Empathy plays a central role in the history and contemporary study of ethics, interpersonal understanding, and the emotions, yet until now has been relatively underexplored. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Empathy is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting field and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising over thirty chapters by a team of international contributors, the Handbook is divided into six parts:

  • Core issues
  • History of empathy
  • Empathy and understanding
  • Empathy and morals
  • Empathy in art and aesthetics
  • Empathy and individual differences.

Within these sections central topics and problems are examined, including: empathy and imagination; neuroscience; David Hume and Adam Smith; understanding; evolution; altruism; moral responsibility; art, aesthetics, and literature; gender; empathy and related disciplines such as anthropology.

Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy, particularly ethics and philosophy of mind and psychology, the Handbook will also be of interest to those in related fields, such as anthropology and social psychology.

chapter |9 pages

Introduction to philosophy of empathy

ByHeidi L. Maibom

part 1|63 pages

Core issues

chapter 1|9 pages

Cognitive empathy

ByShannon Spaulding

chapter 2|11 pages

Affective empathy

ByHeidi L. Maibom

chapter 3|11 pages

Phenomenology, empathy, and mindreading

ByDan Zahavi

chapter 4|10 pages

The neuroscience of empathy

ByChristine Cong Guo

chapter 5|10 pages

Empathy and mirror neurons

ByRemy Debes

chapter 6|10 pages

The evolution of empathy

ByArmin W. Schulz

part 2|59 pages

History of empathy

chapter 7|9 pages

Empathy in the aesthetic tradition

ByDerek Matravers

chapter 8|12 pages

Empathy in the phenomenological tradition

ByJames Jardine, Thomas Szanto

chapter 9|12 pages

Empathy in Hume and Smith

ByImola Ilyes

chapter 10|13 pages

Empathy in twentieth-century psychology

ByMark H. Davis

part 3|66 pages

Empathy and understanding

chapter 12|11 pages

Empathy and understanding reasons

ByKarsten R. Stueber

chapter 13|10 pages

Empathy and knowing what it’s like

ByIan Ravenscroft

chapter 14|11 pages

Empathy and theories of direct perception

ByShaun Gallagher

chapter 15|11 pages

Empathy and intersubjectivity

ByJoshua May

chapter 16|10 pages

Empathy and imagination

ByAdam Morton

chapter 17|11 pages

Empathy and psychiatric illness

ByMatthew Ratcliffe

part 4|82 pages

Empathy and morals

chapter 18|12 pages

Empathy and altruism

ByThomas Schramme

chapter 19|12 pages

Empathy and moral judgment

ByAntti Kauppinen

chapter 20|15 pages

Empathy and moral motivation

ByAlison E. Denham

chapter 21|11 pages

Empathy and moral responsibility

ByDavid Shoemaker

chapter 22|11 pages

Empathy and legal responsibility

ByIshtiyaque Haji

chapter 23|9 pages

Empathy and care ethics

ByMaurice Hamington

chapter 24|10 pages

Empathy and medical therapy

ByPer Nortvedt

part 5|56 pages

Empathy in art and aesthetics

chapter 25|8 pages

Empathy and painting

ByNoël Carroll

chapter 26|13 pages

Empathy in music

ByJenefer Robinson

chapter 27|11 pages

Empathy in literature

ByEileen John

chapter 28|10 pages

Empathy in film

ByJane Stadler

chapter 29|12 pages

Imaginative resistance and empathy

ByKathleen Stock

part 6|49 pages

Empathy and individual differences

chapter 30|12 pages

Empathy across cultures

ByDouglas Hollan

chapter 31|11 pages

Empathic accuracy

ByVivian P. Ta, William Ickes

chapter 32|13 pages

Empathy and psychopathology

ByJeanette Kennett

chapter 33|11 pages

Gender and empathy

ByRobyn Bluhm