Interesting discussion. I like the lecture/discussion format better. It gives us the opportunity to share and argue some of the issues treated in the first half of the class. Let’s summarize some of the points: 1- In addition to a methodology for proper thinking, philosophy can provide wisdom (Σoφíα). I maintain this was the original goal of Greek philosophy, something we lost along the way. What wisdom? Not knowledge: one can be knowledgeable and un-wise. Jainism seems to indicate that if a person is endowed with good mental states, she can produce good verbal-and-bodily conduct: An inner potential that gets realized through concrete actions in the world. This is pretty close to Aristotle’s notion of virtue. 2- Goodness cannot be achieved without intending and repeating -good- thoughts and actions in order to generate good habits. That’s the wisdom-technique, (from techne, craft). Thus, I brought up the idea of auto-poesis (“repeat an action and you create a habit, repeat a habit and you will form a destiny”). 3- Regarding a-himsa, the main point is violence. How can one define it? Obviously, inflicting unnecessary suffering can be seen as a form of violence. But jaina goes deeper: Violence is a “mental form.” See it as an “inner fear” that elicits a conduct characterized by its lack of justice (or fairness). This is the form of himsa we must fight. A just act cannot be violent because it does not stem from a visceral fear (see it at a form of irrationality). Killing doesn’t have to be violent. Killing in self-defense can be just (think of the European Resistance against the Nazis in WWII). How about emotions? Gandhi is subtle here: The right emotion can help. Anger is legitimate when directed against injustice. 4- Let’s not forget jaina as a tool for civil emancipation. Ahimsa was Gandhi’s method of struggle against the British oppression in India throughout the earlier part of the Twentieth-Century. Martin Luther King employed it as a centerpiece for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. In both instances, ahimsa proved to be a viable political tool. 5- Later, the discussion shifted to actions: Helping the homeless with the right intention vs. helping just to impress a friend. Which is better? For Jainism the former. But doesn’t the homeless get his money-help regardless? Indeed, that’s part of the homeless’ karma (metaphorically speaking: he deserves it). For the giver, there is more to achieve, though. The right intention, something he doesn’t have yet. Perhaps Aristotle would agree. This giver is not virtuous.