Abstract: Barbra Clayton and Charles Goodman have recently proposed interpretations of Mahāyāna philosophy that take its fundamental ethical commitments to be consequentialist. There are aspects of the bodhisattva ideal, however, that result in a distinctive constraint on what might otherwise amount to a commitment to consequentialist maximization. Though the doctrinal provenance of this constraint is unique, the constraint itself is in some ways akin to a feature of Kant's ideal of the kingdom of ends. This does not make Mahāyāna ethics proto-Kantian, but it does suggest that its complexity does not rule out an analysis in terms of familiar consequentialist and non-consequentialist theoretical elements.
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: May 9, 2013