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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The dangerous shortcomings of empathy

By Joe Gelonesi
The Philosopher's Zone
Originally published November 3, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Bookshops swell with empathy self-help publications. Go online, and you’ll find the five types of empathy, and the seven healthy habits of empathetic people.

Experiments are conducted on rats, peer-reviewed papers are published on mirror neurons, and authors stride the talk-circuit promoting the wonders of walking in someone else’s shoes.

Let’s not forget that Obama famously compared the dangers of an empathy deficit to the big hole in the federal budget.

It feels right and proper that this sentiment be afforded the space to grow. What’s not to like? In contrast to sympathy, which can be categorised as a distanced, third-person emotional response to others, empathy calls for a deep imaginative commitment which draws one into the emotional space of the other.

The entire article is here.