Even though the word empathy comes from the ancient Greek language, the theory of empathy comes from more current rationale. It is the history of empathy that has changed, this fact becomes clear through the numerous definitions associated with its concept in a number of different scientific and non-scientific discussions. In its philosophical prime at the beginning of the 1900’s, empathy was thought of as the most important way to gain knowledge of people’s ideas and beliefs. In the second half of the last century, the responsibility of defining empathy was left mostly to psychologists. Empathy has also been studied by social psychologists as a phenomenon assumed to be involved in creating more social attitudes and behavior. Nevertheless, within psychology it is difficult to find a census of how exactly one should understand empathy. The purpose of this entry was to clarify the concept of empathy by surveying its history in various philosophical and psychological discussions, and to explain why empathy was and should be held as important in understanding our society in regular circumstances. Empathy is the topic of an ongoing interdisciplinary research project that has gone beyond those limits. One way it was characterized is mirror cause cognitive recognition of certain emotional states in others by looking at their facial expressions, and such responses are due to the fact that the perception of another person activates similar neurons in the subject and the target.

Ties Into Class

This article ties into class room themes in many ways. Namely by the way a person would think of empathy. For example, a ethical egoist would view empathy through the aversive arousal reduction hypothesis. That is the ethical egoist would only show empathy because had they not they would feel bad about it. Or take an utilitarianist, that person would show empathy because it would make them feel better about there self in the end. This sort of approach is known as empathy-specific reward hypotheses. Also, that same utilitarian would show empathy to avoid the social punishments of not helping some one in need, this view is called empathy-specific punishment.

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