This chapter draws upon the analyses of chapters 1 and 2 to describe a functional, philosophically precise account of compassion. This account runs against linguistic intuitions (at least in English) for it extends to sharing in happiness as well as sharing in suffering. The “passion” of compassion finds its root in the Latin patī (“to suffer” or “to submit”), but this in turn finds its root in the Greek paschein, which is not “to suffer” but “to feel.” The chapter also describes compassion's application in moral theory, specifically compassionate virtue ethics, and shows how this theory would provide constructive moral guidance.
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