Middle Way Philosophy
Robert M. Ellis [+–]
Middle Way Society
Robert M Ellis has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and a Cambridge BA in Oriental Studies and Theology. Originally from a Christian background, he spent about 20 years practising Buddhism, including as a member of the Triratna Order. However, he now describes himself as a Middle Way practitioner without exclusive loyalty to any one religious tradition. Over the last 20 years he has developed Middle Way Philosophy, initially in his Ph.D. thesis. This is best described as a practical and integrative philosophical approach, incorporating many elements not only from Buddhism but also from psychology, neuroscience, and other aspects of Western thought. In 2013 he founded the Middle Way Society (www.middlewaysociety.org) to develop and apply Middle Way Philosophy beyond the limitations of the Buddhist tradition, both in theory and practice.
Robert has earned a living for more than 20 years as a teacher and tutor of philosophy and related subjects. He has previously published both academic and introductory books about Middle Way Philosophy, and recently a parallel book on Christianity, ‘The Christian Middle Way’.
Middle Way Philosophy is a cross-disciplinary project developed by Robert M. Ellis over more than 20 years, to develop a consistently pragmatic approach to the justification of human judgement. It follows through the implications of the Buddha’s Middle Way, rejecting absolute beliefs of a negative as well as a positive type, in the light of the developing modern understandings of uncertainty, scientific method, mindfulness, embodied meaning, neuroscience, cognitive and developmental psychology, systems theory, Jungian archetypes, and democratic political practice.
Diagnosing the central problem of absolutization that interferes with the justification of human judgement, it then seeks to identify the most effective responses to that problem. It does this through the rigorous application of pragmatic philosophy, drawing on a wide variety of evidence. Overall it thus offers a detailed normative ethical philosophy based in the conditions of psychology, and an overall framework to show the relationship of a variety of practices (from mindfulness to critical thinking) to the universal goal of improving each human judgement.
This is an important, original work, that should get the widest possible hearing.
Dr Iain McGilchrist, author of The Master and his Emissary, fellow of All Soul’s College, Oxford and a former psychiatrist