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Anger in Buddhist philosophy: In defence of Eliminativism

Chuosavasdi, Thippapan (2018) Anger in Buddhist philosophy: In defence of Eliminativism. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The thesis I hope to develop here aims to contribute to recent discussions in ethics on the merits of anger. In particular, it focuses on the debate between moderationists, who contend that anger is, in some way, good, and thus should be retained and utilised, and eliminativists, who contend that anger should be eliminated, i.e. that we should never allow it to arise. By the end of this thesis, I hope that I have shown that (despite its current popularity) the moderationist defence of anger is not without its difficulties. This should hopefully carve out a space for a contemporary defence of eliminativism. The eliminativist view I defend is essentially Buddhist, though it also draws upon Buddhist-inspired accounts in the Western philosophical literature. I advocate a pedagogical reading of the difficult (and perhaps seemingly unattractive) Buddhist metaphysics, that I suggest — when put into practice — might eventually lead to an openness to that metaphysical view. The consequence of both the practice and the metaphysical outlook is the elimination of anger. Far from being the loss of something beneficial or apt, I suggest that the elimination of anger is both beneficial and (from the metaphysical viewpoint) apt. I attempt to demonstrate this by applying the position I defend to the kind of case where moderationists are at their most persuasive — cases of social injustice. I hope to have at least shown that such a position can be a viable alternative to the moderationist suggestion that we harness anger for social change.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: anger, Buddhism, moral psychology
Academic Units: The University of York > Philosophy (York)
Depositing User: Ms Thippapan Chuosavasdi
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2019 13:42
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2019 13:42
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23727

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