“The Philosophy of Empathy” by Michael Slote

Everyone talks and writes about empathy nowadays, not just presidents who speak about “feeling your pain” or appointing empathic federal judges, but scientific writers, talk show hosts, journalists, and most of the rest of us, too.

Scientists tell us about mirror neurons in the brain that might underlie empathic processes and about the various ways in which apes and other nonhuman animals are capable of empathy.

. And studies indicate that human males are less disposed toward empathy than human females because only the male brain is bathed in testosterone in utero and because the higher testosterone levels that males tend to register throughout their lives are associated with a greater aggressiveness that gets in the way of empathy.

By Michael Slote