Ethics and Soteriology

  • Damien Keown


The central claim of the transcendency thesis is that karma and nirvana are incompatible, antagonistic, and antithetical. The evidence adduced in support of this claim was reviewed in the last chapter and some fundamental problems were pointed out. The present chapter sets out to provide a more satisfactory account of the relationship between karma and nirvana which does no violence to the position of canonical Buddhism. We consider first of all (1) an alternative account of the Eightfold Path and its role as the medium between saṃsāra and nirvana. This is followed by (2) an attempt to define more precisely the meaning of the important ethical terms kamma, kusala, and puñña and the relationship between them.


Moral Status Moral Action Moral Sense Virtuous Action Moral Perfection 
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Copyright information

© Damien Keown 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damien Keown
    • 1
  1. 1.Goldsmiths’ CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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