Compassion and Pity: An Evaluation of Nussbaum�s Analysis and Defense

Weber, M.
December 2004
Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Dec2004, Vol. 7 Issue 5, p487
Academic Journal
In this paper I argue that Martha Nussbaum�s Aristotelian analysis of compassion and pity is faulty, largely because she fails to distinguish between (a) an emotion�s basic constitutive conditions and the associated constitutive or �intrinsic� norms, (b) �extrinsic� normative conditions, for instance, instrumental and moral considerations, and (c) the causal conditions under which emotion is most likely to be experienced. I also argue that her defense of compassion and pity as morally valuable emotions is inadequate because she treats a wide variety of objections as all stemming from a common commitment to a Stoic conception of the good. I argue that these objections can be construed as neutral between conceptions of the good. I conclude by arguing that construed in this way there are nonetheless plausible replies to these objections.


Related Articles

  • Errata.  // International Journal of Palliative Nursing;Nov2006, Vol. 12 Issue 11, p544 

    Corrections to articles in a previous issue including the cover story, an article on passive attitude and indifference, and an article on the stories of some people, characterized by amore or less obvious hope are presented.

  • Sylvia. LeFavour, Nicole // North American Review;Sep91, Vol. 276 Issue 3, p50 

    This article states that when the little girl staffed to turn blue the author tried to calm her. He told her to try to swallow, to cough. She sat on the cement bench with her mouth open as if she wanted to scream or cry but couldn't, so he got up on my old legs and stood behind her, grasped her...

  • Empathy gap -- what do we know about empathizing with others' pain? Dopierała, Aleksandra; Jankowiak-Siuda, Kamila; Boski, Paweł // Polish Psychological Bulletin;Mar2017, Vol. 48 Issue 1, p111 

    Empathy of pain as a multi-dimensional process includes sharing and understanding the pain of others in relation to oneself. Subjects in such studies are typically members of western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic societies. In the literature review that we conducted, we observed...

  • How Rude! Houck, Catherine // Good Housekeeping;Apr2002, Vol. 234 Issue 4, p98 

    Offers tips on handling rude attitude. Technique in responding to offending questions.

  • Goofus and Gallant.  // Highlights;Apr2004, Vol. 59 Issue 4, p27 

    Compares the attitudes of two boys toward someone's feelings and water conservation.

  • apathy.  // Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (2009);2009, Issue 21, p160 

    A definition of the term "apathy," which pertains to lack of emotion, is presented.

  • Emotional triggers. DEAS, GERALD W. // New York Amsterdam News;1/17/2013, Vol. 104 Issue 3, p35 

    The article presents information related to emotions.

  • Finding Gains Across the Pond. FRIESWICK, KRIS // On Wall Street;Aug2013, Vol. 23 Issue 8, p6 

    An introduction to the journal is presented in which the editor discusses various articles published within the issue, including "Emerging Attitudes," by managing editor Lorie Konish, "Bringing International Home," by associate editor Mason Braswell, and the column "The Client's Emotions," by...

  • Are you still a SLAVE TO THE PAST?  // Good Medicine (Australian Consolidated Press);Apr2005, p66 

    Presents a quiz which tests an individual's emotions and attitudes toward past experiences.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics