Buddhist Ethics: A Philosophical Exploration

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2022.07.05 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Jay L. Garfield, Buddhist Ethics: A Philosophical Exploration, Oxford University Press, 2022, 231pp., $24.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780190907648.

Reviewed by Richard P. Hayes, The University of New Mexico

This book is a contribution to the series “Buddhist Philosophy for Philosophers,” which so far also has a monograph on Buddhist epistemology and one on Buddhist metaphysics. As with the other books in the series, Jay Garfield’s book is written primarily for philosophers who are open to exploring Buddhist approaches to ethics rather than for philologists or historians of Buddhist thought, although scholars in Buddhist studies also stand to benefit from reflecting on Garfield’s presentation.

As the author makes clear from the outset, Buddhists have not until recently written much that could be considered metaethical in nature. Ethicists accustomed to detailed discussions of metaethics might therefore be inclined at first to conclude that the Buddhist tradition has little of interest to…

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