The claim that empathy is both automatic and representational is criticized as follows: (a) five empathy-arousing processes ranging from conditioning and mimicry to prospective-taking show that empathy can be either automatic or representational, and only under certain circumstances, both; (b) although automaticity decreases, empathy increases with age and cognitive development; (c) observers' causal attributions can shift rapidly and produce more complex empathic responses than the theory allows.
There is a sense in which antidepressants are feminist drugs, liberating and empowering …A lot of things have been said about Prozac.1 We have been instructed both to "listen" and to "talk back" to Prozac (Kramer 1993; Breggin 1994), Prozac has been called a wonder drug (Schumer 1989; Cowley 1990), it has been described as capable of dramatically changing selves and dramatically changing our conception of what a self is (Kramer 1993), it has been accused of dulling our artistic drive (...) (Berlin 2008), of diminishing our authenticity (Elliott 2000) and has been called a modern-day Soma, à la Brave New World (Weisberger 1995, 72; PCBE 2003, 258). It has also been called a "feminist drug." It is this last claim that we .. (shrink)
An inverse akratic act is one who believes X, all things considered, is the correct act, and yet performs ~X, where ~X is the correct act. A famous example of such a person is Huck Finn. He believes that he is wrong in helping Jim, and yet continues to do so. In this paper I investigate Huck’s nature to see why he performs such acts contrary to his beliefs. In doing so, I explore the nature of empathy and show (...) how powerful Huck’s empathic feelings are. Drawing from Martin L. Hoffman, I show the relationship between empathy and a principle of justice. This relationship leads to Huck acting virtuously, as Rosalind Hursthouse maintains. (shrink)
It is tempting to think that fundamental to good moral functioning is the ability to imagine what others think and feel, or to be able to take up their perspective. Parents often encourage their children to think of how they make others feel as a means of training their moral sensibilities. Indeed, MartinHoffman claims that this is one of the most effective ways of socializing your child.i And those who think that morality is, in essence, about balancing (...) one’s projects and ends against those of other people, naturally think that being able to imagine having certain ends is of crucial importance to morality.ii Lastly, a person’s thoughts and feelings serve as guides to how to interact with her in ways that enhance her wellbeing, or, at least, are not detrimental to it. (shrink)
Abstract: Of the three aspects of moral development??the development of empathy, moral reasoning and related problem?solving strategies??we know least about empathy. Possible reasons for this are explored. Some of the relevant literature is reviewed. A new stage?theory by M. L. Hoffman is described which shows how the development of person permanence, the capacity for role?taking, and the awareness of personal identity may create the conditions under which the young child moves from a primitive response to the mother's physical distress (...) to sympathetic distress, altruism, and eventually to guilt. The article concludes with implications for socialization, comments relating to future research, and a comprehensive bibliography. (shrink)
To date the teaching of business ethics has been examined from the descriptive, prescriptive, and analytical perspectives. The descriptive perspective has reviewed the existence of ethics courses (e.g., Schoenfeldtet al., 1991; Bassiry, 1990; Mahoney, 1990; Singh, 1989), their historical development (e.g., Sims and Sims, 1991), and the format and syllabi of ethics courses (e.g., Hoffman and Moore, 1982). Alternatively, the prescriptive literature has centred on the pedagogical issues of teaching ethics (e.g., Hunt and Bullis, 1991; Strong and Hoffman, (...) 1990; Reeves, 1990; Castro, 1989; George, 1987; Golenet al., 1985) and in providing recommendations for teachers of business ethics (e.g., Nappi, 1990; Hosmer and Steneck, 1989). From the analytical perspective judgments have been made as to whether courses in ethics are in fact effective in achieving value and attitudinal modifications in students (e.g., Loeb, 1991; Weber, 1990; Wynd and Mager, 1989; Pamental, 1989; Martin, 1982; Purcell, 1977). The evidence to date suggests that courses can be a means of achieving ethical awareness and sensitivity in students although it should be recognized that significant objections to the teaching of business ethics do exist and greatly inhibit their successful introduction. This paper addresses a number of the common objections to the teaching of business ethics that must be overcome if ethical programs are to continue in the future, and concludes with recommendations to facilitate the establishment of ethical training in an academic context. (shrink)
This essay explains and puts into theoretical perspective the rising interest in justice as an emotional virtue. MartinHoffman's empathy theory is germane to this debate since it gives an essentially emotion?oriented account of moral development in general, as well as an explanation of the gradual bonding of empathy/sympathy with justice. While Hoffman's theory provides valuable insights into the ways in which all moral concerns, including justice, rely on and relate to the child's original capacity for empathy, (...) it seems to underestimate the emotionality of justice itself. This unnecessarily weakens the thrust of Hoffman's educational suggestions about induction as the most productive method of pro?social stimulation. (shrink)
Abstract: Cognitive developmental research has neglected the very early stages of moral development. Three recent attempts to fill this gap are briefly described. The first is MartinHoffman's stage theory account of the origins of empathy. The second is Selman's theory of the development of social perspective?taking. The third is Damon's account of the development of ?positive justice? in early childhood. The implications of these approaches for early moral education are then discussed.