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Consequences of CompassionAn Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics$
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Charles Goodman

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195375190

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195375190.001.0001

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Objections and Replies

Objections and Replies

Chapter:
(p.183) 10 Objections and Replies
Source:
Consequences of Compassion
Author(s):

Charles Goodman (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195375190.003.0011

This chapter considers and replies to various objections that could be raised against character consequentialism, both as an interpretation of Buddhist ethics and as a view in its own right. Keown’s objections against a utilitarian interpretation of Buddhism are entirely unsuccessful. However, consideration of the importance of intention in Buddhist ethics shows us that we must offer an interpretation that appeals to subjective consequentialism, also known as expected-value consequentialism. The objection from explanatory priority, while important, is insufficiently textually grounded. Character consequentialism can handle the Colosseum case which makes trouble for classical utilitarianism, and it survives objections found in the writings of Dworkin and Hooker. To respond to Sidgwick’s objection against the intrinsic value of virtue, Buddhists must specify what all virtues have in common; they can do this by characterizing the virtues as the morally relevant qualities that all Buddhas share.

Keywords:   Keown, Dworkin, Sidgwick, intrinsic value, character consequentialism, virtue, Colosseum, subjective consequentialism, expected-value consequentialism

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