇidatta questions the moral implications of Caraka’s practical advice, and compares it with a statement Caraka makes in a passage on right conduct (sadvṛtta) in another part of his work (such as Carakasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 8.19). There, Caraka states, “One should not tell a lie” (nānṛtam brūyāt), which leads Cakrapāṇidatta to ask whether this does not contradict what is said in Cikitsāsthāna 8.19, namely, that one should use deception (upadhā) in saying one animal’s meat is that of another. He answers his own question as follows: “One should not lie” should not be seen as a contradiction to the advice about speaking falsely beginning with “crows by the name of partridge” etc. in the context of royal consumption, since the guilt of speaking falsehood is incurred by speaking untruth that results in harming another, but not by speaking untruly for the sake of another’s life.29

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In other words, truth, or rather untruth, can be morally qualified. It is only a vice when used to harm others, but acceptable when used for a good cause. Thus, tricking a patient into using a substance that is medically efficacious, albeit generally considered disgusting, is not an act of vice, but one of virtue. The underlying principle here is that whatever needs to be done to ensure patient compliance—​ always a key factor for the success of any therapy—​may, or indeed, should be done. From the above, we have seen how Ayurvedic authors advise deception as a legitimate means to shield patients and their relatives from upsetting news, as well as to ensure patient compliance. A third possibility, namely, the use of deception as a tool to bring about a certain therapeutic effect, will be explored in the following. 3.3.3. Deception as a therapeutic tool  In chapter nine of the Cikitsāsthāna, Caraka describes various types of madness (unmāda) and their treatment. For patients who suffer from madness categorized as paittika—​associated with the humor pitta, or bile—​Caraka prescribes the following ways of interacting with the patient as part of the therapy: Or a friend should encourage him/​cheer him up with words of religious merit and wealth, or tell him of the death of a beloved one, or show him surprising things. Or, after he has been fettered and oiled with mustard oil, one should lay him down stretched out on the back in the sun. Or one should touch him with kapikacchu30, or with heated metal, oil or water. Or, having struck him with whips, one should confine him firmly fettered in a deserted house, for his confused mind thus comes to rest. One should scare him with a snake, whose fangs have been extracted, or with tamed lions31 and elephants, or with robbers or enemies holding knives. Or otherwise, royal officers should take the well restrained patient outside32 and should scare him, threatening to kill him on the king’s order. For the fear for one’s life is thought to exceed fears of bodily pain. Through this his disordered mind comes to rest. (Carakasaṃhitā Cikitsāsthāna 9.79–​84) The Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā (Uttarasthāna 6.48–​ 51), the Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha (Uttarasthāna 9.54–​57), and the Bhāvaprakāśa (Madhyakhaṇḍa Cikitsāprakaraṇam 8.22.39–​ 42) copy Caraka’s instructions, quoting him nearly verbatim, the former two with one variant reading each at the same place: Caraka’s trāsayeyur “they should scare” in stanza 83 is exchanged for bhāpayeyur—​ “they should appear as” in the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā, and again for another word in the Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha:  bheṣayeyur—​ “they should make fear.” The Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā’s reading would seem to suggest that the physicians or carers should dress up as royal officers, rather than that real royal officers should play a part in the treatment. In any case, this scenario points to such treatments taking place in a courtly setting, or at least in proximity to it. This is indicated not only by the role royal officers (or persons disguising as such) play in it, but also by the use of animals such as lions and elephants. These, and the lion in particular, would hardly have been easily available to normal citizens.33 However, the treatments themselves stand in striking contrast to privileges one might associate with a courtly setting, as—​apart from the initial suggestion that

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“a friend should encourage him with words of religious merit and wealth”—​they are characterized by various degrees of violence to the patient. A low level of violence lies in the telling of sad news. These may be quite untrue, but—​true or not—​are probably intended to let the patient experience anguish, or strong grief. Whipping, burning, fettering, and isolating the patient are more marked displays of violence.34 However, the central method of treatment is the use of threat. Each threat—​of being bitten by a snake, attacked by lions or elephants, assaulted by robbers or enemies, or executed by royal officers on the king’s orders—​is aimed at making the patient fear for his life. However, Caraka indicates fairly clearly that these threats are just that: the patient is at no time in real danger of losing his life. After all, the snake’s fangs should have been removed and the lions and elephants should be tame. As for the robbers and enemies, it is very unlikely that true criminals were at the physician’s disposal, so that we can safely assume that some chosen persons were to play-​act, pretending to be robbers with the intention of assaulting the patient with knives. The same goes for the execution threats of the royal officers, whether real or not. As there is no true intention of harming the patient, the threat is in fact an act of deception. The treatment’s success relies on the contrasting perspectives the participants in this medical drama have: While the doctor/​carer/​royal officer does not intend to actually commit the violent act or to let it happen, it is crucial that the patient believes he does. The violent fear that the patient experiences is what is meant to ultimately set his mind (which, as we must remember, is disturbed as he is mentally ill) to rest. However, the actual mental processes that bring on this change are unfortunately not explained by Caraka, who merely points out that the fear for one’s life is an extremely powerful emotion, stronger even than the fear of bodily pain. Similar treatments are described by Suśruta in Uttaratantra 62.17–​21b: One should show him surprising things, or tell him about the death of one dear to him. One should intimidate him with men of fearful appearance, with tamed elephants and poisonless snakes. Or one should then beat him with whips, after he has been fettered with chains. Or, having restrained him, one should frighten the well-​guarded one with a grass-​fire. Or else one should threaten him with water, or one should pretend (to threaten him) with blows with a rope. And a strong man should guard him, and make him stand overnight in water. One should pierce him with a pointed tool, (but) one should avoid injuring the vital points (marman). Having entered a house, one should set that house on fire, protecting him. Or one should constantly keep him in a covered and waterless pit well. Suśruta’s suggestions for treatment are an even more startling read than Caraka’s, though the basic principle is the same: deceiving the patient into believing that his life is under threat. Again, the rough and violent treatments are meant to frighten the patient, but never to seriously endanger him. Interestingly, just a few sentences before (Uttaratantra 62.12), Suśruta describes how the fear for one’s life, but also the loss of what is dear to one, can be the very causes of madness.35 Generally speaking, Suśruta’s section on madness (unmāda) seems somewhat less structured

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than Caraka’s treatment of the subject, which first gives the symptoms of each type of madness, followed by their remedies. While it is clear from Caraka’s description that these particular fear-​inducing treatments are meant for patients with “paittika” madness, this is not clearly categorized in the Suśrutasaṃhitā, indicating that these treatments may not have been fully understood in the latter tradition.

4. CONCLUSION In the Ayurvedic classics, honesty is described as one of the qualities that define right conduct. For the medical authors, right conduct is not solely a matter of etiquette and social rules; it is part of a metaphysics that understands individual human behavior as having far-​reaching consequences for the individual, for society, and for the environment at large. Advice on right conduct in general is echoed by the medical authors’ descriptions of desirable characteristics in a medical student. Several of the medical classics describe how in the medical student’s initiation ceremony, the student is called upon to be honest and to abandon untruth. This rule may pertain mainly to the student’s behavior toward his teacher during his apprenticeship, but it is also described as a necessary behavior for the practicing physician “who wishes for success and wealth and the attainment of fame and heaven after death.”36 Such advice is, however, contradicted, or at least somewhat reinterpreted, in the course of action proposed by Caraka in the case of a patient’s imminent death. Here, he advises the physician not to tell the patient or his relatives the whole truth about the patient’s condition, if he considered it too upsetting for the patient. This introduces the first of the three contexts in which a physician’s actions may break the general requirement of honesty, while remaining ethically correct. In the second context, physicians are advised to administer certain efficacious but disgusting meats disguised as more acceptable foods to patients. In the third context, deception is used to shock the patient into believing his life is at stake, and thus to bring about the necessary changes in the patient’s mental state. The role of dishonesty is different in each context: In the first, dishonesty is used to shield the patient from upsetting news. In the second, dishonesty is used to ensure patient compliance with the physician’s prescription. In the third, deception is a central part of the therapeutic process: it is used as a medical tool, as it were. Each use of deception ultimately relies on the fundamental assumption that the physician has both a full understanding of the medical situation, and bears the patient’s best interests in mind. Thus, the doctor–​patient relationship in Ayurveda is shown to be essentially paternalistic. One should, in any case, remember that the master virtue for the doctor is not honesty, but medical prowess: the Ayurvedic authors all define extensive knowledge and skill as a good physician’s most important characteristics. In the end, a doctor is judged by his success, that is, his ability to cure disease, the means for achieving cures being a secondary consideration. As a final observation, it needs to be pointed out that while the chosen excerpts from the medical texts display a certain amount of reference to the topic of honesty

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and deception in the doctor–​patient relationship, the classical texts lack ethical meta-​ discussion of this topic entirely. Only the commentators—​and particularly Caraka’s commentator, Cakrapāṇidatta—​actually problematize the ethical dilemmas facing physicians in some of the situations depicted in the classics.

NOTES * This article is based on research first published in Wujastyk (2012: 124–​142). I would like to thank the Fonds zur Förderung des universitären Nachwuchses and the URPP Asia and Europe of Zurich University for their support. 1. In 1995, the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H) was set up as a department of the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare. The “Indian systems of medicine” at the time meant Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Naturopathy. In 2003, the Department of ISM&H was renamed the Department of AYUSH to make note of the inclusion of Yoga. Naturopathy, though not part of the acronym, remained part of the department’s area of responsibility. More recently, Sowa Rigpa was added to the catalogue of Indian systems of medicine, and there are discussions about including folk medical traditions as well. In 2014, the department of AYUSH was made into a ministry in its own right. 2. The relevant statistics can be found on the AYUSH website under “Infrastructure.” See http://​indianmedicine.nic.in/​ 3. For the syllabi to attain the degree of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery and the postgraduate degree of Ayurvedacharya designed by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) and approved of by the Ministry of AYUSH, see http://​ www.ccimindia.org/​ayurveda-​syllabus.html#. These include lists of recommended reference works. 4. While older Indian sources on medicine exist, the compilations ascribed to Caraka (the Carakasaṃhitā) and Suśruta (the Suśrutasaṃhitā) are the earliest Indian works known to us that systematically present medicine as their main subject. Both works have complicated transmission histories and went through several redactions. While it is therefore somewhat inaccurate to refer to Caraka or Suśruta as the authors of these works, I do so in this chapter for the sake of convenience and brevity. For a more detailed discussion of the issues surrounding the dating and authorship of these works, see Meulenbeld (1999–​2002: IA, 105–​115 [on the Carakasaṃhitā] and IA, 333–​344 [on the Suśrutasaṃhitā]). On references to medicine in nonmedical literature, see Meulenbeld (1999–​2002: IIA, 818–​832, esp. 819, 821 and 830). Also see Zysk (2000) on medicine in ascetic and Buddhist milieus and Zysk (1996) on medicine in the Vedas. 5. Reference works on biomedicine typically include standard biomedical textbooks also recommended by the Medical Council of India for MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) courses. The MBBS syllabus (including recommended reference works) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) that is approved by the Medical Council of India, can be downloaded

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from the AIIMS website at http://​www.aiims.edu/​aiims/​academic/​courses_​syllabus. htm 6. See Carakasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 1.46–​56 on physical matter and sentience. See Carakasaṃhitā Vimānasthāna 8.15–​67 on debate (in general and among physicians). See Sūtrasthāna 8.18–​33 on right conduct. 7. The syllabus has been revised since and no longer seems to contain the mentioned sections, though it still has a module on the “Importance of ethics and principles of ideal living as mentioned in Samhita in the present era in relation to life style disorders.” See http://​www.ccimindia.org/​first_​year_​syllabus.html#ab3 8. The syllabus was on the CCIM’s website at http://​www.ccimindia.org/​curriculum_​ ayurveda_​ug_​syllbus_​2009.html. It can still be partly accessed via the Internet Archive waybackmachine on archive.org. The cited list of topics was part of Point 12 of Part B, vyavaharayurved evum vidhivaidyak (forensic medicine and medical jurisprudence). 9. Point 13 of Part B, vyavaharayurved evum vidhivaidyak (forensic medicine and medical jurisprudence) of the syllabus reads: “Laws in relation to medical practitioners: Indian Medicine Central Council Act, Code of Medical Ethics, General Principles, duties of a physician towards his patient, towards the profession at large, professional services of physicians to each other, duties of a physician in consultation, duties of a physician in cases of interference, duties of a physician to the public, Physician’s responsibility in criminal matters, duties of a patient, professional negligence, civil negligence, criminal negligence, medico legal aspects of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, rights of an unborn child, transplantation of human organs Bill 1994, Pre Natal Diagnostic Testing Act, donation of cornea, malingering of feigned diseases, international code of medical ethics for doctors.” 10. The declaration of Geneva was updated in 1968, 1983, 1994, 2005, and 2006, but the CCIM’s declaration follows the wording of the 1948 version. 11. The MCI was founded in 1934 in reaction to statements from the General Medical Council of Great Britain that Indian medical degrees (in modern medicine) would no longer be accepted in Britain unless a statutory body was established that regulated medical education in India and made sure that standards in Indian medical education equalled British standards. The MCI has taken a very strict stance of exclusion toward practitioners of the indigenous medical traditions from its inception. 12. Definitions of medical treatment as consisting of four pillars are found in nearly all of the oldest classical medical texts—​the Carakasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna 9), the Suśrutasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna 34.15cd–​24), the Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha (Sūtrasthāna 1.27–​29), the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna 2.21–​25ab), the Kāśyapasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna 26.3–​11), and the Bhelasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna 9). There is a passing mention of the four pillars in the ninth-​century treatise Mādhavanidāna (in 5.39). 13. I use the masculine pronoun as the physician depicted in the Ayurvedic medical classics is clearly male. By contrast, in modern Ayurvedic practice, there are many female practitioners. 14. On the characteristics of a good physician in contrast to those of quacks, see Wujastyk (2012: 42–​47).

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15. See Suśrutasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 34.24, Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 1.29, and Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha Sūtrasthāna .2.25, respectively. 16. On medical care in the Theravādin Buddhist monastic community and the characteristics of good carers, see Mahāvagga 8.26.1–​8 and Zysk’s discussion of this passage (2000: 41–​42). 17. The Suśrutasaṃhitā does not place the subject of the new physician’s professional conduct within the context of the medical student’s initiation, but its treatment of the subject is very similar to that described in the Carakasaṃhitā. Suśruta devotes an entire (albeit short) chapter to the physician’s entry into the profession, which covers advice not only on how to behave as a physician, but also on whom a physician should or should not treat. A physician’s etiquette is described in Sūtrasthāna 10.3 and 9. Vāgbhaṭa’s treatment of the subject occurs in Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha Sūtrasthāna 2.7–​20. There is no parallel in the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā. The Kāśyapasaṃhitā deals with the rules of conduct for physicians in Vimānasthāna 2.8–​9, following on from rules concerning the correct way of studying. 18. See Preisendanz (2007) for a detailed analysis of the structure of this chapter in the Carakasaṃhitā, and Wujastyk (2012: 89–​90) for a translation of the teacher’s speech. 19. See Beauchamp and Childress (2001: 12). 20. See Wujastyk (2012: 68–​106) for a discussion of the similarities and differences between the different versions. 21. Though note, for example, the list of forbidden foods and the chapter on eating meat in Manu’s Dharmaśāstra, a major work on religious law roughly dated to between the last two centuries BCE and the first two centuries CE. Here, Manu states: “He may eat meat when it is sacrificially consecrated, at the behest of Brahmins, when he is ritually commissioned according to rule and when his life is at risk” (Olivelle 2005: 139). The last part of this statement is particularly important for the medicinal use of meat. 22. The use of meat does, however, become an issue for the later commentators, such as Cakrapāṇidatta. See Zimmermann (1999 [1987]: 192–​193) for Cakrapāṇidatta’s discussion of the tension between the use of meat and the ethical goal of nonviolence. It is, however, only in the Kalyāṇakāraka, a Jain medical work by Ugrāditya dated to ca. the ninth century (Meulenbeld, 1999–​2002: II A, 155), that vegetarianism becomes the central focus of ethical argument. Here, animal products that can only be obtained through killing or harming an animal are replaced by vegetable or mineral substances, or by other animal products such as hair, nails, and excrement, for instance. 23. This quotation is also interesting for the reason that it represents a section of Jejjaṭa’s commentarial work that is not available to us at present. It is not clear whether Ḍalhaṇa’s quotation of Jejjaṭa stems from the latter’s commentary on Caraka, or the one on Suśruta. According to K. Zysk (personal communication by email, November 14, 2006), we do not have Jejjaṭa on Carakasaṃhitā Cikitsāsthāna 8.149–​157. Meulenbeld in HIML 1A, 385 writes: “Jejjaṭa

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commented on both Caraka-​and Suśrutasaṃhitā. His commentary on the latter treatise has partly been preserved, but its title is unknown.” And in note 360 of HIML IB, 507, Meulenbeld adds: “A single MS, containing part of the commentary on the Uttaratantra, is known (NCC VII, 317; STMI 89).” 24. Patrick Olivelle, in his translation of Manu’s Dharmaśāstra, notes that “Dharma literature makes a clear distinction between abhakṣya, foods forbidden because of their very nature, and abhojya, foods that have become unfit for a variety of reasons’ (2005: 278, note 5.5). 25. Manu’s list of forbidden foods is found in c­ hapter 5. It includes carnivorous birds (5.11), animals that wander alone (5.17), and animals with five nails (pañcanākha; 5.17–​18). Interestingly the rhinoceros, despite being categorized as having five nails and wandering alone, may be eaten. The camel is specifically mentioned as a forbidden food (cf. Olivelle 2005: 138–​139). Zimmermann (1999: 243, note 45), referring to Bhāgavata Purāṇa III, 10, 20–​24, lists the pañcanākha animals as follows: dog, jackal, wolf, tiger, cat, hare, porcupine, lion, monkey, elephant, tortoise, lizard, and makara (a kind of sea monster). Further, Manu notes in ­chapter 11: 157 that “the hot-​arduous penance is the purification for eating the meat of carnivorous animals, pigs, camels, cocks, humans, crows or donkeys,” thus firmly placing carnivores into the list of forbidden foods (Olivelle 2005: 223). 26. This, incidentally, may be what Jejjaṭa (via Ḍalhaṇa) ad Suśrutasaṃhitā Cikitsāsthāna 1.82bc–​83ab is hinting at when he comments that the mind remains pure because the meats are given under disguise. 27. See Dominik Wujastyk (2004: 836). 28. See, for example, Benner (2009) on brahmanic fertility rituals in the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā. Zysk (2000) writes comprehensively about the use of brahmanic material in the medical texts, as does Chattopadhyaya (1977). 29. See also Zimmermann’s translation: “It cannot be said that there is any contradiction[,]‌for false speech is only affected by the vice of lying when its effect is to harm others, but in this case it is in order to save another’s life that one does not speak the truth” (1999 [1987]: 178). 30. Mucuna pruriens, “Velvet bean,” “Cowitch,” or “Cowhage.” This plant is a climber with pods that are covered with irritant bristles. 31. Cakrapāṇidatta glosses “siṃha” with “vyāghra,” thus interpreting it as a tiger rather than as a lion. 32. Cakrapāṇidatta specifies that “outside” means outside the village. 33. Zimmermann points this out in his discussion of the carnivore’s meats that are given under disguise by the physician in Carakasaṃhitā Cikitsāsthāna 8.149–​ 157: “Fantastical prescriptions, I admit, if only because they presuppose a whole economic infrastructure capable of producing on demand lions, bears, hyenas, tigers and other game—​in short, a royal existence!” (1999 [1987]: 176). 34. For the sake of not digressing too far from my line of argument concerning veracity in the doctor–​patient relationship, I will not expand on the implications of these casual prescriptions of violence (and therefore harm) to the patient for the principles of nonmaleficence at length here. As mentioned, the guidelines for

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apprenticing physicians include the prescription to be committed to preserving or establishing a patient’s welfare. However, there is no discussion anywhere about the ethical implications of causing a patient physical or emotional distress. See Wujastyk (2012: 292–​294) on this topic and also Zimmermann (1999 [1987]: 192–​193) for a wider discussion of the role of violence in Ayurvedic medicine. 35. The same passage also appears in the Mādhavanidāna (20.14–​15). 36. See Carakasaṃhitā Vimānasthāna 8.13.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Beauchamp, Tom. L., and James. F. Childress. 2001. Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Benner, Dagmar. 2009. “Saṃskāṛas in Vāgbhaṭa’s Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā: Garbhādhāna, ṛtusaṃgamana, puṃsavana.” In Mathematics and Medicine in Sanskrit, edited by Dominik Wujastyk. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Chattopadhyaya, Debiprasad. 1977. Science and Society in Ancient India. Calcutta: Research India Publication. Kiñjavaḍekara, Rāmacandraśāstrī. 1938–​40. Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgrahaḥ mūlasūtrāṇi Śaśilekhāṭīkā, ṭupṭippaṇī, Śarīrapariśiṣṭam. . .)  =  Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha, With Indu’s Śaśilekhā Commentary, Notes, Diagrams, and Appendices. 3 vols. Poona: Citraśālā Mudraṇālaya. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, 1990, with an introduction by Vaidya Bhagwan Dash. Kuṃṭe, Anna Moreśvara, Kṛṣṇaśāstrī Navare, and Hariṣāstrī Parādkar. 1995. Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayam, śrimadvāgbhaṭaviracitam, śrīmadaruṇadattaviracitayā ‘sarvāṅgasundaryākhyā’ vyākhāyā hemādripraṇītayā ‘āyurvedarasāyanāhvayā’ ṭīkayā ca samullasitam, Kṛṣṇadāsa Āyurveda Sīrīja. Varaṇasi: Krishnadas Academy. Meulenbeld, Gerrit Jan. 1974. The Mādhavanidāna and Its Chief Commentary. Chapters 1–​10. Introduction, Translation, and Notes. Leiden: Brill. Meulenbeld, Gerrit Jan. 1999–​2002. A History of Indian Medical Literature. 5 vols. Groningen: E. Forsten. Olivelle, Patrick. 2005. Manu’s Code of Law. A Critical Edition and Translation of the Mānava-​Dharmaśāstra. South Asia Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Preisendanz, Karin. 2007. “The Initiation of the Medical Student in Early Classical Āyurveda: Caraka’s Treatment in Context.” In Expanding and Merging Horizons: Contributions to South Asian and Cross-​Cultural Studies in Commemoration of Wilhelm Halbfass, edited by Karin Preisendanz. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Srikantha Murthy, K. R. 1998–​2005. Bhāvaprakāśa of Bhāvamiśra (Text, English Translation, Notes, Appendices, and Index). Varanasi: Krishnadas Academy. Tewari, Premvati. 1996. Kāśyapa-​saṃhitā or Vṛddhajīvakīya Tantra: Text with English Translation and Commentary. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Visvabharati. Trikamji, Ācārya, Jādavji. 1981. Carakasaṃhitā, śrīcakrapāṇidattaviracitayā āyurvedadīpik āvyākhyayā saṃvalitā, 4th ed. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.

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Trikamji, Ācārya, Jādavji. 1992. Suśrutasaṃhitā, śrīḍalhaṇācāryaviracitayā nibandhasaṃgrahākhyavyākhyayā nidānasthānasya . . . saṃśodhitā, 5th ed. Vārāṇasī, Delhi: Caukhambha Oriyaṇṭaliya. Wujastyk, Dagmar. 2012. Well-​Mannered Medicine: Medical Ethics and Etiquette in Classical Ayurveda. New York: Oxford University Press. Wujastyk, Dominik. “Medicine and Dharma.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 32, no. 5 (2004):  831–​842. Zimmermann, Francis. 1999 [1987]. The Jungle and the Aroma of Meats: An Ecological Theme in Hindu Medicine. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Originally published Berkeley, University of California Press, 1987. Zysk, Kenneth G. 1996. Medicine in the Veda: Religious Healing in the Veda with Translations from the Rig Veda and the Atharvaveda and Renderings from Corresponding Ritual Texts. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Zysk, Kenneth G. 2000. Asceticism and Healing in Ancient India: Medicine in the Buddhist Monastery. Indian Medical Tradition, 3rd ed. Vol. 2. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Originally published 1991.Notes

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Toward a Complete and Integral Mīmāṃsā Ethics: Learning with Mādhava’s Garland of Jaimini’s Reasons FRANCIS X. CLOONEY, S. J.

1.  ON HINDU ETHICS AND MĪMĀṂSĀ’S UNCERTAIN PLACE My goal in this chapter is to explicate the ethics of a text of a specific school of Hindu ethics. The text is Mādhava’s Garland of Jaimini’s Reasons and the wider school of which this is part is Pūrva Mīmāṃsā—​a tradition of Deontological ethics that derives its content from early Vedic intuition (śruti) and its subsequent tradition (smṛti). When we take up the general question of Hindu ethics, how to estimate articulate discourses that count as “ethics” and count as “Hindu”—​we need also to be open to variations regarding the very idea of ethics as a field of deliberation. As commonly explicated, the field of ethics is largely a product of the modern West and its academic discourses, even if rooted in a wide variety of Western sources including philosophy stretching back to the ancient Greeks, as the traditions of Christianity, as well as its courts, canon law, confessional cases, and the consequent casuistry. Given the contested atmosphere around truths and values in the modern West, ethics, like theology, has often had to take up a defensive and then apologetic stance, to explain and justify continuities and changes in Western ethical practice. We ought not to expect other religious traditions, developing in accord with other histories and with other requirements, to reach the same form of ethics as has developed in the West. We certainly need not take for granted that there should be ethical theories that count as Hindu Ethics, just because there is, in the West, a group of theories that count as Christian Ethics. More importantly, a Hindu Ethics will resemble a Christian

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Ethics only to an extent. In saying this, I am, of course, not talking about whether Hindu communities have moral standards, but rather about whether there are second-​ order realms of deliberation at a remove from the lived practices of any given Hindu community. To make progress, we must proceed on a smaller scale, looking into the various Hindu traditions individually, to detect not only the content, but also the manner of ethical reasoning. Using “ethics” in the Hindu context requires a certain tolerance of analogy; there is no end of the adjustments required to make “Hindu” and “ethics” work together. When we turn to Mīmāṃsā ritual analysis—​the systems of inquiry and ritual reasoning grounded in the Veda, its texts and rituals, and in the millennial traditions reaching back to Jaimini, author of the Mīmāṃsā Sūtras—​and seek out a—​or the—​Mīmāṃsā contribution to ethics, the problems are still more acute. It is revealing first of all to observe just how little Mīmāṃsā has figured in accounts of Hindu ethics at all. John McKenzie’s Hindu Ethics (1922) devotes less than a paragraph to Mīmāṃsā. He is forthright in his reasons for doubting Mīmāṃsā’s relevance to ethics at all. After all, it focuses on ritual works, and “these are in the main not ethical works, but the sacrificial works and other ritual observances of the Brāhmaṇas, reduced to some kind of system. It is indeed hardly an independent system of philosophy, even in the Indian sense of the term” (McKenzie 1922: 138). As such, it is only preliminary to Vedānta, just as, in his view, the Old Testament is but an introduction to the New Testament that supersedes it. Mīmāṃsā offers a kind of works righteousness, dispensing with the idea of God in order to render coherent the notion of karma. Cromwell Crawford’s The Evolution of Hindu Ethical Ideals devotes a section to Mīmāṃsā, with a focus on dharma, karma, and mokṣa. Gleaning from Śabara, Kumārila, and Prabhākara a number of interesting insights, Crawford concludes with a characterization hardly sympathetic to Mīmāṃsā: Unfortunately, by appealing to Vedic authority as the source of obligation which categorically enjoins dharma, the Mīmāṃsā postulates a supernatural standard of authority. Its ethics is therefore authoritarian in character, to be accepted on faith and not reason. Of course, the Tantrarahasya and other writings allow for the judgment of “one’s own conscience” in determining what is good, but conscience is not viewed autonomously. Far from being a free agency of moral perception, the role of conscience is limited to that of providing a conscientious appeal for the doing of duties learned from external authority. Such a conscience is good for tribalism but is bad for individuality. (Crawford 1982: 101–​109) Roy Perrett’s Hindu Ethics (1998) refers some 15 times to Mīmāṃsā, though always in the course of discussing other matters, in particular the workings of karma. Of the four essays on Hindu ethics in the 2005 Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics, the only author to mention Mīmāṃsā at all is Maria Heim, and even she evinces a certain skepticism about its maturity as an ethical system: “Sometimes moral behavior is simply conflated with conformity to rules and any internal dimension in correct behavior is irrelevant. A Mīmāṃsā definition of dharma is simply ‘rule-​boundedness’ . . . Concerned with external form, much Mīmāṃsā ritual discourse prescribes the following of rules rather than the development of virtue. In this view, dharma is exhaustively described by human activity, without reference to

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character or disposition” (Heim 2005: 346). This too is a definition largely in terms of what Mīmāṃsā does not achieve. The “human” and human moral responsibility according to the Mīmāṃsā tradition have, in my judgment, been insufficiently considered, and therefore too the contribution of Mīmāṃsā to Hindu ethics. This neglect is in part due to the rich variety of other resources in the Sanskrit and Brahminical traditions of India, and because of the concomitant perception, somewhat plausible, that the Mīmāṃsā is interested in the human only insofar as this humanity pertains to the performer of the ritual, an agent who must, to some extent, be known with respect to the ritual performance and also outside it. By contrast, however, the bulk of reflection occurring in Mīmāṃsā—​ordered according to the approximately 900 problematic cases presented in Jaimini’s Sūtras—​has to do with problems of ritual and textual interpretation internal to its own system. Mīmāṃsā debates were not primarily conformed to questions arising from sources other than the rituals and texts of ritual, but even to questions related to dharma as a religious and societal value. If we wish to rethink the place of Mīmāṃsā in ethics and as a form of ethical reflection, we must adjust our notions of what counts as ethics. Certainly there are some scholars who point the way. Here I draw attention just to one older and one more recent example. P. T. Raju’s Structural Depths of Indian Thought (1985) devotes a chapter to Mīmāṃsā. Interestingly, he places it at the beginning of the book (succeeding only the Upaniṣads), on the grounds that “all the other systems grew and developed out of its teachings or as reactions to its teachings.” The ethical import is clear: “Mīmāṃsā is essentially a philosophy of ethical action, but more concerned with the supra-​sensual nature of the ethical force and the ritual, the significance and workings of which have other-​worldly bearings, than with social action, which is concerned with this world and which the Mīmāṃsā leaves to the ethical codes (dharmasūtras and dharmaśāstras) for elaboration and explanation.” Raju also thinks that those “ethical codes take for granted and claim to base their teachings on the metaphysics of the Mīmāṃsā, which they do not discuss. The commentators on the ethical codes use mainly Mīmāṃsā methods for interpreting their texts and for applying them to concrete cases” (Raju 1985: 40). Mīmāṃsā is “ethical activism” since “action is ultimate,” and ethical action indispensable; indeed, “ethical action is the supreme governing force of the universe” (Raju 1985: 41). Nor is the Mīmāṃsā focus on action merely of a ritual sort, since Mīmāṃsā attends to the capacities and readiness of the actor. At the chapter’s end, Raju emphasizes that “Mīmāṃsā is the most important and well-​developed philosophy of action in India.” It should not be seen as derivative, even if, when responding to questions arising elsewhere, it borrows from Nyāya or Vaiśeṣika (Raju 1985: 62). Raju’s positive appreciation of Mīmāṃsā is noteworthy, even if it must be interpreted in light of his overall view of ethics and his understanding of “activism.” But it is refreshing to see so robust and unusual a defense of Mīmāṃsā, conceived of as central to our wider understanding of Indian ethical practice. Elisa Freschi is exemplary in setting a new path in the study of Mīmāṃsā ethics, Mīmāṃsā as ethics, by a series of key publications on the Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā—​ “Desidero Ergo Sum: The Subject as the Desirous One in Mīmāṃsā” (2007) and “Action, Desire and Subjectivity in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā” (2010)—​and for her Duty,

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Language and Exegesis in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā (2012). These works disclose the rules and relationships of an ethical discourse. In “Desidero Ergo Sum,” for instance, after a careful analysis of the role of desire in Rāmānujācārya’s Tantrarahasya, she concludes: The Mīmāṃsā (like most Indian philosophical schools, at least at their outset) did not intend to cover every possible field of investigation and focused on the exegesis of the Brāhmaṇa-​portion of the Veda . . . From a (Pūrva) Mīmāṃsā point of view, the Self is primarily the agent of sacrifices. And this, she adds, means that for most actions, “the subject consists in a desiring subject,” a view which rules out “wrong views on the same topic, such as the Buddhist denial of a self even in this-​worldly actions, or the assumption that such actions might be undertaken without desiring their results (Freschi 2007: 59). This astute reading of Mīmāṃsā as a pragmatic tradition adheres to what is, in fact, the case, taken at face value. From a certain distance, Mīmāṃsā’s ritual agent is indeed the desiring subject, and thus potentially relegated to the margins of Hindu ethical discourses. But if we shift our gaze and consider Mīmāṃsā’s overall ritual reasoning, and the modest place of the human within that world, we will see that its discourse is not so much marginal as alternative. If we read Mīmāṃsā in a holistic and integral manner, we will be able to see in what sense it has a real and distinctive apprehension of the ethical, such as what decenters the human without trivializing it, and is rigorously analytic without ambitioning any novelty.1 Indeed, what will turn out to be most interesting regarding Mīmāṃsā is that this shape of its apprehension of the human, within the world of ritual text and action, does not simply take a place among standard Western ethical alternatives. To make this point, I turn now to a Mīmāṃsā text that enables us to see the whole of Mīmāṃsā reasoning, in detail yet manageably.

2. THE GARLAND OF JAIMINI’S REASONS AS A BEST ENTRY POINT INTO MĪMĀṂSĀ ETHICAL REASONING The Mīmāṃsā way of thinking is famously difficult to characterize as a whole. It is hard to move beyond a focus on its opening section, the Tarka Pāda (“Reasoning Chapter”). That chapter proposes initial reflections on authoritative means of knowledge, the proper approach to dharma, and the correlated views of language, authorship, and the status of the Veda as a text, the subsequent bulk of the Sūtras. The following chapters in the first Adhyāya (book) fill out an adequate account of Tradition and traditions, practices more or less akin to those of the Veda, and likewise more or less closely related realms of language. Thereafter, in the second and following books, the Mīmāṃsā Sūtras highlight ritual problems that are intelligible in the context of specific ritual texts and practical context, distinct from the linguistic, epistemological, and behavioral questions that arise tangentially and at the second order of discourse.

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The turn to ritual detail is direct and effective in showing us what Mīmāṃsā is about and how it reasons, but this detail is local and specific, and resistant to generalization. It quickly becomes too complex, too detailed, for digestion in a chapter such as this one. To make such points in a succinct fashion, I will therefore turn now to a text that excels in succinct distillation and thereby in rendering a manageable overview of the whole of the Mīmāṃsā system: the Jaiminīya Nyāya Mālā (Garland of Jaimini’s Rules of Interpretation, henceforth Garland) by Mādhavācārya (1297–​1388). The reasoning of this text is the subject of the second part of this chapter. The Garland2 is a set of more than 1,400 ślokas (two-​ line metered verses, henceforth verses), and distills in one or several verses the decisive features of each of the approximately 900 cases identified by Jaimini. These distillations excel in economy of expression, in discerning what gets included and left out from the bulk of the older commentaries. Though written in the fourteenth century and well before a number of other notable Mīmāṃsā works, in important ways the Garland stands at and as the “end” of the tradition, a perfection of the distillative practices undertaken by Jaimini in his Sūtras in the very beginning of its textual history. The “minimalist fullness” or “lavish economy” of the Garland invites readers to stay with these cases and, resisting the temptation to turn instead to theory or matters of method, to learn from each case, one after the other. It may be taken as a final landmark in the quest to clarify the meaning of the Sūtras while yet retaining the concision of the original, in fact, making clear for the age of Mīmāṃsā as a tradition of texts that Jaimini had put forward, often inscrutably, in the place of the spoken word. Mādhava recognizes economy to be a necessity. At the beginning of his work, Mādhava notes that Mīmāṃsā had become an ocean of learning too broad and deep, inaccessible to beginners. He needed to pay attention to the commentators, and yet, by his own design, distill their expansive teaching very selectively to the essence of each argument, constrained within the self-​imposed format of one or two verses. With the Garland, therefore, we have come full circle, possessed now of a polished text that not only does what Jaimini did in the beginning, but also, for the modern reader, in a real sense does better: a complete and succinct rendering of the entirety of the Mīmāṃsā debates, this time encoding in a compact and shorthand fashion all necessary information. The Garland makes the whole visible, a visible whole that cannot simply be coopted. Every case is probed to its core, but no single case allowed to dominate the discussion, no rule allowed to replace the cases it rules. It is the whole set of cases, the full Garland, that matters. One still needs to learn a great deal to understand what is being talked about, but Mādhava has compressed what needs to be known to the minimum. In his rendering, the cases are not so closely bound to their context that all the details of the ritual and of the commentarial tradition need be known. The Garland sheds light on issues of ethical import by attention to the details of a ritual analysis that seems, at first glance, to be resolutely amoral, disinterested in ethical questions of import in the wider world. The way to learn from the Garland is to read through its 1,400 verses, thus covering the 900 cases. In preview of that daunting but possible learning project, I now turn to four sites in the Garland that shed light on Mīmāṃsā’s distinctive

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understanding of the human and its insight into the practicalities of right deliberation on right behavior. The judgments in any particular case stand between a mass of detail and general principles; attention to a series of pertinent Mīmāṃsā discussions will be illuminating both of the text and of its world: I.3, regarding the limits on an acceptance of practices that seem warranted only by tradition; III.4, particularly the section regarding the prohibition against lying, the ritual management of yawning, required respect for brāhmins, and the limits of interaction with women during the menstrual period; VI.1, regarding the eligibility for ritual practice of all beings who desire happiness, a universalizable standard consequently limited by factors of body and wealth, gender and caste; and VI.7, regarding the practical meaning of two seemingly impossible rites, one in which one gives away all that one possesses and one that calls for 1,000 years of performance. Selected cases from these sections of the Garland offer, I will show, insight into the human person as a ritual performer and as a figure with an identity outside the ritual arena, but nevertheless still inscribed in that ritual context. Our examples suggest also that the “person inside and outside the ritual arena” cannot be simply universalized as “the human person as such,” as if there is such a person who is natural and exists prior to or apart from the Vedic ritual context. Nor should we imagine the Garland to concern itself only with the ritual performer, as if placed on one side of the secular/​sacred divide familiar in today’s world. This person is entirely inscribed in the ritual frame, for such is the paradigm of the human, but the actual ritual contexts are nothing but particularly intense and evident instances of that person whose ordinary life too is Vedic. Our first example is from I.3, a pāda (henceforth “chapter”) that explores the workable extension of the Vedic realm of text and practice, and the social and religious world constructed around the sacrifice, whether it can reach beyond the realm of the explicit Vedic work and the immediately implied extensions of it. At issue are customs not explicitly sanctioned in the Veda, accompanied by unfamiliar words and practices, and in some cases practiced by people clearly outside the Vedic fold; yet the actions can be judged soberly, at times without much attention to the persons involved. I.3 is the chapter most fully dedicated to the consideration of the reach and limits of Vedic language—​and the conditions under which non-​Vedic words and practices, passed down in smṛti (words and practices passed down in more or less authoritative traditions), with no explicit basis in śruti (the highest category of authoritative, revelatory word), need to be excluded on the grounds of incompatibility with what is explicit in the Vedic. The tradition from Jaimini on is generous in this regard. The customary, the foreign, can be accepted and should be, except when there is a direct contradiction of what is mandated in śruti. The chapter is in essence a series of efforts to avoid contradictions, to include, account for, and rank what at first glance might seem merely unfounded. The general principle is cited in case 1: Do customs regarding the eighth day rites, etc., have authority regarding dharma, or not? Because they have no Vedic roots, they have no authority and no role in expressing the meaning of the Veda.

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Because they are remembered by the orthodox, their rootedness in the Veda can be postulated. Custom has a role because, by gathering disparate insights, it functions as authoritative.3 Mādhava’s own Elaboration (Vistara) refers here to practices, such as the thread ceremony for twice-​ born boys and the duty of scriptural study, such as are spelled out in sources such as the clearly orthodox Laws of Manu. Case 2 shows a counterexample, where the winding of the cloth around the post would thwart the command that the post actually be touched. Such conflicts cannot be ignored, particularly when the inference of a Vedic source is judged not possible: There is a doubt: is the smṛti, “The whole udumbara-​wood sacrifice post is to be wrapped,” accurate or not accurate? It is accurate, as was the case with the eighth day rites. Because “Let him sing, touching the udumbara-​wood post” is explicitly Vedic, and because there is contradiction (with entirely wrapping the post), there cannot be an inference that the Veda is this custom’s root. So it has no authority. Why is the inference not possible? Because in this case, it would be judged to contradict the direct and very clear injunction to touch the post (and not through a covering). The Elaboration says that the inference is made impossible due to incongruity in time—​the covering first, then the would-​be touching; this makes former text, on covering, tantamount to an unreliable source, hence lacking in authority. Case 3 shows that the lack of contradiction may be insufficient grounds for approval, since greed may be the reason for a novel practice. Perhaps the giving of the special cloth to the brāhmin after its use in a specific offering called “vaisarjana” is merely an invented custom that allows him to acquire the cloth. And so, an appeal to similarity with the first case is rejected: Is the tradition smṛti about “acquiring the oblation cloth related to the vaisarjana offerings” authoritative or not? Because śruti is not contradicted, it is authoritative, like the smṛti regarding the eighth day rites, etc. When there is the possibility of a root in obvious greed, there is no postulation of a śruti. So even if there is no contradiction, as there was with wrapping the post entirely, it is still not authoritative. But how does one judge that greed is a likely factor? Here Mādhava seems to be relying on tradition: this case was always taken to recognize the fact of greed, and he seems content to admit this possibility rather than to define more sharply the reasons for it. There is no grander speculation here, of course, about why there are such differences, or any essential judgments about persons who are insiders and outsiders, with aspersions cast on the (defective) language of the latter. The themes and topics do not pertain to the interlocking values of the right means of reading texts, the explicit and inferred meanings, the meanings of sentences and of contexts, but rather due to judgments essentially about what noble people (ārya, vedic) remember and recognize,

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and what does not conflict with their remembering and regarding which they therefore have no motive for exclusion. But the claims in this regard are simply posited; there is no way to check them from a neutral vantage point. Nor does Mādhava give the impression that this kind of argumentation—​reading customs—​is starkly different from reading core texts. We read, in measure, in detail, and without undue extension. In this too, Mādhava is fair to his tradition, which lives by rules but does not sort out those rules according to whether they are textual, social, natural, etc. I draw our second example from the middle of III.4. Here several issues of ethical import, as it were, suddenly arise: the prohibition of lying, the religious governance of yawning, the prohibition of insulting a brāhmin, and the prohibition of speaking to a woman in her period. The prior three cases in III.4 had clearly focused on ritual details: first case (1–​9): whether the nivīta positioning (“around the neck”) of the thread enjoins something new, or simply commends a practice already known; second case (10): whether a mention of facing west is an injunction or a commendation; and third case (11): the point and location of three additionally cited texts, questions that are to be resolved by following the logic of the first case. Three of the next four cases—​ sūtras 12–​ 13, 17, 18–​ 19—​ seem promising with respect to their ethical content, while the intervening sūtras, 14–​16, introduce a ritual dilemma of narrower applicability that, nonetheless, still indicates the general tension between ritual-​specific and wider applicability. First, in case 4 (12–​13) we are confronted with the problem of lying, as a fact of life to be considered in the context of ritual performance, or more broadly: Is “Let him not speak untruth” an enjoined character of the man as such, or is it a reference that pertains to the man just in the sacrificial context, or just a character that rather pertains to the sacrifice itself? Or is it an injunction regarding the sacrifice? If by speaking non-​truths there were benefit for the man, then so too their prohibition would benefit him. But here it is simply a reference to what is remembered, since the force of the explicit text and context pertains to both the man and the sacrifice. No. That the man should not speak untruth is not here dependent on the verb read by itself, but rather on the context of the sacrifice, just as with the fore-​ sacrifices (which are not significant out of context). The connection is therefore different from the rule that one must speak the truth. So this is an injunction pertaining just to the sacrifice (rather than to the man himself). Case 5 (14–​16) introduces the “yawning mantra,” asking in what circumstances this mantra is to be used: Does the rule about reciting a mantra after yawning indicate a character of the man as such, or rather of the sacrifice? The former, due to the clear statement. No, let it be the latter, since there is nothing to bar reading it in context. There is no reason for not reading the rule as specific to its ritual context, and so generalizations—​ anytime one yawns, one should recite this mantra—​ are unwarranted.

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In case 6 (17), we find a prohibition against reviling a brāhmin. Here too, at issue is the extent of the prohibition’s applicability, whether context-​specific or of universal import. The expectation is that this too, as in the preceding case, is context-​specific: Does “He should not impugn the brāhmin” pertain to the sacrifice or to the man? Because it is in proximity to the fruitful rite, it pertains to the sacrifice, as with the previous (yawning) mantra. But the reverse is true, because of a judgment about the mantra’s applicability to the brāhmin more universally: The fruitfulness of the prohibition is explained as the avoidance of revenge, and so the prohibition, because it pertains to the same man (inside and outside the sacrifice), can be abstracted from context (and read as universally applicable). The rule against telling untruths has its relevance in the sacrificial context; the requirement to recite the yawning mantra also pertains in that context. But the prohibition against reviling a brāhmin has universal application. Case 7 (18–​19) likewise considers what might be either a very narrow or a very broad prohibition against conversing with a woman during her menstrual period: “He should not speak to her while she is in soiled clothing” is like the preceding case, and thus pertains to the man (even outside the sacrificial context). Moreover, speaking with her was not a possibility anywhere in the sacrifice. We know from Śabara that all these cases are adjudicated through the interpretation of key texts, in accord with the weight apportioned to explicit and implicit claims, injunction, commendation, and reference; the arguments are couched in terms of reading and weighing competing statements. What Mādhava does is give us the “pure” arguments, stripped of supporting detail. Context-​specificity (fourth case), lack of reason to transgress context (fifth case), the fruitfulness of a wider generalization (sixth case), and a commonsense removal of a prohibition to a context where the prohibited action is possible (seventh case) are specific arguments presented as persuasive in context. All are handled dispassionately, in terms of a careful reading of the texts and a view of the reasons for broader or narrower constraints. Nothing in the argument appeals to universal standards of right and wrong, any recognition of the equality of all persons, or the universality of truth-​ telling or lie-​ avoidance. Hygiene, for example, is not considered with respect to yawning, and the relative good and harm of isolating women during their menstrual period are not weighed. Nor is there any evidence of a recognition that some of the cases are more important than others: an expiatory mantra connected with yawning stands quite equally alongside cases that attract our attention, pertaining to lying, and the treatment of brāhmins and of women. All these cases stand together, none highlighted as more important than any other. Finally, all the cases have pedagogical force, offering instruction as to when strictures can be generalized or not; knowing by practice the rules regarding generalization is

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what matters for the intended learned reader of the Garland, not anything essential about human beings. Nor do we have here any open-​ended reflection on what is to be done. Ethical universals are not at stake. However much we may expect a direct path to rules and values pertaining to the human person as such—​particularly regarding truth-​ telling and not-​lying, respect for brāhmins, and the barring of conversation with women (already barred from the ritual site) during their period—​there is no evident weighting of such issues as more important, and no neat sorting out of ritual details from ethical issues. Given that the texts and actions are already in act, so to speak, all this is a matter of identifying the best reason or reasons for what is largely settled practice. Decisions relate to location in the text and in the socio-​ritual context; different factors come into play depending on whether the sacrifice, or the man as a participant in the sacrifice, matters more. On this score, the Garland may be thought to advocate a Deontological, Moral Particularism. Accordingly, right action is defined by an outcome within a context, but the reason for choosing the right action is procedural and not an outcome. Specifically, the reasons resemble what the Moral Particularist Jonathan Dancy calls “the holism of reasons”—​the idea that what counts as a reason for choice is context sensitive (2004). Our third example comes from the Sixth Adhyāya, where adhikāra (henceforth, “fitness”) is discussed from various angles. VI.1 focuses on more or less restrictive rules regarding the fitness of kinds of humans for ritual performance. The study of this illuminating series of problems facilitates insight into the Mīmāṃsā view of human nature. As did III.4, the Garland’s analysis reemphasizes the limited, refined perspective that Mīmāṃsā intellectuals take when considering the human role in ritual. VI.1 begins with the broad claim that there is fitness for all, due to the desire for the happiness—​for a universally attractive enjoyment—​that “heaven” is stipulated to indicate: Does everyone have fitness for sacrifice, or not? No, because the word is explicit; it is evident from the verb that there is an obligation to act. This rules out enjoyment of results (as a factor, and thus the notion of fitness for all). By the stronger explicit injunction, the process (of fulfilling the obligation) comes second. Here, what is to be brought about is heaven (the state of happiness desired by all). Because it is for the human person’s sake, it is connected to that person as performer. So there is (fitness for all). The guiding principle enunciated here is that heaven marks the finality of sacrifice, the satisfaction of human desire by the attainment of that happiness. In principle, this opens the possibility of sacrificing to all sentient beings, such as are capable of actions leading to their happiness; the rest of the chapter is a series of restrictions and exceptions regarding that fitness. In the Sūtras and thus too in all the commentaries right up to the time of the Garland, reflection on these cases moves back and forth across calculations of property, (dis)ability, caste, and gender. If we take the order of the Sūtras seriously, what is not directly at stake is any general discussion of the treatment

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of women, or the morality of caste exclusions, etc. Rather, we are asked to identify the minimal adequate that supports the status quo; understand the deeper harmony that explains the general rule and also exceptions to it, without letting the latter entirely derail the former; experiment with the chemistry of fitness, comprised of word and person and material, tempered by attention to the desire for happiness, and qualified with respect to the ability to learn, overcome obstacles, etc. Let us just consider two of the cases, disabilities and the status of śūdras (members of the fourth class). Disabilities pose the first restriction on the general proposition that all beings desiring happiness are qualified to sacrifice. Those who are temporarily or permanently incapable of doing certain ritual acts are barred. Thus in case 2, the blind are excluded because they cannot perform certain required actions: Do the blind and others like them have fitness or not? Because they too desire heaven, they do. In accord with the mention of the primary sacrifice, let him do the subsidiary rites insofar as he is able. The injunction to “gaze upon the melted butter,” etc. does not pertain merely to the human person, since as such it is an injunction regarding the rite. Therefore, there is no eligibility for the one unable (to perform details necessary to the rite). Jaimini does not treat the questions in neatly separate categories—​ disabilities, gender, caste, one at a time—​but shifts back and forth.4 For the sake of this focused study, let us stay with the theme of disability by skipping ahead to the eighth to eleventh cases, wherein compensations can be made for some disabilities. In case 8, a poor man, otherwise qualified, can conceivably acquire sufficient wealth, so as to be able again to perform: Can only a person of wealth be a performer, or others (too)? Only a person of wealth, since thus the injunctions have meaning. Others have eligibility for the sacrifice, so let them acquire wealth, just as they acquire food. As for bodily wholeness, the lack of a limb (unlike blindness, presumed to be irremediable) can be compensated for, perhaps with the assistance of others, as case 9 shows: Can one lacking a limb not perform, or can he perform? No, because of inability. Having remedied the lack of a limb, he can act, just as does the one who lacked wealth. In case 10, the decision is that even if he cannot entirely remedy his disability, he can at least do the primary actions: If the lack cannot be remedied, what then? He cannot be a doer of optional rites, but if his altar has already been installed, he can be a doer of the obligatory rites. In this way he acts as far as he has capacity. The reasons given in th