A comprehensive account of human kindness.
Winner of the 2004 Edward Goodwin Ballard Book Prize in Phenomenology presented by the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology with interest from a fund raised from Professor Ballard's family, students, and friends
Kindness and the Good Society utilizes phenomenology and a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional sources to provide the first comprehensive account of kindness in any genre of philosophy. Remarkably rich in descriptive detail and drawing upon a wide range of examples, including literary sources, current affairs, and traditional philosophical texts, Hamrick's book rescues kindness from the purposeful neglect of deontological and utilitarian ethical theories. Beginning with an account of the personal and social areas of ethical and moral comportment, Hamrick addresses what is not intuitively obvious about kindness and its opposite, details a critical kindness that avoids both naiveté as well as popular cynicism, and guides us toward a new notion of aesthetic humanism.
William S. Hamrick is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University. He is the author of An Existential Phenomenology of Law: Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the editor of Phenomenology in Practice and Theory.
"Hamrick's discussion is detailed, wide-ranging, and insightful … [his] work should be required reading for anyone working on kindness. " — Journal of Speculative Philosophy
"Hamrick may very well have done for kindness what Merleau-Ponty has done for perception, Ricoeur for freedom, and Dufrenne for aesthetic experience. Hamrick's is a definitive, comprehensive study, against which all future studies of kindness will be measured and to which they will have to respond. " — James L. Marsh, author of Process, Praxis, and Transcendence