Review: Steve Bein Compassion and Moral Guidance (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press). 2013, ISBN 978-0-8248-3641-2, 222 pages, 45 Dollars
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What role should compassion play in our moral lives? While some moral philosophers (such as Arthur Schopenhauer) see compassion as providing the foundation of morality, others claim it plays a lesser role. In fact, Roger Crisp has argued that it is a feeling that would not play a significant role in the life of the virtuous person. In Compassion and Moral Guidance Steve Bein makes a new contribution to this discussion, arguing that compassion ought to play a central role in moral philosophy and moral decision-making. Bein’s book, which is part of a series of monographs commission by The Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, has a second aim of comparing the different accounts of compassion in Western and Asian moral philosophy.
In the first half of the book Bein argues that compassion has a more central role in Asian philosophy than in Western moral philosophy. He starts, in Chapter 1, by examining the role of compassion in Western moral philosophy. Bein analyzes compassion and...