more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 7674

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

Full Idea

For Kant, generosity is a vice, because it is a form of condescension and patronage, and pity is detestable, because it entails a superiority on the part of the pitier, which Kant stoutly denied.

Gist of Idea

Generosity and pity are vices, because they falsely imply one person's superiority to another


report of Immanuel Kant (Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals [1785]) by Isaiah Berlin - The Roots of Romanticism

Book Reference

Berlin,Isaiah: 'The Roots of Romanticism' [Pimlico 2000], p.75

A Reaction

An interesting view, but being too proud to receive help from friends strikes me as a greater vice. How can friendship and community be built, if we do not rush to help one another when needed? The virtue is generosity without condescension.