Ethics, Applied Ethics and Indian Theories of Morals

  • P. K. Mohapatra


The proposed book, being a study on Indian ethics from an applied ethical point of view, calls for a second question, namely, why and how ethics should be applied in life. This question is asked within ethics and presupposes the ethical point of view and hence can be answered by appealing to the nature and spirit of ethics. The problem addressed to is that ethical theories are exalted principles of morals meant for guiding practical life, yet more often than not, many such theories seem to be inapplicable or difficult to apply. This chapter attempts to explore the source of this seeming paradox and offers some methodological hints for effective application of ethics to practical life. It is argued that ethics can be applied effectively (1) by striking a reasoned balance between the spirit of the ethical principles concerned and the demands of the situation and to that purpose (2) by taking a liberal view of ethics as opposed to the literal, absolutistic view espoused in tradition. In course of this argument, the need for justified violation is pleaded with supporting illustrations from prominent Indian texts. We offer the argument from defeasibility (of particular moral theories under adequately demanding situations) and justified violation in support of applied ethics.


Question within ethics Spirit of ethics Justified violation Defeasibility Applied ethics apad dharma swadharma samanya dharma swadharma as swabhavaja 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. K. Mohapatra
    • 1
  1. 1.Former Professor of PhilosophyUtkal UniversityBhubaneswarIndia

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