Title

Empathy and Evil: Drug-Dealing Murderers are People Too

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2017

Publication Source

Philosophy and Breaking Bad

Inclusive pages

35-44

DOI

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

Publisher

Palgrave-MacMillan

Place of Publication

New York

ISBN/ISSN

9783319403427

Abstract

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.

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Philosophy

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