Madhyamaka Ethics

Finnigan, B. (2018) 'Madhyamaka Ethics', in The Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics, edited by Daniel Cozort and James Mark Shields, Oxford, pp.162-183

There are two main loci of contemporary debate about the nature of Madhyamaka ethics. The first investigates the general issue of whether the Madhyamaka philosophy of empti ness (śūnyavāda) is consistent with a commitment to systematic ethical distinctions. The second queries whether the metaphysical analysis of no-self presented by Śāntideva in his Bodhicaryāvatāra entails the impartial benevolence of a bodhisattva. This chapter critical ly examines these debates and demonstrates the ways in which they are shaped by com peting understandings of Madhyamaka conventional truth or reality (saṃvṛtisatya) and the forms of reasoning admissible for differentiating conventional truth from falsity and good from bad.