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Volkova V. A. Buddhist ethics in the context of western normative ethical theories: Deontology. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Philosophy. Psychology. Pedagogy, 2023, vol. 23, iss. 1, pp. 4-8. DOI:

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Buddhist ethics in the context of western normative ethical theories: Deontology

Introduction. Сomparative studies conducted within the young discipline of Buddhist ethics have taken shape around the controversy between those researchers who see the consequentialist character of moral motivation in it and those who defend the similarity between Buddhist ethics and virtue ethics. Despite the fact that such major scholars as Damien Keown or Charles Goodman do not attach much importance to deontological features in Buddhist ethics, there is a small camp of researchers who defend the similarity between Buddhist teaching and deontology. Theoretical analysis. The purpose of this article is to critically examine the grounds on which it is possible to build a defense of comparing the ethics of Buddhism with Kant’s deontology. This analysis should answer the question why the deontological interpretation of Buddhist ethics currently has the least number of supporters. Conclusion. The conclusion is that Buddhist ethics proceeds from other metaphysical premises than Kant’s ethics, and by its nature does not accept the absolutization of moral rules, which is why it is problematic to consider it as a kind of deontological ethical theory. Nevertheless, such comparative studies contribute to a better understanding of both Buddhist teaching and, possibly, Kant’s ethical theory.

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