Title

Sympathy [Encyclopedia Entry]

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Language

eng

Publication Date

2013

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Source Publication

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

Source ISSN

9781444367072

Original Item ID

doi: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee315

Abstract

The term “sympathy” has two meanings in philosophical literature. According to one conception, “sympathy” commonly means having care and concern for another whose well-being is under threat or is encountering some obstacle (Darwall 1998: 261). When I feel sympathy, I feel for the other (Darwall 1998: 261). The Confucian philosopher Mengzi (also known as Mencius), for example, writes that a person seeing a small child on the verge of falling into a well would be moved by alarm and compassion (Darwall 1998: 261; Van Norden 2008: 46; see Confucian Ethics; Mencius). Here “compassion” seems to be used interchangeably with “sympathy.” When I feel sympathy or compassion, I show care and concern for another in her plight.

Comments

"Sympathy," in The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Ed. Hugh LaFollette. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2013. DOI.

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