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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Global pressures on human–environment systems are higher than ever before in human history, generating broad ethical engagement in many quarters. Citizen calls for moral response from world religious and political leaders have grown more urgent as pressures mount. Buddhist philosophy contains a wealth of insight and moral guidance regarding human–environment relations, offering a promising avenue for ethical response. This chapter reviews work to date in Buddhist environmental ethics, noting influences from and on Western ethics and areas of tension in current thinking. Arguments are made for complementary development of both individual virtue ethics and constructivist social ethics. Moral dimensions of consumerism and climate change are examined as case studies, drawing on Buddhist values such as non-harming, compassion, meditative awareness, and skilful means.

Keywords: Buddhist environmental ethics, non-harming, compassion, skilful means, meditative awareness

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