Building a Culture of Empathy with Philosophy

Vivian Bohl is an Estonian philosopher at Tartu University. She is a PhD student and her doctoral work is in the field of social cognition.

We talked about the definitions of Empathy.  “Defining empathy has always been a tricky issue and up to now, the conceptual issues surrounding ’empathy’ are causing more and more confusion in scientific and philosophical literature. It’s about time someone did something to solve these complex conceptual issues. I see that in your project, you are also interested in compassion. This is a very important empathy-related topic, in my opinion.


For me, the best definition of compassion is a Buddhist definition: it is the wish to alleviate the suffering of others and to eliminate the causes for suffering. Since I’m quite happy with that definition, we could discuss what this definition exactly means and also talk about how to become a more compassionate person.”