Chapter

Buddha, Aristotle, and Science

Colette Sciberras

in That All May Flourish

Published in print August 2018 | ISBN: 9780190456023
Published online June 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190456054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190456023.003.0002
Buddha, Aristotle, and Science

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This chapter compares Western philosophical and scientific foundations with Buddhist philosophies on the topic of flourishing in nature. It argues that flourishing is good by querying the purpose of nature, the existence of God and the good. Defining flourishing in terms of Aristotle’s final cause, and questioning some of the assumptions of the founders of modern science, the chapter presents a common quandary—whether science and faith are reconcilable. Through attempting to steer a Middle way between belief in eternal souls, gods and divine purposes, and the depressing conclusions of nihilists and (some) atheists, it suggests that Buddhism can be seen as scientific, if the definition of what counts as an ‘observation’ is widened. Then, by weaving together Buddhism and Aristotle, the chapter makes the case for the positive value of flourishing in nature and among humans.

Keywords: Buddhism and ecology; Aristotle; Darwin; flourishing; telos; Colette Sciberras

Chapter.  11966 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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