Schopenhauer, Kant and Compassion

Kantian Review 17 (3):403-429 (2012)

Paul Guyer
Brown University
Schopenhauer presents his moral philosophy as diametrically opposed to that of Kant: for him, pure practical reason is an illusion and morality can arise only from the feeling of compassion, while for Kant it cannot be based on such a feeling and can be based only on pure practical reason. But the difference is not as great as Schopenhauer makes it seem, because for him compassion is supposed to arise from metaphysical insight into the unity of all being, thus from pure if theoretical reason, while for Kant pure practical reason works only by effecting a feeling of respect (in the works) or by cultivating, i.e. affecting, natural dispositions to moral feeling (in the works). I argue that Kant's is the more realistic theory on this point.
Keywords Kant   Schopenhauer   Schiller   compassion   sympathy   moral feeling   duty   pure practical reason   motivation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s1369415412000155
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,715
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
On the Value of Acting From the Motive of Duty.Barbara Herman - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (3):359-382.
The World as Will and Representation.Arthur Schopenhauer & E. F. J. Payne - 1958 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 20 (2):279-280.
Naturalistic and Transcendental Moments in Kant's Moral Philosophy.Paul Guyer - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):444 – 464.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Schopenhauer and Non-Cognitivist Moral Realism.Colin Marshall - 2017 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (2):293-316.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Basis of Morality.Arthur Schopenhauer - 1903 - Dover Publications.
Schopenhauer.Julian Young - 2005 - Routledge.
Legor Et Legar.Timothy J. Madigan - 1998 - Philo 1 (2):36-48.
On the Suffering of Compassion.Peter Nilsson - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (1):125-144.
Rousseau and the Education of Compassion.Richard White - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (1):35-48.
Towards an Organizational View of Genuine Compassion.Michelle Westermann-Behaylo, Harry J. van Buren Iii & Shawn L. Berman - 2011 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 22:111-122.
There Are No Degrees in a Bodhisattva's Compassion.Fuchuan Yao - 2006 - Asian Philosophy 16 (3):189 – 198.
Temps et causalité chez Kant et Schopenhauer.Arnaud François - 2012 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 102 (3):367.


Added to PP index

Total views
139 ( #51,396 of 2,243,739 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
33 ( #21,229 of 2,243,739 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature