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Empathy and Moral Development: Implications for Caring and Justice [Paperback]

Martin L. Hoffman

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Book Description

Nov. 12 2001 052101297X 978-0521012973 1
Contemporary theories have generally focused on either the behavioral, cognitive or emotional dimensions of prosocial moral development. This volume provides the first comprehensive account of prosocial moral development in children. The book's focus is empathy's contribution to altruism and compassion for others in physical, psychological, or economic distress; feelings of guilt over harming someone; feelings of anger at others who do harm; feelings of injustice when others do not receive their due. Also highlighted are the psychological processes involved in empathy's interaction with certain parental behaviors that foster moral internalization in children and the psychological processes involved in empathy's relation to abstract moral principles.

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Review

'Empathy and Moral Development is the most important book on empathy, its cultivation, and its fundamental contribution to moral development and behavior. Hoffman's use of types of moral encounter as an organizational device is inspired. In this one work, we finally have the integrative product of Hoffman's three decades of impressive contributions to the field.' John C. Gibbs, Ohio State University

'Elegantly written ... a useful attempt to make moral reasoning more evidence based.' Richard Ashcroft, The Lancet

'For over four decades Martin Hoffman has investigated the many facets of moral development, focusing particularly on empathy. In this very important book he integrates his efforts, giving the reader a powerful account of the central role that empathy plays in moral agency. Hoffman's book will serve as a contemporary milestone for both researchers and educators in moral development.' Journal of Moral Education

Book Description

Contemporary theories have generally focused on either the behavioral, cognitive or emotional dimensions of prosocial moral development. In this volume, these three dimensions are brought together while providing the first comprehensive account of prosocial moral development in children. The main concept is empathy--one feels what is appropriate for another person's situation, not one's own. The book's focus is empathy's contribution to altruism and compassion for others in physical, psychological, or economic distress; feelings of guilt over harming someone; feelings of anger at others who do harm; feelings of injustice when others do not receive their due. Also highlighted are the psychological processes involved in empathy's interaction with certain parental behaviors that foster moral internalization in children and the psychological processes involved in empathy's relation to abstract moral principles such as caring and distributive justice. This important book is the culmination of three decades of study and research by a leading figure in the area of child and developmental psychology.

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When I tell people my field is moral development, the first response is usually silence, sometimes "Oh!" Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Hoffman 's Hapless Heuristics Aug. 12 2014
By Edward C. Moran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The most readily apparent emotions we experience could be said to be the basis of what unites us as people-in-relation. This is Hoffman's basic assumption in proposing his empathy as the basis for moral development. Unfortunately, even though he attempts to parse all the different nuances that empathy can take, his system seems way too subjective to take seriously. I was hoping for more neural - physiological discussion on the topic and thought his overall treatment vacuous and not very pertinent to guide contemporary life.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good content. could be more concise. March 20 2011
By estar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author provides a framework for empathy. He helpfully re-defines the ambiguous word and then categorizes the different types of empathy. It was easy to read but after about 2/3 into the book, I felt that a lot of the content was repetitive.

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