I now finish my present reply to Evan Thompson’s response. Let us return to Thompson’s general critique of Buddhist modernism. He doesn’t “reject using Buddhist ideas in the project of ameliorating suffering and promoting human flourishing.” On that, it seems, Continue reading Eudaimonist Buddhist modernism and the norm of authenticity
In the previous three posts I aimed to show, contra Evan Thompson’s response, that the philosophical core of the karma doctrine does not have to do with explaining why bad things happen to good people, but rather with how good Continue reading Naturalizing Buddhism and other traditions
I showed in my previous two posts how the core of Buddhist karma doctrine is not a response to the question “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, but rather an articulation of the idea that good actions improve Continue reading Bad things, good people, and eudaimonism
Continuing my reply to Evan Thompson, I will focus next on karma, because the reinterpretation of karma is central to my own eudaimonist Buddhism, and therefore it forms a focal point in Thompson’s critique. Karma is Thompson’s example of how Continue reading Is karma about why bad things happen to good people?
At the start of my replies to Evan Thompson’s response, I noted that there are two core ways in which my eudaimonist Buddhist modernism differs from a great deal of premodern Buddhist tradition. I will first address the one that Continue reading On being Buddhist and distinctively Buddhist
I think I’ve shown that the kammatic-nibbanic distinction should matter to the historian, textual scholar, or anthropologist trying to figure out what Buddhism has meant in other times and places. Contra Damien Keown, it is a helpful ideal type to Continue reading Naturalized kammatic Buddhism
How helpful is Melford Spiro’s kammatic/nibbanic distinction in describing Buddhism? It can be tempting to line it up too closely with other dichotomies – to say that kammatic Buddhism is practised by householders and nibbanic Buddhism by monks, for example. Damien Continue reading Does the kammatic/nibbanic distinction fit the facts?
Last winter my wife and I made a wonderful trip to Sri Lanka. Before I say anything about the trip’s philosophical implications, I just want to note that you should go there if you have the money and time to Continue reading Kammatic and nibbanic Buddhism
Weterners who have studied Buddhist philosophy and ethics, even when we have done so at length, are often thrown for a loop when we read the Mahāvaṃsa. This text – one of the most historically oriented texts in premodern South Continue reading A Buddhism very different than the one we think we know
Damien Keown’s The Nature of Buddhist Ethics closes by arguing for parallels between Buddhist and Aristotelian ethics. He claims that “there are many formal parallels between the ideal of human perfection conceived by the Buddha and that envisaged by Aristotle” Continue reading Aristotelian vs. Buddhist eudaimonia