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Empathy And Moral Laziness, Kathie Jenni Jan 2016

Empathy And Moral Laziness, Kathie Jenni

Animal Studies Journal

In The Empathy Exams Leslie Jamison offers an unusual perspective: ‘Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us – a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain – it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse’ (23). This essay is dedicated to elaborating that crucial observation. A vast amount of recent research concerns empathy – in evolutionary biology, neurobiology, moral psychology, and ethics. I want to extend these investigations by exploring the degree to which individuals can control our empathy: for whom and what we feel ...