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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 16, 2018

Indian Philosophies

Sharmila Virkar
Pages 259-263

Gita-Ethics as Virtue Ethics

As pointed out by Sidgwick, in his Methods of Ethics (I-9), the nature of moral value assumes two fundamentally different forms. These two views of morality are historically distinct. The priority of the Good was central to Greek ethics whereas modern ethics emphasized the Right rather than the Good. Corresponding to these two perspectives, we find in Western Ethics, Virtue Ethics and Duty Ethics are construed as opposed to each other and Gita Ethics is conventionally believed to be Duty Ethics expounding gospel of Duty. In my opinion, a fresh look is required rather than adopting the traditional one. Gita-Ethics can be construed on the lines of not only Duty Ethics but also Virtue Ethics. Bhagavadgita is known for its spirit of reconciliation: Action (Karma), Knowledge (Jnana), and Devotion (Bhakti); Renunciation (Nivrutti) and Activism (Pravrutti); Individual good (Moksa) and Social good (Lokasamgraha). So the paper attempts to show that the Gita Ethics can be depicted as virtue ethics.