Varnadharma, Niskama Karma and Practical Morality — A Critical Essay on Applied Ethics
This book provides a bold, original and ciritical analysis of some basic concepts of Indian ethics, lifting them up from their regional roots to a general philosophical level, along with illuminatingly creative analysis of some practical issues of moral living. Professor Prasad shows, on logical grounds that a varnadharma cannot be both natural and obligatory, the prescription of acting desirelessly makes any desireless action justified, acting desirelessly itself cannot be a duty, the concept of jivanmukti is inapplicable, etc. In respect of ethical practice, he argues, with fair amount of rigour and originality, for moral anger and forgiveness as a conditional virtue, basing secularism on the primacy of the ethical, and preferring a morally good professional to one who is good as a professional or as a person. His plea for legitimacy of profit in business and non-hyperactivism in applying ethics throws useful light on business ethics. His down-to-the-earth approach makes the book a work on applied ethics and his conceptual openness makes it one on the basics. Its simple style makes it useful not only for students and teachers of philosophy but also for general readers with interest in Indian philosophy and culture.
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