Kate small leather crossbody bag Saint Laurent XHKLKB8F

Kate small leather cross-body bag Saint Laurent XHKLKB8F
Kate small leather cross-body bag Saint Laurent

Search UNI

Cashmere Silk Scarf Sunset Abstract Life by VIDA VIDA WutJha

Skip to main content

You are here


Agreement on Operational and Strategic Co-operation between The Republic of Albania and Europol
[236.79 KB]


Agreement on Operational and Strategic Cooperation between Australlia and Europol
[89.16 KB]

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Agreement on Operational and Strategic Cooperation between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Police Office
[240.19 KB]


Co-operation between The Government of Canada and Europol
[132.66 KB]


Agreement on Operational and Strategic Co-operation between The Republic of Colombia and Europol
[718.23 KB]

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Agreement on Operational and Strategic Co-operation between The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Europol
[146.29 KB]


Agreement on Operational and Strategic Cooperation between the European Police Office and Georgia
[226.69 KB]


Modal Scarf Family by VIDA VIDA KuPC0qQbog
[52.59 KB]


Black Wide Triangle Sunglasses Pretty Little Thing Sxz6WLcpV
[201.57 KB]


Agreement on Operational and Strategic Cooperation between Europol and The Republic of Moldova
[1.05 MB]


Modal Scarf Spring Up Scarf by VIDA VIDA 4A0rDIH
[75.63 KB]


Shadow Logo Beanie in Black Black St 0W5UqVS3V
[172.16 KB]

Tel.: +31 70 302 5000

Now there can be no doubt that, on Hume's view, there are virtues with no touch of utility in their makeup. Cheerfulness is but one instance from "another set of mental qualities, which without any utility or any tendency to farther good, either of the community or of the possessor, diffuse a satisfaction on the beholders, and procure friendship and regard." (E 250. Cp. 263-- concerning eloquence, genius, good sense and sound reasoning, which "have a merit distinct from their usefulness"--and T 611-613)

One might then well ask what is that unifying principle which allows us to bridge the gap between the four classes and find them all to be cases of, precisely, virtue . Here it is that we come upon what must be called a descriptive ultimate in Hume's account: the sentiment of moral approbation itself. Hume's view is that we can and do directly identify and differentiate a peculiar sentiment of being pleased with a mental quality, and that we can find by reflection that a certain group of mental qualities evoke or are objects of (he speaks in both ways) that sentiment or feeling. It is a "pleasing" feeling, as aversion to vice is painful. But the mental qualities are not virtues, nor discovered to be virtues, because of the pleasure. Instead: "...in feeling that it pleases after such a peculiar manner, we in effect feel that it is virtuous.... Our approbation is imply'd in the immediate pleasure they convey to us." (T 471; cp. 296) The impressions by which moral good and evil are known are, accordingly, not pleasures or pains merely, but they are " particular pains or pleasures." (T 471, Hume's emphasis)

Hume's analysis says very little, however, about precisely how the pleasant feeling of moral approbation is distinct from other pleasant feelings. At this as well as other points one is painfully aware of how far Hume is from a carefully elaborated phenomenological viewpoint. His younger contemporary, Adam Smith (1723-1790), criticized Hume's use of utility as a moral concept at all, on the grounds that we should, if Hume were right, give moral approbation to anything that is useful, say a convenient mechanical device or an intellectual technique. "It seems impossible," Smith said, "that the approbation of virtue should be a sentiment of the same kind with that by which we approve of a convenient and well-contrived building; or that we should have no other reason for praising a man than that for which we commend a chest of drawers ." Jet Set wristlet purse Black Michael Michael Kors kowJD

Hume's response to this type of criticism, though relegated to a footnote, is highly instructive of his actual reliance upon the phenomenological appeal in his ethical theory as a whole. He remarks that "We ought not to imagine, because an inanimate object may be useful as well as a man, that therefore it ought also, according to this system, to merit the appellation of virtuous ." (E 213n) And why not? "The sentiments, excited by utility, are, in the two cases, very different; and the one is mixed with affection, esteem, approbation, c., and not the other.... There are a numerous set of passions and sentiments, of which thinking rational beings are, by the original constitution of nature, the only proper objects: and though the very same qualities be transferred to an insensible, inanimate being, they will not excite the same sentiments." ( Ibid .)

You may not literally be capable of reading people’s thoughts, but you come closer than you may realize.

Now let’s revisit the coffee shop. This time you’re only equipped with your natural human capacity for inferring moods and mindsets. Imagine that you sit down to talk with the woman who lost her father. You listen to her story, watch her body language, and notice her tone of voice. In a split second, your brain produces a kind of inner image of yourself experiencing something similar, your own “representation” of the emotional pain you’re observing in the other person. Further, you actively take her perspective by trying to infer what her experience feels like: She was close with her father. I can imagine how awful it must feel to have lost him. Based on your understanding of her situation, you feel motivated to actively improve her situation: You give her a hug, or offer to bring over dinner.

Experience sharing occurs because your brain engages overlapping neural systems for your own representation of an uncomfortable state, and for the perception of other people experiencing that state. Simply put, one way to understand others’ pain is to form a mental image of your own. At a basic level, our brains intertwine our own and others’ experiences because we are highly social creatures.

Decety and Jackson point to experiments that they believe demonstrate this innate social function of the human brain. In a 1971 experiment by Marvin Simner, replicated numerous times since, infants are exposed to the recorded sounds of other infants crying. The live infants react by immediately wailing away themselves. This is called mimicry, and the authors posit it’s a core function of human behavior. The study concludes that perception and action are intertwined in the brain from birth: The infants hear the sound of crying and that perception triggers their action: I’d better start crying, too.

Adults unconsciously imitate each other’s behavior all the time, from accents, to manners and rates of speech, to movements—which is why yawning is so contagious.

This is more a subconscious action than a deliberately empathic one, but it isn’t random biology either. Mimicry has the adaptive advantage of binding people together, fostering empathy and social cooperation, say Decety and Jackson.

Flower child  When Jacob Riis once brought flowers for children of the urban slums, their joy and excitement moved him so deeply that he soon launched a successful campaign to donate flowers to the poor. (Jacob A. Riis)

Flower child

In a 2004 flower brooch Metallic Marni U4gvsWGp1
, Rick van Baaren and colleagues found that people were friendlier and more helpful when their manners were imitated. Essentially, they say, we prefer people who are similar to us because we feel we understand them, and we give them preferential treatment.

A sense of similarity is crucial to empathy. Atrocities such as the Holocaust and the genocides of Bosnia or Rwanda were based on social constructions that turned groups of people into “others,” perceived as fundamentally different and thus undeserving of empathy. Likewise, Decety and Jackson summarize a study showing that when people encounter others who are perceived as different, their brains are less likely to produce that spontaneous image of themselves experiencing the same pain as this strange other person.

Never miss a story

Choose the plan that’s right for you. Digital access or digital and print delivery.

Leather Accent Tag violet sweater by VIDA VIDA GXFwtWXI1

Sign up for daily e-mails

Reader Services



Online Services

© Copyright 2006-2018 GateHouse Media, LLC. All rights reserved•GateHouse Business

Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. Daytona Beach News-Journal Online ~ 901 6th Street, Daytona Beach, FL 32117 ~ Privacy Policy ~ Cashmere Silk Scarf Liquid Dancer by VIDA VIDA 8Y0GE