Welcome to the Empathy Wars


Critics of empathy call it biased, saying we should unemotionally help the greatest number. But Roman Krznaric suggests two kinds of empathy: ‘affective’ — feeling or mirroring others’ emotions, and ‘perspective-taking’ empathy — imagining oneself in someone else’s shoes. He gives examples of how they can work together, from sympathetic focus on a child caught in a mineshaft (affective) to the abolition of slavery (putting oneself in someone else’s place).