In my opinion Bloom’s article about empathy is the sort of thing people in Boston might like, yet not those of more reasoning cities with less leftist drift. It lacked any sort of philosophical merit. It was rather immature regarding experience and had the sense of careerist screed.
Compassion and empathy are equally fine states of mind a rational individual might use when necessary. It should not be taken as a solely emotional condition. One whom has had toothaches themselves for instance, could feel compassion or empathy in equal measure upon encountering someone complaining of a toothache, as they prefer. Yet of course they would not experience the real pain of a toothache-perhaps a memory of what is was like that is in no way as intense.
I believe that being a cognitive human being allows one to have a Cartesian kind of experience of mind and extremities concurrently. One knows what one knows and regarding and evaluating the reality of the existence of others is part of that. I suppose one could classify it as a proactive utilitarian regard for the well being of all people and finding the best way to bring the best for all people into actuality at any given moment in history. Necessarily the active, learning, creative individual can have empathy and compassion as components of his thought experience with or without rational detachment. What should not be lost is the rational element, and perspective too.
It is amazing that people feel it reasonable to go from textbook to career with abstract careerist lexical structures to classify the experience of mind for-oneself and for-others. Yet Mr. Spock of Star Trek and the Bodhisattva would seem to lack empathy and not be pathological indifferent about the well being of others. We know that Mr. Spock sometimes had a rare fling as well, the scoundrel. Would that be supportive of the notion that Mr. Bloom has an implicit logic error in his progression developing empathy as a less than optimal aspect of human nature comparable even to the behavior of chimpanzees?
Psychologists sometimes appear to be lacking an element of compassion for Platonic realism in their treatment of words and concepts that describe emotion. They haven’t empathy for Kripke’s neo-realist regard for words as having a semblance of transcendental identity. Empathy for the nominal meanings of words persisting in memory might promote a phenomenological epiphany of insight for the field practitioner. He or she might be able to grasp the generality of human existence better as mass experience with individual differentiation and creativity with common elements of being and experience. Seeking the good for oneself and for-others are two sides of a common coin.
The Lord replied when asked; Matthew 22:36-40King James Version (KJV)
“36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”