In Just Babies, Paul Bloom describes morality as something that we are born with. He goes on to point out different aspects that assemble together to form our morality. These include empathy, fairness, punishment, family and strangers, and bodies. Empathy is something that stood out to me the most because of my forensic psychology class. Are we born with empathy and does it develop over time? If we are born without empathy how does this affect our choices and life after childhood? These are complex questions that have an abundant amount of components that go into them, but they are important. The nature vs. nurture debate is what comes to mind when trying to put forth my own opinion. I believe that empathy is innate and that it is fostered over time to become even greater. As most things in life are. What happens if infants come into this world with zero empathy? How will they affect others?
I will first discuss animals because animals are studied and compared to humans all of the time due to close genetic makeups that is possible. Empathic studies done in children and infants will be an important aspect of my argument as well. Lastly, I will discuss what happens if you are born without empathy. Which is basically putting someone into the category of being considered a psychopath. People can also be “good” or “bad” psychopaths. I will progress into more detail later with that. Whilst believing that empathy is innate I reflect back to the rationalists discussed in class. One major figure such as, Descartes comes to mind. Descartes believed in innateness of knowledge. The idea that we are born with certain ideas that help us to make sense of our world.
Do animals have empathy? This is an interesting question because most woul...
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Hare, R. D. (1999). Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Huss, M. T. (2009). Forensic Psychology: Research, Clinical Practice, and Applications. Massachusetts, Malden: Blackwell Publishing.
Bloom, P. (2013). Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.
Landow, G.P. (2008). So it is with Ourselves. Retreived from http://www.victorianweb.org/science/darwin/sympathy.html
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Fancher, R.E. & Rutherford, A. (2011) Pioneers of Psychology. W. W. Norton and Company.
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