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23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / f. Compassion

[sympathetic concern for others' pain]

18 ideas
The young feel pity from philanthropy, but the old from self-concern [Aristotle]
We should not share the distress of others, but simply try to relieve it [Cicero]
Epictetus says we should console others for misfortune, but not be moved by pity [Epictetus, by Taylor,C]
People who live according to reason should avoid pity [Spinoza]
A person unmoved by either reason or pity to help others is rightly called 'inhuman' [Spinoza]
Pity is a bad and useless thing, as it is a pain, and rational people perform good deeds without it [Spinoza]
Pity is not a virtue, but at least it shows a desire to live uprightly [Spinoza]
The fact that we weep (e.g. in theatres) shows that we are naturally compassionate [Rousseau]
Generosity and pity are vices, because they falsely imply one person's superiority to another [Kant, by Berlin]
In ancient Rome pity was considered neither good nor bad [Nietzsche]
The overcoming of pity I count among the noble virtues [Nietzsche]
You cannot advocate joyful wisdom while rejecting pity, because the two are complementary [Scruton on Nietzsche]
Plato, Spinoza and Kant are very different, but united in their low estimation of pity [Nietzsche]
Pity consoles those who suffer, because they see that they still have the power to hurt [Nietzsche]
Apart from philosophers, most people rightly have a low estimate of pity [Nietzsche]
Invalids are parasites [Nietzsche]
Compassion is unreliable, because it favours people close to us [Nussbaum]
Sympathy can undermine the moral order just as much as crime does [Scruton]