Compassionate Reasoning: Changing the Mind to Change the World

ISBN : 9780197537923

Marc Gopin
304 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jan 2022
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Around the globe, people who work in the helping professions are often heroic bridge-builders and creators of peaceful societies. They have in common, Marc Gopin argues, a set of cultivated moral character traits and psychosocial skills. They tend to be kinder, more reasonable, more self-controlled, and more goal-oriented towards peace. They are united by a particular set of moral values and the emotional skills to put those values into practice, allowing them to excel in what he calls "Compassionate Reasoning." In this book, Gopin draws upon the history of ethics along with his own thirty-year career in the field of peacebuilding to develop an understanding of this type of reasoning. The very multiplicity of approaches to ethics, says Gopin, invites us to look for higher principles and intuitions. In discovering the worlds of others, we also clarify our own deepest moral principles and commitments. By utilizing Compassionate Reasoning, individuals with divergent moral principles and intuitions can find a way to talk to each other and to meet in a common universe of ethical concern. Gopin explores this as a way to build peace, especially across divides of politics, race, religion, and culture.


1. Compassion, Reasoning, and the Urgency of Healing Divided Societies
2. The Theory and Practice of Compassionate Reasoning
3. Compassionate Reasoning, the Mind, and Moral Choice
4. Violent Ideas Treated as Disease and Compassionate Reasoning as Treatment: A Public Health Analogy
5. The Applied Ethics and Habits of Compassionate Reasoning
6. Summary of the Argument of Compassionate Reasoning: Changing the Mind to Change the World and Implications for Training

About the author: 

Marc Gopin is the Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution (CRDC) and the James Laue Professor at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University. He has pioneered major interventions, education, and training through CRDC and Gopin Associates LLC in the USA, Syria, Israel and Palestine, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Jordan, and Turkey.

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