A Defence of Schopenhauer's Metaphysics of Compassion

2018-03-04T22:52:18Z (GMT) by ANDREW JOHN CANTWELL
This thesis examines the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s theory of compassion. According to Schopenhauer (1788-1860), compassion is a feeling of another's suffering, and a desire to alleviate this suffering. For him, this fellow-feeling is “the great mystery of ethics”, one that can only be fully explained metaphysically. But Schopenhauer’s metaphysical theory of compassion has been repeatedly objected to by numerous scholars; it has been described as “incoherent”, “inconsistent” and “nonsensical”. In my thesis I defend this theory by demonstrating why many criticisms of Schopenhauer’s metaphysics of compassion are ultimately unfounded.