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:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|File size:||120 KB|
About the Author
Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of twelve books, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored; Going Sane; and, most recently, Side Effects.
Barbara Taylor has published several highly regarded books on the history of feminism, including the award-winning Eve and the New Jerusalem.
She and Adam Phillips both live in London.
Adam Phillips is one of the foremost psychoanalysts practicing in the world today, and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He is the author of many books, including On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored; and On Balance. He is also coauthor, with the historian Barbara Taylor, of On Kindness.
BARBARA TAYLOR is Reader in History at the University of East London, UK, and author of Eve and the New Jerusalem (1983) and Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination (2003). She was Director of the 'Feminism and Enlightenment' research project (1998-2001).