Love: India’s Distinctive Moral Theory

In Adrienne M. Martin (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Love in Philosophy. New York: Routledge Handbooks in Philoso. pp. 371-381 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In addition to the familiar moral theories of Virtue Ethics, Consequentialism and Deontology, India presents us with one unique moral theory: it may be called “Yoga” (discipline, meditation) but also “Bhakti,” which is typically translated as “Devotion” but is also translated as “Love.” In this chapter, I focus on Bhakti, in its formal and informal manifestations in Indian philosophy. In order to understand how it is a distinct and basic option of moral theory, I will identify four basic options of moral theory by being explicit about my methodology in the study of philosophy. This allows us to appreciate how the Indian disagreements on moral theory contribute to a philosophical exploration of love. It will also help us appreciate how Yoga/Bhakti (Love) is a unique, basic theoretical option that treats love as the basic conception of morality. In providing such an account, Yoga/Bhakti elucidates the moral unity of a diverse range of concerns that we talk about with the English term “love,” including strong evaluation of things (“I love that song”), relationships of friendship, familial bonds, and the intimacy of sexual partners.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,127

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The magnetic power of love (Bhakti yoga). Premananda - 1953 - Boston,: Christopher Pub. House.
The Scope of Moral Philosophy (Ethics-1, M02).Shyam Ranganathan - 2016 - In A. Raghuramaraju (ed.), Philosophy, E-PG Pathshala. Dehli: India, Department of Higher Education (NMEICT).
Religion of love.Swami Vivekananda - 1942 - [Calcutta,: Udbodhan Office. Edited by Atmabodhananda.
How We Are Moral.Jenna Kreyche - 2011 - Stance 4 (1):27-38.
Aristotelian Love Counseling.Chun-yu Chen - 2007 - Philosophy and Culture 34 (12):137-152.
Learning to Love: Philosophy and Moral Progress.Philip Dean Smith - 1991 - Dissertation, University of Oregon
Love, Incorporated.Adrienne M. Martin - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):691-702.
Love as a contested concept.Richard Paul Hamilton - 2006 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 36 (3):239–254.


Added to PP


6 months

Historical graph of downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Shyam Ranganathan
York University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references