Noûs (forthcoming)

Authors
Colin Marshall
University of Washington
Abstract
On the traditional reading, Schopenhauer claims that compassion is the recognition of deep metaphysical unity. In this paper, I defend and develop the traditional reading. I begin by addressing three recent criticisms of the reading from Sandra Shapshay: that it fails to accommodate Schopenhauer's restriction to sentient beings, that it cannot explain his moral ranking of egoism over malice, and that Schopenhauer requires some level of distinction to remain in compassion. Against Shapshay, I argue that Schopenhauer does not restrict compassion to sentient beings and that a more metaphysically refined version of the traditional reading can accommodate both Schopenhauer's moral ranking of characters and allow for some level of distinction in compassion. I then turn to four further questions for the traditional reading: what the relation is between the feeling of compassionate pain and the recognition of metaphysical unity, how cognitions mediate compassion, whether compassion is limited to the present, and how the feeling of compassion relates to Schopenhauer's fundamental moral principle. I conclude by explaining how, in a reductive vein, the traditional reading can also allow for compassion to have normative content.
Keywords Schopenhauer  compassion  monism
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DOI 10.1111/nous.12330
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References found in this work BETA

An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals.David Hume & Tom L. Beauchamp - 1998 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 190 (2):230-231.
A Puzzle About Belief.Saul A. Kripke - 1979 - In A. Margalit (ed.), Meaning and Use. Reidel. pp. 239--83.
Is Empathy Necessary for Morality.Jesse J. Prinz - 2011 - In Amy Coplan & Peter Goldie (eds.), Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 211--229.
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals.Iris Murdoch - 1992 - Allen Lane, Penguin Press.

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