nl en

Indian Buddhist Accounts of Virtue and Well-Being


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including Language of Thought, and Concepts of Selfhood.

  • BA students in Filosofie, who have successfully completed their first year, and also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including Comparative Philosophy, and Philosophy of Mind.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


This course studies Indian Buddhist conceptions of virtue, with attention to the relationship between virtue and happiness/well-being. Buddhist authors and textual traditions to be studied include the Pali canon, Buddhaghosa, Śāntideva, Asaṅga and Vasubandhu. In addition to secondary sources by scholars of Buddhist ethics, we will also read contemporary philosophical scholarship on virtue, well-being and emotion as a way of considering whether and to what extent Buddhist insights are relevant to contemporary interests, and whether and to what extent contemporary categories and conversations can help us understand the insights of Indian Buddhist authors.

Course objectives

This course aims to introduce students to Indian Buddhist accounts of virtue and well-being.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • give students a strong introductory understanding of Indian Buddhist approaches to virtue;

  • develop students ability to apply insights cross-culturally between Western and Indian Buddhist theorizing about virtue.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • explain orally and in writing basic Buddhist insights about virtue and well-being;

  • develop plausible cross-cultural connections between Buddhist and Western texts.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


Two papers and class participation


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests:

  • Midterm essay assignment: 40%

  • Final essay assignment: 40%

  • Participation (including a class presentation): 20%


The resit consists of one examination for all parts at once, consisting of a paper. The mark for the resit replaces all previously earned marks. Class participation and completion of practical assignments such as the oral presentation is a mandatory requirement for taking the resit.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

Exams inspections will be scheduled at the request of the student.

Reading list

Literature will be made available through Brightspace at the start of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. S.E. Harris


Not applicable.