Schopenhauer, Kant and Compassion

Kantian Review 17 (3):403-429 (2012)
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Schopenhauer presents his moral philosophy as diametrically opposed to that of Kant: for him, pure practical reason is an illusion and morality can arise only from the feeling of compassion, while for Kant it cannot be based on such a feeling and can be based only on pure practical reason. But the difference is not as great as Schopenhauer makes it seem, because for him compassion is supposed to arise from metaphysical insight into the unity of all being, thus from pure if theoretical reason, while for Kant pure practical reason works only by effecting a feeling of respect (in the works) or by cultivating, i.e. affecting, natural dispositions to moral feeling (in the works). I argue that Kant's is the more realistic theory on this point.



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Paul Guyer
Brown University

References found in this work

Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - In Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37-108.
On the value of acting from the motive of duty.Barbara Herman - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (3):359-382.
The World as Will and Representation.Lewis White Beck - 1959 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 20 (2):279-280.
Kant's Metaphysic of Experience.H. J. Paton - 1937 - Philosophy 12 (45):99-104.

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