Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This WEH/Ethox seminar will be held by video conference through Bluejeans. Please email admin@ethox.ox.ac.uk for the link to the meeting.

ABSTRACT

Over the past 40 years, mindfulness‐based therapies (MBTs) have gained a reputation among the biomedical community for their ability to contribute to health, mental capital, and human flourishing. Recently, however, various mindfulness scholars and practitioners have begun to criticize MBTs on account of their lack of moral depth. MBTs, they argue, historically stem from Buddhist meditation techniques. As such they ought to be embedded, they say, within a moral framework aimed at a general transformation of the ethical subject, especially as that is enabled by the internalisation of the Dharma. In "secularizing" meditation for biomedical settings, however, the worry for many is that mindfulness is being stripped of much of this traditional ethical value, leading to an impoverished practice in terms of moral development as well as mental health. In this paper, I take up this issue of the perceived “de‐ethicization” of mindfulness. Rather than locate it in the recent history of MBTs, as many mindfulness scholars do, I instead situate it in a longer history of virtue ethics in the West, and in a process I call, borrowing a term from the anthropologist Christopher Hann, "ethical dispossession." This is not just the dispossession of Buddhist virtue ethics, as will be seen, but of the conditions of virtue ethical thinking generally, and of the specific virtue of practical wisdom. MBTs are thus, I argue, the most recent iteration of that transformation.

Forthcoming events

The Neonatology Canon Project: Examining the Research Endeavor Through Comprehensive Aggregation of Randomized Aggregation of Randomized Trials

Tuesday, 21 May 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ Richard Doll Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF

Opium as a carcinogen: new insights from the Golestan Cohort Study

Tuesday, 28 May 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ Richard Doll Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF

Exploiting electronic health records to improve infection management

Monday, 03 June 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI/OxPop Building LG seminar rooms

Title TBC

Tuesday, 04 June 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ Richard Doll Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF

Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease Progression

Tuesday, 11 June 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ Richard Doll Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF