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Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 483–495 | Cite as

Is the Ethics of Taittirīya Upaniṣad Deontological?

  • C. D. SebastianEmail author
Article
  • 82 Downloads

Abstract

The Upaniṣads do deal with moral problems, and one could find a systematic ethical stance in them, though the Upaniṣads are, for the most part, concerned with metaphysics where the Ultimate Reality is explored and mediated upon. For an Upaniṣadic seeker, metaphysics and ethics are inseparable. The present study makes an attempt to examine the ethical stance of the Taittirīya Upaniṣad and see whether it falls in the framework of any ethical theory. This study examines the Taittirīya Upaniṣad’s ethical ideas focussing on the eleventh chapter of the Śikṣā-vallī (first section). The first part of the paper is an unearthing the moral precepts found in the Taittirīya Upaniṣad, whereas the second part explores whether the ethic of the Taittirīya Upaniṣad is deontological. The study concludes with a submission. In this paper, the attempt is to position the moral precepts enunciated in the Taittirīya Upaniṣad in an ethical theory framework in the light of comparative philosophy. I argue that the moral precepts enunciated in the Taittirīya Upaniṣad, though seemingly deontological, are for the maintenance of the social order, unlike in Kant’s ends in themselves; and the ethics of the Taittirīya Upaniṣad has overwhelming elements of consequentialism and virtue ethics.

Keywords

Taittirīya Upaniṣad Ethics Deontology Consequentialism Virtue ethics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the two unknown reviewers for their comments and suggestions on the first draft of the paper. The present version is the revised and modified one in the light of their critical comments and observations.

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Copyright information

© ICPR 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy Group, Department of Humanities and Social SciencesIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

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