Author Spotlight
Robert M. Ellis: Middle Way Philosophy books
Theme and Variations By Robert M. Ellis
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A furious woman with a dead baby haunts thinkers through the ages, from the Buddha and Jesus to Descartes, Hume and Jung. Her questions to them all are similar: Why am I suffering? Do I deserve this?... More > Why is it allowed? Why do women particularly have to suffer like this? Can the baby be brought back to life? The answers, however, vary greatly. A practising philosopher who is also an amateur musician, Robert M. Ellis here turns to fiction to explore death, suffering and gender relations. The 'theme' from a Buddhist story is developed in a variety of styles and formats, as in a musical theme and variations. "Theme and Variations shows off not only Robert Ellis's imagination and humour, but his impressively broad knowledge of western philosophy." Dr Dhivan Thomas Jones, novelist and philosopher< Less
North Cape: selected poems of a poet turned philosopher By Robert M. Ellis
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North Cape is the relic of a gradual change in one man's life, over a period of more than twenty years, from aspiring poet to philosopher. Robert M. Ellis is more intent today on developing a... More > philosophy of the Middle Way, but the roots of this philosophical drive are found in earlier creative work, much of it written as a Cambridge student or when on Buddhist retreats. The poems in this collection record varying experiences of travel, observation, emotional struggle and meditation. The influences include Buddhist iconography, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Renaissance art.< Less
Middle Way Philosophy 1: The Path of Objectivity By Robert M. Ellis
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Initially inspired by the Buddha's Middle Way, but working in Western Philosophy and related disciplines, Robert M. Ellis first developed Middle Way Philosophy in a Ph.D. thesis in 2001. This new... More > detailed account is the product of a further ten years of refinement of his approach, and concentrates on the philosophical core. It will be followed by further volumes focusing more on the psychological and practical implications of the philosophy. Middle Way Philosophy aims to clear the ground for practical progress. It challenges many entrenched assumptions, including those of analytic philosophy. It also offers a new account of objectivity, as an incremental quality that helps us to engage with all conditions in our experience. It insists on a consistent approach to both facts and values that avoids both absolute claims and relativism."An important, original work, that should get the widest possible hearing." Iain McGilchrist, author of The Master and his Emissary< Less
A Theory of Moral Objectivity By Robert M. Ellis
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This book was originally written as an accredited Ph.D. thesis - but one that broke all the usual rules. Rather than focusing on a small area like most theses, this is a inter-disciplinary... More > philosophical treatise that attempts to establish a new approach to the whole question of objectivity, especially in ethics. Inspired by the Buddhist Middle Way, but argued in Western terms from first premises, this book challenges widespread assumptions found in both analytic and continental traditions of philosophy. It seeks to establish a Middle Way between absolutism and relativism, using evidence from philosophy, psychology, religion and history. The author, Robert M. Ellis, is a philosopher and teacher, and was also a Buddhist practitioner for many years. However, he has now withdrawn from any commitment to the Buddhist tradition to concentrate on developing a universal Middle Way philosophy, promoted on his website, www.moralobjectivity.net.< Less
The Trouble With Buddhism: How the Buddhist Tradition Has Betrayed Its Own Insights By Robert M. Ellis
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This book is a critique of Buddhism by a philosopher with about 20 years' experience of practising Buddhism. It attempts to judge Buddhism by the standards of its own key insight of the Middle Way.... More > This book argues that Buddhism has often abandoned the Middle Way and allowed dogmatic metaphysical assumptions to take its place. The Buddha criticised appeals to metaphysics, yet many of the trappings of traditional Buddhism are built on it - whether these are karma and rebirth, the revelations of the enlightened and their scriptures, dependent origination, the interpretation of the Four Noble "Truths", alienated idealisations of love, or rituals that celebrate metaphysics rather than insight. This is not a purely negative book, but an attempt at a balanced appraisal of Buddhism with praise as well as criticism. In the West we have an opportunity to evaluate Buddhism anew and reform it so that it best applies its own insights. "Challenging but very rewarding" Dhivan Thomas Jones, Buddhist author and philosopher< Less
A New Buddhist Ethics By Robert M. Ellis
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'A New Buddhist Ethics' offers a different approach to tackling moral issues, using the Middle Way originally inspired by the Buddha. It aims to free Buddhist ethcs from karma, rebirth, and the... More > revelations of the enlightened. Robert M. Ellis has been developing a universal philosophy of the Middle Way. Here he applies this approach to issues of practical ethics. The Middle Way is a practical approach to ethics which avoids the delusions of either affirming or denying metaphysical beliefs. Instead, we live better by addressing conditions in our experience more fully. Practical moral issues provide a good opportunity to see this approach at work. This book challenges established metaphysical assumptions on issues as diverse as sex, war, abortion, vegetarianism and pornography, to ask what our experience really tells us about right moral judgements, when we get beyond the dogmas.< Less
Truth on the Edge: A Brief Western Philosophy of the Middle Way By Robert M. Ellis
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Truth on the Edge is an introduction to a new philosophy of objectivity, inspired by the Buddha's Middle Way but worked out in entirely Western terms. Robert M. Ellis's philosophy of the Middle Way... More > was originally developed as a Ph.D. thesis, A Theory of Moral Objectivity, but this book is intended as a more accessible introduction to this philosophy. The key theme is the idea that we are not justified in making any claims about truth, whether moral or scientific, but the idea of truth is still meaningful. Instead of either making or denying metaphysical claims about truth, we need to think in terms of incrementally objective justification within experience. The book follows through the implications of this argument in relation to psychological integration, responsibility, ethics, science, religion and politics, and finally applies the Middle Way to contemporary problems such as Global Warming and the World Food Crisis.< Less
A New Buddhist Ethics By Robert M. Ellis
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'A New Buddhist Ethics' offers a different approach to tackling moral issues, using the Middle Way originally inspired by the Buddha. It aims to free Buddhist ethcs from karma, rebirth, and the... More > revelations of the enlightened. Robert M. Ellis has been developing a universal philosophy of the Middle Way. Here he applies this approach to issues of practical ethics. The Middle Way is a practical approach to ethics which avoids the delusions of either affirming or denying metaphysical beliefs. Instead, we live better by addressing conditions in our experience more fully. Practical moral issues provide a good opportunity to see this approach at work. This book challenges established metaphysical assumptions on issues as diverse as sex, war, abortion, vegetarianism and pornography, to ask what our experience really tells us about right moral judgements, when we get beyond the dogmas.< Less
Middle Way Philosophy 2: The Integration of Desire By Robert M. Ellis
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We are not single selves, but constantly meet conflicts of desire both within and beyond ourselves. We meet conflict at different levels, from everyday distraction, to the suffering of the addict,... More > through even to world war. The integration of desire is the process of bringing opposing desires to work together, whether at the psychological or the political level. Robert M Ellis here brings together approaches that have previously been separated, drawing on ethics, psychology, philosophy, history, politics, and Buddhism to suggest a common pattern in the resolution of conflict at all levels. This is the second volume of a planned 5-volume series on Middle Way Philosophy, and follows the first volume, which set out an overall philosophical approach to applying the Buddha's Middle Way in the modern Western context. The Jungian concept of integration is here combined with the philosophical approach of the Middle Way to offer a practical way forward beyond absolutism and relativism< Less
Middle Way Philosophy 2: The Integration of Desire By Robert M. Ellis
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We are not single selves, but constantly meet conflicts of desire both within and beyond ourselves. We meet conflict at different levels, from everyday distraction, to the suffering of the addict,... More > through even to world war. The integration of desire is the process of bringing opposing desires to work together, whether at the psychological or the political level. Robert M Ellis here brings together approaches that have previously been separated, drawing on ethics, psychology, philosophy, history, politics, and Buddhism to suggest a common pattern in the resolution of conflict at all levels. This is the second volume of a planned 5-volume series on Middle Way Philosophy, and follows the first volume, which set out an overall philosophical approach to applying the Buddha's Middle Way in the modern Western context. The Jungian concept of integration is here combined with the philosophical approach of the Middle Way to offer a practical way forward beyond absolutism and relativism.< Less