Single Idea 5857

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / f. Compassion]

Full Idea

Old men are prone to pity, but where the young are so from philanthropy, the old are so from weakness, for they think all these things are near for themselves to suffer.


'Philanthropy' is desire to help others who are in need

Gist of Idea

The young feel pity from philanthropy, but the old from self-concern


Aristotle (The Art of Rhetoric [c.350 BCE], 1390a)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'The Art of Rhetoric', ed/tr. Lawson-Tancred,H.C. [Penguin 1991], p.176

A Reaction

I am shocked to find Aristotle being so cynical. I see no reason why the old should not be as philanthropic as anyone else, and they clearly are so, as when they plant trees for future generations to enjoy.