Home > Journals > SCIREA Journal of Sociology > Archive > Paper Information

The Great Earth Sangha: A Non-Anthropocentric Moral Imagination

Volume 6, Issue 6, December 2022    |    PP. 418-433    |PDF (263 K)|    Pub. Date: December 11, 2022
DOI: 10.54647/sociology84919    14 Downloads     486 Views  

Joseph Daniel Markowski Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States

This article explores the ways in which Zen master Dōgen’s writings on Zen practice, in dialogue with Friedrich Nietzsche and Gary Snyder, can help assist, as Jason Wirth suggests, the cultivation of a non-anthropocentric moral imagination so as to address and mitigate environmental problems that are directly tied to anthropocentric value commitments. To set the stage for this inquiry, I proceed by following the lead of John Nolt, who attempts to refute anthropocentrism by appealing to arguments against ethical egoism, specifically the good Samaritan argument. By highlighting the limitations of this “truth-seeking” argument, I propose that a “way-seeking” moral imagination, specifically Dōgen’s, is more fruitful for bringing about a cultural shift towards a more non-anthropocentric way-of-life. In doing such, I show how Dōgen’s Zen, in dialogue with Nietzsche and Snyder, contributes to the non-anthropocentric perspective of ecocentrism, vis-à-vis a non-dual conception of ‘wildness’.

Dogen, Zen, Anthropocentrsim, Nietzsche, Gary Snyder, Ecocentrism, Deep Ecology, Ethics

Cite this paper
Joseph Daniel Markowski Ph.D., The Great Earth Sangha: A Non-Anthropocentric Moral Imagination, SCIREA Journal of Sociology. Vol. 6 , No. 6 , 2022 , pp. 418 - 433 . https://doi.org/10.54647/sociology84919


[ 1 ] Braak, André van der. Nietzsche and Zen: Self-Overcoming Without a Self. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2011.
[ 2 ] Davis, Bret. “The Enlightening Practice of Nonthinking: Unfolding Dōgen’s Fukuanzazengi.” In Engaging Dōgen’s Zen: The Philosophy of Practice As Awakening, edited by Tetsuzen Jason M. Wirth, Shūdō Brian Schroeder, and Kanpū Bret Davis, 199-224. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2016.
[ 3 ] Dewey, John. Outlines of a Critical Theory of Ethics. New York: Greenwood Press, 1969.
[ 4 ] Dōgen. Shōbōgenzō. Translated by Gudo Wafu Nishijima and Chodo Cross. London: Windbell Publications Ltd., 1994.
[ 5 ] Kasulis, Thomas P. Zen Action/Zen Person. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1981.
[ 6 ] Murdy, William H. “Anthropocentrism: A Modern Version,” In Environmental Ethics: Divergence and Convergence, 3rd edition, edited by Susan J. Armstrong and Richard G. Botzler, 280-287. New York: McGraww Hill, 2004.
[ 7 ] Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book For All and None. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. In The Portable Nietzsche, edited by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Viking Penguin Inc, 1954.
[ 8 ] _________________. The Joyous Science. Translated by R. Kevin Hill. London: Penguin Books, 2018.
[ 9 ] _________________. The Will To Power. Translated by Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. New York: Vintage Books, 1968.
[ 10 ] Nolt, John. “Anthropocentrism and Egoism,” Environmental Values 22 (2013) 441-459.
[ 11 ] Norton, Bryan. “Environmental Ethics and Weak Anthropocentrism,” Environmental Ethics 6(2) (1984) 131-148; reprinted in Light A. and H. Rolston (eds). Environmental Ethics: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.
[ 12 ] Parkes, Graham. “Dōgen’s ‘Mountains and Waters as Sūtras’ (Sansui-kyō).” In Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, edited by William Edelglass and Jay L. Garfield, 83-92. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
[ 13 ] White, Lynn. “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis.” In Reflecting On Nature: Readings in Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, 2nd edition, edited by Lori Gruen, Dale jamieson and Christopher Schlottman, 4-11. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
[ 14 ] Snyder, Gary. Mountains and Rivers without End. Washington, DD: Counterpoint, 1996.
[ 15 ] ___________. “Mountains Hidden in Mountains: Dōgen-zenji and the Mind of Ecology.” In: Dōgen Zen and Its Relevvance for Our Time. Edited by Shōhaku OKUMURA. San Francisco: Sōtō Zen Buddhism International Center, 2003, 159-172.
[ 16 ] ___________. The Practice of the Wild (1990). Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2010.
[ 17 ] Wirth, Jason M. Mountains, Rivers, And The Great Earth: Reading Gary Snyder and Dōgen In An Age of Ecological Crisis. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2017.
[ 18 ] _____________. Nietzsche and Other Buddhas: Philosophy after Comparative Philosophy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019.

Submit A Manuscript
Review Manuscripts
Join As An Editorial Member
Most Views
by Sergey M. Afonin
3057 Downloads 63184 Views
by Jian-Qiang Wang, Chen-Xi Wang, Jian-Guo Wang, HRSCNP Research Team
15 Downloads 52800 Views
by Syed Adil Hussain, Taha Hasan Associate Professor
2418 Downloads 25464 Views
by Omprakash Sikhwal, Yashwant Vyas
2486 Downloads 21375 Views
by Munmun Nath, Bijan Nath, Santanu Roy
2364 Downloads 20995 Views
Upcoming Conferences