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(2017) Philosophy and breaking bad, Dordrecht, Springer.

Empathy and evil

drug-dealing murderers are people too

Charlene Elsby, Rob Luzecky

pp. 35-44

In this chapter, we argue that Walter White's status as a fictional character in no way precludes our empathizing with him as another subject. Taking our cue from Edith Stein's concept of empathy, we demonstrate that acts of memory are different from acts of empathy, and that how it is possible to empathize with fictional characters. This analysis is supplemented by Merleau-Ponty's concept of a phenomenal body, which defines a body as a locus of possible action rather than a thing constituted of a certain material. We then provide an analysis of the potential conflict between empathic concern for (possibly evil) others and our own ethics; although it seems that great differences exist between individuals with respect to moral judgments, our similarities far exceed these differences.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40343-4_3

Full citation:

Elsby, C. , Luzecky, R. (2017)., Empathy and evil: drug-dealing murderers are people too, in R. Arp (ed.), Philosophy and breaking bad, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 35-44.

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