In Rick Repetti (ed.), Buddhist Perspectives on Free Will. New York: Routledge. pp. 92-105 (2016)

Christian Coseru
College of Charleston
This paper argues that influential Mahāyāna ethicists, such as Śāntideva, who allow for moral rules to be proscribed under the expediency of a compassionate aim, seriously compromise the very notion of moral responsibility. The central thesis is that moral responsibility is intelligible only in relation to conceptions of freedom and human dignity that reflect a participation in, and sharing of, interpersonal relationships. The central thesis of the paper is that revisionary strategies, which seek to explain agency in event-causal terms, set the stage for moral epiphenomenalism. On the view I defend here, an effective compatibilist solution to the problem of reconciling freedom of the will and determinism depends on expanding, rather than eliminating, the complex register of factors that underpin the experiential aspects of our moral life.
Keywords moral agency  freedom  causation  Buddhist ethics  moral psychology  moral phenomenology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Buddhist Meditation and the Possibility of Freedom.Rick Repetti - 2016 - Science, Religion and Culture 2 (2):81-98.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Towards a Theory of Moral Responsibility.Randall Rex Curren - 1985 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Causal Proportions and Moral Responsibility.Sara Bernstein - 2017 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Volume 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 165-182.
Causation and Responsibility.Carolina Sartorio - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (5):749–765.
Abilities. [REVIEW]Randolph Clarke - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2):451-458.
Moral Enhancement, Self-Governance, and Resistance.Pei-Hua Huang - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):547-567.


Added to PP index

Total views
183 ( #59,763 of 2,461,403 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
65 ( #12,193 of 2,461,403 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes