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Chapter 5 - Emotion and Empathy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2022

Patrick Colm Hogan
Affiliation:
University of Connecticut
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Summary

The fifth chapter marks the turn from descriptive to normative ethics – thus, what ethical ideas should guide moral actions. This half of the book does not set out a detailed ethical theory but advocates a general criterion for setting ethical parameters and adjudicating among ethical–narrative prototypes. That criterion is an effortful generalization of empathy. The particular stress on empathy derives from the basic definition of ethics, presented at the beginning of the book. This chapter draws on current cognitive and affective science to outline an account of human emotion and empathy. This account differs from common views of empathy in several ways. Most obviously, it does not construe empathy as sharing the same emotion as a target. Rather, empathy is a scalar concept that refers, fundamentally, to experiencing the same emotional valence as a target. That positive or negative empathic feeling is based on one’s own experiences, which may be more or less similar to those of the target.

Type
Chapter
Information
Literature and Moral Feeling
A Cognitive Poetics of Ethics, Narrative, and Empathy
, pp. 150 - 181
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Emotion and Empathy
  • Patrick Colm Hogan, University of Connecticut
  • Book: Literature and Moral Feeling
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009169509.006
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Emotion and Empathy
  • Patrick Colm Hogan, University of Connecticut
  • Book: Literature and Moral Feeling
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009169509.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Emotion and Empathy
  • Patrick Colm Hogan, University of Connecticut
  • Book: Literature and Moral Feeling
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009169509.006
Available formats
×