“The expanding circle” is a concept coined by Peter Singer.  This is about people coming to care about more and more throughout history.  We have cared about our own clan since prehistorical times.  Later it has been expanded to our tribe, country and population.  Eventually, you come to the point of caring about the entire humanity.  Some even care about animals to more or less extent.

What should we then call people only caring about their own clan or tribe?  I would express it as having an “unexpanded circle”.  Living as part of a state society can make their behaviour against other clans or tribes be mistaken for signs of psychopathy.  But these individuals are not incapable of caring about other humans.  Instead, their compassion is limited to a narrowly defined group.  No-one outside that group is considered worthy of caring about.


Uploaded on the 26th of April 2023.