Why Compassion Still Needs Hume Today

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Margreet van der Cingel


Over the past years the relevance of compassion for society and specific practices such as in healthcare is becoming a focus of attention. Philosophers and scientists discuss theoretical descriptions and defining characteristics of the phenomenon and its benefits and pitfalls. However, there are hardly any empirical studies which substantiate these writings in specific societal areas. Besides, compassion may be in the eye of attention today but has always been of interest for many contemporary philosophers as well as philosophers in the past, David Hume amongst them. Three themes related to Hume’s hypotheses on compassion are discussed and compared to outcomes of an empirical study amongst nurses and patients with a chronic disease. This comparison gives insights into the perception of those for whom compassion is of specific importance in their daily lives and into the usefulness of Hume’s notions on compassion.
Author Biography

Margreet van der Cingel, Windesheim University of Applied Science

Dr Margreet van der Cingel
College professor and senior researcher
Nursing Science
School of Healthcare
Knowledge center: Innovation in care for older people
Windesheim University of Applied Science
Campus 2-6
8017 CA Zwolle
The Netherlands

E-mail: CJM.vander.Cingel@windesheim.nl


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How to Cite
VAN DER CINGEL, M. Why Compassion Still Needs Hume Today. Diametros, n. 44, p. 140-152, 19 jun. 2015.
Special Topic - Justice and Compassion – Hume’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Practical Ethics