The Moral Brain

pp 109-127


Empathy and Morality: Integrating Social and Neuroscience Approaches

  • Jean DecetyAffiliated withDepartments of Psychology and Psychiatry, and Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, The University of Chicago Email author 
  • , C. Daniel BatsonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, The University of Kansas

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Philosophers and psychologists have long debated the nature of empathy (e.g., Batson, 1991; Eisenberg, 2000; Ickes, 2003; Thompson, 2001), and whether the capacity to share and understand other people’s emotions sets humans apart from other species (e.g., de Waal, 2005). Here, we consider empathy as a construct accounting for a sense of similarity in feelings experienced by the self and the other, without confusion between the two individuals (Decety & Jackson, 2004; Decety & Lamm, 2006)