Abstract: Ethics is central to Philosophy. Upani#x1E63;adic and early Buddhist thought took values seriously. More recent Indian philosophical practice, this author argued with Daya Krishna, abandons this focus, and fails to engage moral questions with the same creativity, falling either into a repetition of utlitiarianism or into a purely religious understanding of ethics. Krishna objected strenuously to the idea of ethics as an imposition of order on human life, seeing ethics rather as an enrichment and freeing of human life from constraint. In this essay, it is argued that ethical models are anchored in beliefs about the nature of time. Drawing on ideas from the mathematical foundations of physics and evolutionary biology, an ethic of spontaneity based on the principle of harmony is proposed — an ethic that is neither utilitarian nor religious in the usual sense. Taking seriously Krishna’s objections to the use of the word “order,” the present essay instead defends a notion of ethics as instituting a kind of “harmony,” a metaphor borrowed from Western music theory, to explain the underlying physics of time.
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 23, 2013
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