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p. 535. Sympathy, compassion, empathylocked

  • Rob Boddice

Abstract

Sympathy and its correlates have played and continue to play an essential role in helping humans to determine who or what is in pain. ‘Sympathy, compassion, empathy’ looks at recent neuroscientific research into a biological empathy mechanism that would explain how we can sense if someone else is in pain. What is the functional connection or overlap between the neural pathways involved in sensing and combating physical pain and those that sense and experience the pain of others? Working out whose pain counts, which in turn determines whose pain is treated or ameliorated, and whose ignored, depends upon the instrumentalization of sympathy or empathy—the root of a politics of pain.

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