Philosophy Social Aspects

Compassion and Education: Cultivating Compassionate by Andrew Peterson

By Andrew Peterson

This booklet makes a defence of compassion as an important and critical caliber that are supposed to be on the middle of the schooling of youth. It offers a cautious exploration of what compassion skill; the way it is appropriate to many of the relationships between scholars, lecturers, and the broader group; and the actual pedagogical methods that could and can boost compassion. knowing and justifying compassion as a advantage, this ebook argues that compassion is a advantage important to all human relationships from the familial, to the communal and to the worldwide. it will likely be of curiosity to lecturers, study and scholars of schooling.

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Sample text

Indeed, there is a significant tension involved in pity being drawn in overly narrow terms, and being rejected on that basis. In this chapter, then, I wish to examine different ways of perceiving pity, sympathy and empathy. ’. It is the latter question which seems to be of most interest and use to our understanding of compassion, and so the chapter will proceed on this basis. 2 In the video Brown claims that while ‘empathy fuels connections’ between people, ‘sympathy drives disconnection’. On this basis, Brown conceives sympathy as an unhelpful response to the suffering of others in which those feeling sympathy seek to ‘silver line’ (and here Brown turns the term ‘silver lining’ into a verb) the predicament the sufferer is in.

When compassion is viewed as a virtue the motivation to respond to the suffering of others is, then, provided from the internal desire to act in accordance with virtue. To understand the fellow-feeling central to compassion we also need to have some grasp of the concept of solidarity, given that it is solidarity with others which seems to be central to the human relationships at the heart of compassion and which is often cited as motivating humanitarian concern for others (Baughan and Fiori 2015).

This is explained through example exchanges which stem from the suggestion that sympathetic responses begin with ‘at least’. For instance: ‘I think my marriage is falling apart’ ‘At least you have a marriage’ And: ‘John’s getting kicked out of school’ ‘At least Sarah is a straight A student’ In contrast, the empathic response – portrayed as the preferable response – to difficult situations is given as being: ‘I don’t even know what to say right now, I am just so glad you told me’ Now, this may make for an entertaining video, and Brown’s thoughts on empathy are insightful, but I am not convinced of the validity of characterising sympathy in such unsympathetic terms.

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