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The Virtue of Nonviolence
From Gautama to Gandhi
The Virtue of Nonviolence
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Nicholas F. Gier - Author
SUNY series in Constructive Postmodern Thought
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 240 pages
Release Date: December 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5949-7
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5949-2

Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 240 pages
Release Date: November 2005
ISBN10: 0-7914-5950-0
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5950-8


Summary Read First Chapter image missing

A study in comparative virtue ethics.

Virtue ethics has been a major focus in contemporary moral philosophy since the publication of Alasdair MacIntyre's book After Virtue. Here, in The Virtue of Nonviolence, Nicholas F. Gier argues that virtue ethics is the best option for constructive postmodern philosophy and that Gandhi's own thought is best viewed in light of this tradition. He supports this position by formulating Gandhi's ethics of nonviolence as a virtue ethics, giving a Buddhist interpretation of Gandhi's philosophy, and presenting Gandhi as a constructive postmodern thinker. Also included is an assessment of the saints of nonviolence—Buddha, Christ, King, and Gandhi—and a charismatic theory of the nature of the saints.

"Gier advances a strong case for moral and political nonperfectionism by giving a close, careful, and informed reading of Aristotle, Confucius, Buddha, and Gandhi. Stimulating and well-argued, this book offers a convincing argument that stretches conventional ideas and labels." — Ronald J. Terchek, author of Gandhi: Struggling for Autonomy

Nicholas F. Gier is Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator of Religious Studies at the University of Idaho. He is the author of God, Reason, and the Evangelicals, and the SUNY Press publications Wittgenstein and Phenomenology: A Comparative Study of the Later Wittgenstein, Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty and Spiritual Titanism: Indian, Chinese, and Western Perspectives.

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Table of Contents


Series Introduction


1. Gandhi as a Postmodern Thinker

Gandhi as Premodernist
The Modernist Gandhi
Two Forms of Postmodernism
A Postmodern Gandhi

2. Nonviolence in Jainism and Hinduism

Absolute Nonviolence in Jainism
Gandhi and Jainism
Relative Nonviolence in Hinduism
Gandhi's View of the Bhagavad-gita

3. Vedanta, Atman, and Gandhi

Bhikhu Parekh's Advaitin Gandhi
Ramashray Roy's Nondual Gandhi
Metaphors of Self and World

4. The Buddha and Pragmatic Nonviolence

Nonviolence in Buddhism
Gandhi's Misconceptions about Buddhism
Gandhi, Self-Suffering, and the Buddha
The Mahatma and the Bodhisattva
The Buddhist Self as Functional
Gandhian and Buddhist Humanism

5. Experiments with Truth

Aristotle on Practical Reason
Yi and Phronesis
Dharma and the Middle Way
The Eight-Fold Path
Experiments with Truth

6. The Aesthetics of Virtue

A Confucian Critique of Greco-Roman Ethics
Rational versus Aesthetic Order
A Confucian Aesthetics of Virtue
A Fusion of Making and Doing

7. Gandhi, Confucius, and Virtue Aesthetics

Confucius versus Gandhi
Instructive Similarities
A Gandhian Aesthetics of Virtue

8. Rules, Vows, and Virtues

Rules and Virtues
Virtue and Virility
Vows and Virtues
Gandhi's Vows
Gandhi's Virtues

9. The Virtue of Nonviolence

Character Consequentialism
The Means–Ends Relation
Is Nonviolence a Virtue at All?
Is Nonviolence an Enabling Virtue?
The Virtues, Pleasure, and Moral Freedom
Happiness, Joy, and Pleasure

10. The Saints of Nonviolence: Buddha, Christ, Gandhi, King

Saintly Gentleness and Tough Love
Utility, Duty, or Infused Charity?
The Charismatic Saint
Mahatma, Megalopsychia, and the Flawed Saint
Buddha, Christ, and Duress Virtue


Glossary of Foreign Terms

Selected Bibliography

Note on Supporting Center


SUNY Series in Constructive Postmodern Thought

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