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Empathy and Emotions: On the Notion of Empathy as Emotional Sharing

Dissertation, Umeå University (2003)

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  1. Varieties of Empathy and Moral Agency.Elisa Aaltola - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):1-11.
    Contemporary literature includes a wide variety of definitions of empathy. At the same time, the revival of sentimentalism has proposed that empathy serves as a necessary criterion of moral agency. The paper explores four common definitions in order to map out which of them best serves such agency. Historical figures are used as the backdrop against which contemporary literature is analysed. David Hume’s philosophy is linked to contemporary notions of affective and cognitive empathy, Adam Smith’s philosophy to projective empathy, and (...)
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  • Skepticism, Empathy, and Animal Suffering.Elisa Aaltola - 2013 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (4):457-467.
    The suffering of nonhuman animals has become a noted factor in deciding public policy and legislative change. Yet, despite this growing concern, skepticism toward such suffering is still surprisingly common. This paper analyzes the merits of the skeptical approach, both in its moderate and extreme forms. In the first part it is claimed that the type of criterion for verification concerning the mental states of other animals posed by skepticism is overly (and, in the case of extreme skepticism, illogically) demanding. (...)
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