Historisk-filosofiska fakulteten

Amber Carpenter: "The Ethics of Atomism: Democritus and Vasubandhu"

  • Datum: 2017-11-29 kl 19:00 21:00
  • Plats: Engelska parken - Eng2-1077
  • Arrangör: Filosofiska föreningen i Uppsala
  • Kontaktperson: Sebastian Lutz
  • Föreläsning

Filosofiska föreningen i Uppsala

Amber Carpenter, Yale-NUS/University of York: "The Ethics of Atomism: Democritus and Vasubandhu"


Abstract
Democritus’ atomism aims to respond to threats of Parmenidean monism. In so doing, it deploys a common epistemological distinction between what is known by the senses and what is known by the mind. This turns out to be a risky strategy, however, leading to inadvertent skepticism with only diffuse and contrary ethical implications.

Vasubandhu’s more metaphysical atomism, by contrast, relies on a different principle to get to its results, and aims to address different concerns. It leaves us with a view that positively implies a concrete mode of practical engagement, and resources for a critical stance. Even if certain atoms end up proven incoherent, there is no danger of slipping into the morally fatal indifference of inadvertent skepticism.