Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 33, Issue 3, 2023

Žilvinas Vareikis
Pages 115-130

The Concepts of Responsibility and Sympathy in Thomas Kasulis Comparative Philosophy

The author of the article explores the views of Lithuanian–American thinker Thomas Kasulis on the interaction between emotions and ethical principles. This interaction is revealed in the contexts of the concepts of intimacy and integrity analysed by the philosopher. Intimacy is perceived as a framework of sociocultural structures of society, which determine the behavioural patterns and choices of individuals. In the ethical sphere, Kasulis attributes responsibility to integrity, which he links in his comparative analysis to Western and Eastern philosophies. Another philosophical concept, namely intimacy, is associated by the philosopher with relationships between people and values revealed in them. In communication, values are expressed not only through language but also through emotions. Kasulis particularly emphasizes sympathy, which is inherent in the cultural orientation of intimacy. For this reason, the article also analyses the nature of sympathy and its relationship to love, compassion, favour and trust. The article is based on the assumption that in the hermeneutics of the texts of comparative philosophy, it is possible to find both differences and similarities in the ideas of heterogeneous civilisations, and that the emotional-value vision emerging in these contexts makes it possible to look differently at cultural phenomena that appear in everyday life.