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Empathy And Reasoning In Context: Thinking About Anti-Gay Bullying, Kris Franklin Jan 2014

Empathy And Reasoning In Context: Thinking About Anti-Gay Bullying, Kris Franklin

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“Empathy” has negative connotations for many legal theorists, who may conceive of it as subjective, lacking in intellectual rigor, and emphasizing sensitivity over reason. Even those legal scholars who have embraced the importance of empathy in legal work have emphasized its affective dimensions: pointing out that empathy is central to human relations and motivations, and is therefore a crucial lawyering skill. This paper builds on social science literature that identifies both cognitive and affective dimensions to empathy, and recasts empathy as in part a central component to higher-order thinking in law. It draws examples from empathetic reasoning in foundational cases …