Radical compassion is a term coined by the philosopher Khen Lampert, in 2003. His theory of radical compassion appeared in Traditions of Compassion: from Religious Duty to Social-Activism (2006). Lampert identifies compassion as a special case of empathy, directed towards the "other's" distress. Radical compassion is a specific type of general compassion, which includes the inner imperative to change reality in order to alleviate the pain of others. This state of mind, according to Lampert's theory, is universal, and stands at the root of the historical cry for social change.
"I have noted that compassion, especially in its radical form, manifests itself as an impulse. This manifestation stands in stark opposition to the underlying premises of the Darwinist theories, which regard the survival instinct as determining human behavior, as well to the Freudian logic of the Pleasure Principle, which refutes any supposedly natural tendency on the part of human beings to act against their own interests and proposes viewing such an inclination as the product of cultural conditioning...":160
- Lampert, K., Compassionate Education: Prolegomena for Radical Schooling , University-Press of Amer., 2003; ISBN 978-0-7618-2641-5
- Lampert K., Traditions of Compassion: From Religious Duty to Social Activism, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006; ISBN 978-1-4039-8527-9
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