Luke Brunning
University of Birmingham
Compersion is an important concept for non-monogamous people. Often described as jealousy's opposite, compersion labels positive feelings toward the intimacy of a beloved with other people. Since many people think jealousy is ordinary, intransigent, and even appropriate, compersion can seem psychologically and ethically dubious. I make the case for compersion, arguing it focuses on the flourishing of others and is thus not akin to pride, vicarious enjoyment, or masochistic pleasure. People cultivate compersion by softening their propensity to be jealous and by attending to the flourishing of others, which requires them to tackle entitlement and temper vulnerability. I argue that jealousy is not a valuable emotional disposition; its instrumental benefits are minor, unstable, and have to be traded against the harms of aggression. Arguments that conclude that jealousy is a virtue rest on contentious premises and overlook the practical question as to whether jealousy and compersion could be cultivated together.
Keywords Jealousy  Compersion  Emotions  Virtue  Nonmonogamy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/apa.2019.35
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,385
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Moralistic Fallacy: On the ”Appropriateness' of Emotions.Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.
The Moralistic Fallacy: On the 'Appropriateness' of Emotions.Justin D'Arms & Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.
On Being Attached.Monique Wonderly - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):223-242.
Empathy, Sympathy, Care.Stephen Darwall - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 89 (2-3):261–282.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Jealous Thoughts.Jerome Neu - 1980 - In A. O. Rorty (ed.), Explaining Emotions. Univ of California Pr. pp. 425--463.
‘I'm Not Envious, I'm Just Jealous!’: On the Difference Between Envy and Jealousy.Sara Protasi - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (3):316-333.
Jealousy in Relation to Envy.Luke Purshouse - 2004 - Erkenntnis 60 (2):179-205.
Jealousy, Shame, and the Rival.Jeffrie G. Murphy - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):143 - 150.


Added to PP index

Total views
13 ( #700,702 of 2,362,029 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #105,375 of 2,362,029 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes