On Kindness

On Kindness

Book - 2009 | 1st American ed.
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Kindness is the foundation of the world' s great religions and most-enduring philosophies. Why, then, does being kind feel so dangerous? If we crave kindness with such intensity, why is it a pleasure we often deny ourselves? And why - despite our longing - are we often suspicious when we are on the receiving end of it? In this brilliant book, the eminent psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and the historian Barbara Taylor examine the pleasures and perils of kindness. Modern people have been taught to perceive ourselves as fundamentally antagonistic to one another, our motives self-seeking. Drawing on intellectual history, literature, psychoanalysis, and contemporary social theory, this book explains how and why we have chosen loneliness over connection. On Kindness argues that a life lived in instinctive, sympathetic identification with others is the one we should allow ourselves to live. Bursting with often shocking insight, this brief and essential book will return to its readers what Marcus Aurelius declared was mankind' s "greatest delight" : the intense satisfactions of generosity and compassion.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780374226503
Branch Call Number: 177.7 P558
Characteristics: 114 p. ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Taylor, Barbara 1950 April 11-

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ms_mustard
Nov 18, 2015

perhaps not kind of me to say so - a short book that seemed very long. I got mired in the chapters on Freud, who has never been my favourite, and gave up in frustration.

I liked de Waal's The Age of Empathy.

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richibi
Aug 25, 2014

a noble attempt to reinstate kindness as a cardinal virtue, if a little academic

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