Cover, Title Page, and Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-7

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 8-9

Abbreviations of Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-11

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xvii

“Compassion” is a word we use frequently in everyday conversation, but it is rarely used with anything close to philosophical precision. Indeed, one could go so far as to say we have lost the meaning of the word. As we generally use it, “compassion” appears in similar contexts with words such as “empathy,” “sympathy,” and...

read more

Chapter 1. What Is Compassion, and What Is It Not?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-49

In everyday conversation, compassion is generally thought of as a recognition or awareness of the existence of suffering in some other being, coupled with the desire to alleviate that suffering. This is not a philosophical definition, nor is it particularly instructive from an ethical point of view. Utilitarianism starts with...

read more

Chapter 2. What Is the Com- of Compassion?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 50-86

In searching for the com- or “with-ness” of compassion, a good place to start is with analyses of those philosophical traditions that question the discreteness of “self” and “other.” Numerous thinkers and texts reject this bifurcation either implicitly or explicitly, and among them I select those whose views may be synthesized...

read more

Chapter 3. Defining Compassion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 87-131

The epigraph points to several ideas that are fundamental to an understanding of compassion. First, it says we are bound. All of the models of compassion laid out in the previous chapter also suggest a bonding, one that is part and parcel of human existence. Second, it says that the nature of these bonds is dependent upon the...

read more

Chapter 4. Objections to an Ethic of Compassion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 132-150

There are potential objections that apply to any compassionate ethics, for there are objections to compassion itself as a source of moral guidance. The question of partiality has already appeared in previous chapters, and now it must be directly addressed. Compassion must ultimately reject impartiality, and if this is not...

read more

Chapter 5. Compassion in Action

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 151-182

Perhaps compassion is like the Kantian good will — admirable in and of itself — but this will not satisfy the compassionate agent. Compassionate disposition demands compassionate praxis; it demands results. The same might be said of one with a Kantian good will — if I were such a one, surely I would be frustrated if I were wholly...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 183-205

Literature Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 207-217

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 219-222