Morality from Compassion

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2022.08.04 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Ingmar Persson, Morality from Compassion, Oxford University Press, 2021, 145pp. $60.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780192845535.

Reviewed by Colin Marshall, University of Washington, Seattle

In his most recent book, Ingmar Persson engages with a cluster of issues connected to compassion. His discussion throughout engages with the views of Arthur Schopenhauer. The book is therefore similar in some respects to P.F. Strawson’s classic 1966 book on Kant, The Bounds of Sense (Strawson 1966). As Strawson did with Kant, Persson takes Schopenhauer to be a direct interlocutor, one who is wrong on some points and broadly right on others. Persson engages somewhat more with the relevant secondary literature than Strawson did, but the primary audience for the book are contemporary ethicists in the Parfitian tradition (especially those familiar with Persson’s earlier work), not Schopenhauer scholars. As someone who has also attempted to bring Schopenhauer more into contemporary conversations, I…

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