Unwholesomeness of Actions in Theravāda

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 2 1995

Criteria for Judging the Unwholesomeness of Actions in the Texts of Theravāda Buddhism

Peter Harvey
University of Sunderland

After briefly reviewing the role of ethics on the path in Theravāda texts, the article moves on to discuss the various criteria for distinguishing between wholesome and unwholesome actions. It then explores the gradation of unwholesomeness of actions according to several variables, and then applies this to wholesome actions, here highlighting the importance of right view. Finally, the question of the relation between precept-taking and the moral worth of actions is assessed.

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