Basic Goods Provision in Buddhist Economic Ethics

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 25, 2018

The Wisdom of Need: Basic Goods Provision in Buddhist Economic Ethics

Kenneth A. Reinert
Schar School of Policy and Government
George Mason University

Human beings have basic needs, and these needs must be addressed through the provision of basic goods and services. This article reviews the role of basic goods in Buddhist economic ethics, both traditional and contemporary. It suggests that basic goods provision deserves particular attention in economic considerations and that such attention is fully consistent with both Buddhist economic ethics and the idea of moral minimalism in political philosophy. The article proposes and discusses basic goods in the form of “eight requisites,” a modification of the traditional Buddhist “four requisites” of food, clothing, shelter, and medicine.
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