He argues that empathy is counter-productive because it enmeshes the empathizer
in feelings that aren't their own.
De Vignemont and Singer have discovered that feeling empathy for another is a complex, multi-level process where the empathizer
is in an isomorphic state, elicited by the observation or imagination of another person's affective state, but where one is however aware that the other person is the source of one's own affective state (435).
Instead, a president must serve as a kind of imaginary friend: a beer buddy for men, an earnest empathizer
for women, or a charming Twitter user for the millennials.
26) Bakhtin argues that ethical answerability involves not simply a moment of empathy, but also a moment of return--a moment in which the empathizer
once again takes up her or his own point of view, enriched by the empathetic experience.
It is, rather, the indifference--blithe, heedless, smug, or solipsistic--to the fact and consequences of those failures, just as long as the empathizer
is accruing compassion points that he and others will admire.
For example, the theory approach emphasizes the cognitive inferences involved in the process but fails to address the emotional state of the empathizer
. Without inferences, the simulation theory approach reduces empathy to sharing of same or similar feelings.
Tell them to your spouse, friends, clergy -- not to a politician who is far away, who doesn't know you and whose job description does not include Empathizer
In fact, I want to demonstrate that engaging in empathy, particularly in circumstances in which there exists a power differential, often serves to create a false sense of connection in which the empathizer
is thereby freed to foist convenient attributions upon the empathized.
A person who has developed the virtue "empathy," for instance, will be better able to "read" others and to share (to a degree) their feelings; this typically enables the empathizer
to interact more decently and effectively across a range of social situations than would be the case in the absence of empathy.
Yet in the same way that a systemizer must maintain an objective distance, an empathizer
who establishes a strong attachment to another person will lose her emotional perception of other people's feelings.
First, the antecedent consists of the empathizer
's consideration of herself, the target's intent and affective state, and the situation at hand.