On Kindness

Adam Phillips,

On Kindness
 
 

In this brilliant, epigrammatic book, the eminent psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and the social historian Barbara Taylor examine the terrors of kindness and return to the reader the intense satisfactions of generosity and compassion.

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 often the last pleasure we permit ourselves? And why—despite our longing—are we often suspicious when we are on the receiving end of it?

Drawing on intellectual history, literature, psychoanalysis, and contemporary social theory, 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.



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