Compassion, self, and morality
Posted on 12. Feb, 2009 by James Miller
|Title||Compassion, self, and morality|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Place Published||Rochester, Minn.|
Compassion presents us with a series of philosophical puzzles. First, almost all of us recognize compassion as morally good, but it seems to stand in direct contradiction to other moral goods such as justice. Compassion is neither impartial nor impersonal, as justice is. Why do we value both? Second, ever since Plato, compassion has played almost no role in Western moral philosophy, which has long favored impartiality. On the other hand, compassion is vitally important to the major moral traditions of Asia, including Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Why is it that Asian philosophy places such a premium on compassion while the Western traditions ignore it almost completely? An answer to these questions lies in what these various philosophical schools have to say about the nature of the human self. Bein spoke at University Center Rochester on February 23, 2006 as part of the UCR Faculty Lecture Series.