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Being Me Being You – Adam Smith and Empathy - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Being Me Being You: Adam Smith and Empathy

Samuel Fleischacker


Many people today hold up empathy as crucial to caring about all humanity and bridging divides between hostile groups. Others accuse it of reinforcing xenophobic tribalism, and of directing people to help only individuals they see or whose stories they know. Who is right? Is empathy essential to cosmopolitanism, and a valuable moral instrument, or does it blur the differences among people, reinforce ethnocentrism, and distract us from fair and effective moral action? Being Me Being You argues that the answer to that question depends on the conception of empathy one is working with. It recomme ... More

Keywords: empathy, perspective, humanism, cosmopolitanism, moral philosophy, Adam Smith, David Hume, humanity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780226661759
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226661926.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Samuel Fleischacker, author
University of Illinois at Chicago