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The Eight-Consciousness Model of Ethical Decision Making


  • Jen-Sheng Liao

    () (College of Business, Feng-Chia University, Taichung City, Taiwan 40724)

  • Charles S. Chien

    (College of Business, Feng-Chia University, Taichung City, Taiwan 40724)


This article explores a model of Vijñānavāda generally known as the eight consciousnesses, which relates to understanding consciousness itself from the Vijñānavāda perspective. The model is mainly based on the description in the ‘Verses Delineating the Eight Consciousnesses’. According to the eight-consciousness model, our entire consciousness involves the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mental consciousness, the manas and the ālayavijñāna. These components are presented beginning with the single mind through the increasing complexity of the process of consciousness. In this article, this model is examined as a potential theoretical resource that could guide insight, knowledge and enlightenment. Herein, it is expounded how the eight-consciousness model can increase our understanding of ethical decision making and develop a perspective that can facilitate enlightenment. This paper does not treat a very dense and complex doctrine of Vijñānavāda. However, when considering the actions and intentions that occur in the mind, these investigations represent the transformation of consciousness into wisdom. Classification JEL: A13; D82.

Suggested Citation

  • Jen-Sheng Liao & Charles S. Chien, 2017. "The Eight-Consciousness Model of Ethical Decision Making," Review of Social Sciences, LAR Center Press, vol. 2(9), pages 1-10, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:lrc:larrss:v:2:y:2017:i:9:p:1-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Salvador, Rommel & Folger, Robert G., 2009. "Business Ethics and the Brain: Rommel Salvador and Robert G. Folger," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-31, January.
    2. Mark S. Schwartz, 2016. "Ethical Decision-Making Theory: An Integrated Approach," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 139(4), pages 755-776, December.
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    More about this item


    eight consciousness; ethical decision; Vijñānavāda; manas.;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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