Susan A. Stark
Bates College
This commentary raises questions about the moral value of feeling pity. Whereas Professor Arenson asks whether an Epicurean hedonist can rightly feel pity given that feeling pity may be unpleasant, I ask whether feeling pity may be morally problematic for other reasons. In particular, I argue that feeling pity involves an endorsement of a morally problematic hierarchy between pitier and pitied. Because of this, I believe that we should draw a little-made distinction between compassion and pity and that individuals should cultivate compassion rather than pity. I suggest one possible way to draw the distinction between compassion and pity.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/22134417-00341p12
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: 50,118
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Colloquium 4 Epicureans on Pity, Slavery, and Autonomy.Kelly E. Arenson - 2019 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 34 (1):119-136.
Pity's Pathologies Portrayed.Richard Boyd - 2004 - Political Theory 32 (4):519-546.
Pity: A Mitigated Defence.Kristján Kristjánsson - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (3-4):343-364.
The Ethical Significance of Sympathy, Compassion, and Pity.David Ernest Cartwright - 1981 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Compassion and Pity: An Evaluation of Nussbaum’s Analysis and Defense.M. Weber - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):487-511.
The Limits of Pity in Bartleby and Moby Dick.L. Rosenblatt - 2008 - Medical Humanities 34 (2):59-63.
Pity and Compassion as Social Virtues.Brian Carr - 1999 - Philosophy 74 (3):411-429.
Pity as a Moral Concept/The Morality of Pity.Felicia Ackerman - 1995 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20 (1):59-66.


Added to PP index

Total views
1 ( #1,409,974 of 2,324,588 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #679,828 of 2,324,588 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes