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Empathy and Democracy

Feeling, Thinking, and Deliberation

Michael E. Morrell

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: Penn State University Press

Front Cover

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Library of Congress

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

As this work has been long germinating in my mind, there are many people that have contributed to its development, even if they have forgotten they have done so. Among the valued colleagues and students who have helped with my thinking and research on empathy and deliberation, I want to thank Jared Baker, Sarah Barrett, Michael Brooks, William Burress, Erin...

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1. The Democratic Promise

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pp. 1-17

There is a promise inherent in democracy: before a society makes decisions that it will use its collective power to enforce, it will give equal consideration to everyone in the community. The development of collective decision-making institutions that take into consideration a wider range of interests did not begin with the rise of modern democracies. Ancient Athens, the...

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2. The Deliberative Turn in Democrative Theory

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pp. 18-38

For the past several decades, democratic theory has taken a deliberative turn, and yet, as Samuel Freeman notes, “There is no settled and commonly accepted account of the central features of a deliberative democracy among political scientists and theorists” (2000, 373). In order to recognize why deliberative democracy ought to take affect and empathy more seriously,...

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3. The Elusive Concept of Empathy

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pp. 39-66

As Nancy Eisenberg and Janet Strayer explain, “Because of its wide-ranging application, the notion of empathy is, and always has been, a broad, some-what slippery concept—one that has provoked considerable speculation,excitement, and confusion” (1987, 3). Jonathan Levy goes even further to state that the “word empathy has been troublesome since it entered the...

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4. Empathy in Deliberative Theory

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pp. 67-100

Most deliberative theorists pay scant specific attention to empathy, and while using the process model of empathy reveals that this silence is not as pervasive as it may seem on the surface, their theories still miss some of empathy’s important contributions. In order for theories of deliberative democracy to address the tension between equal consideration and legitimacy, we must...

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5. Empathy's Importance- The Empirical Evidence

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pp. 101-128

We now have a model of the empathic process that allows us to discuss the various aspects of empathy in a more complete way, but I have yet to make the case that such an account is vital to our understanding of deliberative democracy. There are both empirical and theoretical reasons why I believe that the process model of empathy I have defended is necessary for...

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6. Deliberative Democracy and its Critics

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pp. 129-157

The empirical evidence indicates that the process of empathy is necessary if deliberative democracy is going to function as conceived in the core deliberative theories. Without empathizing citizens, deliberative democracy will likely be no more than a talkative form of aggregative democracy. Yet there is an alternative, further-reaching conclusion suggested by this evidence:...

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7. Empathy and Democracy

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pp. 158-196

Democracy needs the process of empathy. At the end of Chapter 5 I argued that deliberative theories, in order to address the empirical evidence, had to take the empathic process more seriously. The theoretical critiques surveyed in the previous chapter, though, make even more serious claims about the viability of deliberative democracy. The most persuasive way to...


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pp. 197-210


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pp. 211-221

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780271053455
E-ISBN-10: 0271053453
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271036601
Print-ISBN-10: 0271036605

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 2 charts/graphs, 2 tables
Publication Year: 2010