BooksPhilosophyNature o...

Nature of Compassion - A Philosophical Analysis

Description Read Full Description
About The Book This book unravel the nature of Compassion by looking at the following set of question in realtion to the Western (Aristotle, Aquinas and Nussbaum) and Indian Philosphy (Buddhism and Sikhism); 'Is compassion the same as or distinct from pity, sympathy/empathy, love and benvolence?, Does compassion involves pain and sorrow?', or, 'Does the compassionate subject suffer with same intensity the sufferer himself suffers? 'Is compassion only a response towards serious suffering, or it...
About The Book

This book unravel the nature of Compassion by looking at the following set of question in realtion to the Western (Aristotle, Aquinas and Nussbaum) and Indian Philosphy (Buddhism and Sikhism); 'Is compassion the same as or distinct from pity, sympathy/empathy, love and benvolence?, Does compassion involves pain and sorrow?', or, 'Does the compassionate subject suffer with same intensity the sufferer himself suffers? 'Is compassion only a response towards serious suffering, or it is also a response towards non –serious suffering?, 'How does the compassionate subject make a relationship with the sufferer?',' Is compassion a virtue or an emotion?',' Is compassion a part of human isntinct or is it learnt through practice?',' Is there or can there be one universal understanding of the term compassion?'

Introduction

The present research work entitled: "Nature of Compassion; A Philodophical Analysis", aims to discern the nature of compassion through the comparative study of some Western and Indian philosphical traditions.

Compassion can be considered as one cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanity in society. Human beings exist within relationships. They are born dependent. Right from the very birth, they need protection and care. As they grow up they require relationship with others for their survival (e.g., food shelter and reproduction). Generally speaking, compassion is regarded as helping human beings function in these relationship with greater harmony, hence further contributing to their survival. And not merely to survival, it even to an extent underlies law and order in society.

Compassion has been a matter of considerable importance ever since the faculty of thought in humans developed. It is argued that the human species could not have survived if egocentric living were the basis of human interactions. Compassions has been a central to liberating our minds from the power of destructive emotions such as fear, anger envy, and vengaeance. They teach compassion as an antidote to cruelty.2 Sikhism contends that the path of righteousness only by practing compassion.only by practing compassion.3 The Biblical tradtion too holds compassion as "a duty to divine law, as a response to divine love, and a sign of commitment to the Judeo- Christian ethics."4 Many conversations can be easily found on compassion in and across religion, philosphy, psychology, sociology and medicine dating back two and half thousand years and more, The present research however intends to analyze compassion philosophically. Even in the domain of philosphy, it is not an untouched discourse. Many philosophers view compassion as the cornnerstone of morality, e.g. Schopenhauer postualtes it as central to morality 5 and Nussbaum sees it as a source of principled moral judgement.6

The word compassion is commonly used and referred to by people to describe their altruistic feelings or concern for others' suffering without really knowing the nature of it. Most of us would doubtlessly agree that news of the terrorists' attacks on innocents, stories of rape victims, sights of terrible road accidents, and viewing starving people incites our compassion.7 Humans, as social animals, seem to feel compassion towards a wide variety of objects in a wide range of situations.

But there is nothing clear about this word except that it implies a feeling in the subject towards the suffering of the victim or sufferer. The history of philosphy offers multifarious definations of the term: some suggest it is not (Buddhists)9; some say that it requires the blamelessness of the sufferer for his/ her suffering (Nussabaum)10; and others that it is simply a complex emotional attitude another (Blum)11. But the presence of these different philosophical views makes it difficult for us to come to a consensus on what the nature of the term is.

As we know compassion is aroused by the sight of suffering. That's why many believe that compassion is closely related to the experience of sorrow and pain. But the nature of this sorrow or pain is not clear. It is debatable whether sorrow or pain of the compassion –feeler is same or pain is not clear. it is debatable whether sorrow or pain of the compassion –feeler is same as the sufferer himself or is different? That is, 'whether my pain or sorrow is same as the physical pain my freind is suffering because of her broken leg; or it is a kind of psychological pain?' The second problem is; 'whether compassion is only a response towards serious suffering or is it a sympathetic response even towards serious suffering or is it a sympathetic response even towards non –serious suffering?' The next complexity comes with the question who will judge the 'seriousness of suffering' (the compassions –feeler or the sufferer?). it is also a puzzle whether compassions involves co –suffering or not, Compassion, as the etymology of the term (co –suffering) suggest, can be felt towards those who are aware of their argues that to feel compassion it is not necessary that the sufferer be aware of his condition.13

Yet another position says that in order to know the suffering of another being, one needs to stand in direct relation to that being (sufferer). Compassion always exists in a dyadic realtionship, i.e., between a subject (compassion –feeler) and the sufferer, but it is unclear and ambiguous on just how this relationship is formed ( and on what factors it depends)? Most philosphical accounts of compassion rely on the idea that this relationship can be achieved through imaginative dwelling on the other's condition. While some other philosophers believe that compassion is not an abstract extrapolation of what one assumes to be the nature of the victim's suffering, but is rather the shared experience of suffering with the victim. There are still other who maintain that particular sets of beliefs about one's own vulnerabilities and compassionate-feeler to make a relation with a sufferer. Because of such diverse views there is no consensus about this relationship.

Another ambiguous question is whether compassion is actually one of our morally based emotions comparable to notions like pity, or it is a social virtue? It is another puzzle to try and figure out represnt a human instinct, or is it something learnt through practice? Many philosphers in different stages of time worked hard to find an answer. As a result we are confronted with many different views, And because of numerous views many uneratainities still continue to exist in this notion. Thus the central aim of this work is to determine the nature of compassion by analyzing its conceptual structure and the following set of questions, which I found are necessary to understand the nature of compassion to full capacity.

Is compassion the same as or distinct from pity, sympathy/empathy, love, and benevolence?

Does compassion involve sorrow or pain?

If it involves suffering, then what kind of suffering is this?

Does the compassionate subject suffer with same intensity sufferer himself suffers?

Is compassion only a response to wards serious suffering, or it is also a response towards non –serious suffering?

How does the compassionate subject make a relationship with the sufferer?

Is compassion a virtue or an emotion?

Is compassion a part of human instinct or is it learnt through practice?

Is there or can there be one universal understanding of the term compassion?

In this study thus I will take up these issues in part or in full to unravel the nature of compassion.

My accounts of compassion is a comparartive study of Western (Aristotle, Aquinas and Nussbaum) and Indian Schools of thought (Buddhism and Sikhism).

Method

The present is a philosphical study on many works, primarily of ethics and religion. For this study I read primary and secondary texts concerning ethics and religion. This study is grounded on some religious texts. Yet it will not be a theological study based simply on religious faith and discourse. In other words, this research is mostly philosphical and not religious or historical in the sense of the appreciation of any religious during any particular period.

The scope of this study is intentionally wide in the sense that it covers the work of many philosphers. In terms of time, it extends over a period of nearly three thousands years, from 3rd century B.C.E. to the 21st century, yet the research can be regarded as limited and focused because it is only concerned with one philosophical issue, i.e., the nature of compassion.

About The Author

Kirandeep Kaur is a teacher and student of Philsosophy.

Contents

Content Page No
AcknowledgementsVII
Introduction1
1. Compassion: A General Introduction9
2. Nature of Compassion; Aristotle, Aquinas and Nussbaum22
3. Nature of Copassion: Buddhism and Sikhism49
4. Conclusion 80
Biblography 88
References92
Index107
Sample Pages







Item Code: NAP655 Author: Kirandeep Kaur Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2017 Publisher: Adroit Publishers, Delhi ISBN: 9788187393535 Language: English Size: 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch Pages: 120 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 285 gms
Price: $25.00
Shipping Free
Viewed 200 times since 13th Mar, 2019
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to Nature of Compassion - A Philosophical Analysis (Philosophy | Books)

Indian and Western Philosophy (A Study in Contrasts)
भारतीय दर्शन एवं पाश्चात्य दर्शन: Indian and Western Philosophy
Western Philosophy and Indian Feminism
Essays on Vedanta and Western Philosophies (Vedanta as Interpreted by Sri Aurobindo)
A Critical History of Western Philosophy (Greek, Medieval and Modern)
निरीश्वरवाद - भारतीय एवं पाश्चात्य: Indian and Western Atheism (An Old and Rare Book)
नीतिशास्त्र की रुपरेखा (पाश्चात्य और भारतीय): Outlines of Ethics (Indian and Western)
Art Beauty and Creativity (Indian and Western Aesthetics)
Traditional and Contemporary Ethics Western and Indian
Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Nyaya-Vaisesika Philosophy from 1515 to 1660 (Volume XIII)
Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies Volume XII Yoga: India’s Philosophy of Meditation
Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies - Volume VIII (Buddhist Philosophy from 100 to 350 A.D.)
Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies (Set of 20 Books)
Seven Systems of Indian Philosophy
Derrida and Indian Philosophy
Testimonials
I have always been delighted with your excellent service and variety of items.
James, USA
I've been happy with prior purchases from this site!
Priya, USA
Thank you. You are providing an excellent and unique service.
Thiru, UK
Thank You very much for this wonderful opportunity for helping people to acquire the spiritual treasures of Hinduism at such an affordable price.
Ramakrishna, Australia
I really LOVE you! Wonderful selections, prices and service. Thank you!
Tina, USA
This is to inform you that the shipment of my order has arrived in perfect condition. The actual shipment took only less than two weeks, which is quite good seen the circumstances. I waited with my response until now since the Buddha statue was a present that I handed over just recently. The Medicine Buddha was meant for a lady who is active in the healing business and the statue was just the right thing for her. I downloaded the respective mantras and chants so that she can work with the benefits of the spiritual meanings of the statue and the mantras. She is really delighted and immediately fell in love with the beautiful statue. I am most grateful to you for having provided this wonderful work of art. We both have a strong relationship with Buddhism and know to appreciate the valuable spiritual power of this way of thinking. So thank you very much again and I am sure that I will come back again.
Bernd, Spain
You have the best selection of Hindu religous art and books and excellent service.i AM THANKFUL FOR BOTH.
Michael, USA
I am very happy with your service, and have now added a web page recommending you for those interested in Vedic astrology books: https://www.learnastrologyfree.com/vedicbooks.htm Many blessings to you.
Hank, USA
As usual I love your merchandise!!!
Anthea, USA
You have a fine selection of books on Hindu and Buddhist philosophy.
Walter, USA