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Varieties of Empathy

Varieties of Empathy

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Varieties of Empathy
Source:
Being Me Being You
Author(s):
Samuel Fleischacker
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226661926.003.0001

This chapter lays out the wide range of meanings that the word “empathy” can bear, suggesting that confusion among these things helps explain why some writers are so enthusiastic about empathy while others regard it as misleading and dangerous. A variety of views held by modern-day psychologists are canvassed after which David Hume’s contagion account of empathy is contrasted with Smith’s projection account. Some moral advantages of Smith’s account over Hume’s are sketched.

Keywords:   psychology, David Hume, Adam Smith, contagion, projection

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