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A comparison of Aristotelian and Buddhist ethics and the implications for a "moral way" for young people

Muldoon, Anne (2008) A comparison of Aristotelian and Buddhist ethics and the implications for a "moral way" for young people. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The impetus for this piece of work was the question ‘What type of people ought we to become?’, which first arose with Aristotle and which became, in Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, ‘Who are we now becoming?'. Through a comparative study of the key concepts of Aristotelian ethics, for example, eudaimonia, the centrality of reason, the Doctrine of the Mean, and the key concepts of Buddhist ethics, for example, karma and nirvana, the interdependence of morality, meditation and insight, the central role of mindfulness and compassion, I will present the guidelines for a "moral way" for young people. An analysis of the differences between the two ethical systems draws out their different emphases on reason and compassion, and the separateness of self and other in Aristotelian moral agency in contrast to the inseparability of all sentient beings in Buddhism. But an examination of their similarities reveals how reason and emotion contribute to each, and how both are teleological in assuming that a person has a final end. The interplay of Aristotelian habituation and Buddhist mindfulness is identified as a potentially transformative “moral way” for young people, and suggestions are made for how to facilitate the two practices as a pedagogical support. The main recommendation is that, subject to further research and successful pilot-studies, habituation and mindfulness practices be introduced in Primary Two and maintained into secondary education in Scottish schools.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Aristotelian ethics, Buddhist ethics, self and other, virtue, reason, compassion, mindfulness, moral education.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Creativity Culture and Faith
Supervisor's Name: Stuart, Dr Susan J.
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Mrs Anne Muldoon
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-384
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:18
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/384

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