The pleasures of kindness have been well known since the dawn of Western thought. Kindness, said Marcus Aurelius, was mankind's 'greatest delight' - and centuries of thinkers and writers have echoed him.

But today, kindness seems to have gone out of fashion. In the age of free-market capitalism and the selfish gene, kindness is all too often regarded narcissism or weakness. Have we, as a species, become deeply and fundamentally antagonistic to each other, with motives that are generally self-seeking?

In a new book, ON KINDNESS (co-authored with psychologist Adam Phillips), historian Barbara Taylor calls for a re-discovery of the pleasures of kindness, and argues that what the Victorians called 'open-heartedness' and the Christians 'caritas' remains essential to our emotional and mental well-being.

Chair: Rachel O’Brien, projects director, RSA

FREE event, but pre booking necessary. Link to Eventbrite on event homepage

Find out more about the RSA’s Social Brain Project

On Kindness, by Barbara Taylor, Adam Phillips (Hamish Hamilton, 2009)

Added by Debra Z on February 6, 2009



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