Beyond sympathy and empathy: Adam Smith's concept of fellow-feeling

Economics and Philosophy 18 (1):63-87 (2002)
Abstract
When modern economists use the notions of <span class='Hi'>sympathy</span> or <span class='Hi'>empathy</span>, they often claim that their ideas have their roots in Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759/1976), while sometimes complaining that Smith fails to distinguish clearly enough between the two concepts. Recently, Philippe Fontaine (1997) has described various forms of <span class='Hi'>sympathy</span> and <span class='Hi'>empathy</span>, and has explored their respective roles in Smith's work. My objective in this paper is to argue that Smith's analysis of how people's sentiments impinge on one another involves a concept of fellow-feeling that is distinct from both <span class='Hi'>sympathy</span> and <span class='Hi'>empathy</span>. Unlike <span class='Hi'>sympathy</span> and <span class='Hi'>empathy</span>, fellow-feeling does not fit into the ontological framework of rational choice theory – which may explain why it tends to be overlooked by modern readers of Smith.
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Robert Sugden (2003). The Logic of Team Reasoning. Philosophical Explorations 6 (3):165 – 181.

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