Journal of Buddhist Ethics

An online journal of Buddhist scholarship related to ethics.


The Good in Aristotle and Early Buddhism

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 24, 2017

On the Good in Aristotle and Early Buddhism: A Response to Abraham Vélez

Damien Keown
University of London, Goldsmiths

In an earlier publication I compared Aristotelian and Buddhist concepts of the consummate good. Abraham Vélez de Cea has claimed I misrepresent the nature of the good by restricting it to certain psychic states and excluding a range of other goods acknowledged by Aristotle and the Buddha. My aim here is to show that my understanding of the good is not the narrow one Vélez suggests. The article concludes with some observations on the relationship between moral and non-moral good in Buddhism.

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Buddhism and Aristotle on Human Rights

ISSN 1076—9005
Volume 8, 2001

Why the Dalai Lama Should Read Aristotle

Stephen McCarthy
Northern Illinois University

The purpose of this paper is to discover a classical foundation for the establishment of universal human rights in Buddhism. Such a foundation must necessarily overcome the modern barrier imposed by the Asian values rhetoric and its claims that “Western,” Lockean, and essentially private ideas of rights have no place in Asian “family-oriented” culture. To facilitate its purpose, this paper will consider the modern, Lockean understanding of “rights” as the source of much of the Asian values’ argument, and proceed to an examination into the compatibility of a Buddhist understanding of human rights with Aristotle’s understanding of ethics and natural law. If it is possible to discover the source of universal human rights in Aristotle’s writings, as well as discover a compatibility to Buddhist beliefs and practices, then we may ground a case for the idea of human rights existing prior to their modern Lockean origins and accessible to Buddhism.

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