Description & Chapter Contents

Empathy and Moral Development
Implications for Caring and Justice

Martin L. Hoffman

Contemporary theories have generally focused on either the behavioral, cognitive or emotional dimensions of prosocial moral development. In this volume, these three dimensions are brought together while providing the first comprehensive account of prosocial moral development in children. The main concept is empathy - one feels what is appropriate for another person's situation, not one's own. Hoffman discusses empathy's role in five moral situations. The book's focus is empathy's contribution to altruism and compassion for others in physical, psychological or economic distress; feelings of guilt over harming someone; feelings of anger at others who do harm; feelings of injustice when others do not receive their due. Also highlighted are the psychological processes involved in empathy's interaction with certain parental behaviors that foster moral internalization in children and the psychological processes involved in empathy's relation to abstract moral principles such as caring and distributive justice.

Chapter Contents

  1. Introduction and overview;
  2. Empathy, its arousal and prosocial functioning;
  3. Development of empathic distress;
  4. Empathic anger, sympathy, guilt, feeling of injustice;
  5. Guilt and moral internalization;
  6. From discipline to internalization;
  7. Relationship and other virtual guilts;
  8. Empathy's limitations: is empathy enough?
  9. Empathy and moral principles;
  10. Development of empathy-based justice principles;
  11. Multiple-claimant and caring-versus-justice dilemmas;
  12. The universality and culture issue;
  13. Implications for intervention.
Terug naar de rubriek Achtergronden

naar boven