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    96 Downloads     2189 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. Volume 6, Issue 6, December 2022 | PP. 418-433. 10.54647/sociology84919


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