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Compassion - Resources

Compassion is the ability to feel sorrow over another person’s suffering, and to express that sorrow in a way that is intended to alleviate that suffering. Unlike pity, compassion does not suggest any feeling of superiority to the suffering person, but is instead a virtue that forms a bond with the sufferer.

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  • Stueber, Karsten (2006). Rediscovering Empathy: Agency, Folk Psychology, and the Human Sciences. Massachussetts: MIT Press.
  • Coplan, Amy and Goldie, Peter (2011). Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological
    . New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Goldie, Peter (2000). The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration. Oxford: Clarendon, 2000.
  • Nussbaum, Martha (1996). Compassion: The basic social emotion. Social Philosophy and Policy, 13(01), 27-58.
  • Snow, N. (1991). Compassion. American Philosophical Quarterly, 28(3), 195-201.



  • Berkowitz, Marvin W. (2002). The science of character education. In William Damon (ed.), Bringing in a new era in character education, pp. 43-63. Hoover Institution Press.
  • Damon, William. (2004). The Moral Advantage: How to Succeed in Business by Doing the Right Thing. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Zembylas, Michalinos (2013).  The ‘Crisis of Pity’ and the Radicalization of Solidarity: Toward Critical Pedagogies of Compassion. Educational Studies 49: 504-521.


  • Block-Lerner, J., Adair, C., Plumb, J. C., Rhatigan, D. L. and Orsillo, S. M. (2007). The
    case for mindfulness-based approaches in the cultivation of empathy
    : Does non-judgmental, present-moment awareness increase capacity for perspective-taking and empathic concern? Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 33: 501–516.
  • John Templeton Foundation. (2008). Compassion. In Character: A Journal of Everyday Virtues. Spring.