International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume | Article


Empathy, sympathy, compassion

John Drummond(Fordham University)

pp. 149-166


The terms “empathy” and “sympathy” are often used interchangeably, and the terms “sympathy” and “compassion” are also often used interchangeably. In other words, empathy sympathy, and compassion seem to be one thing. I shall argue, to the contrary, that there are important differences between three. I shall distinguish empathy from sympathy and compassion on the ground that empathy is not an afective experience; I shall show how empathy underlies sympathy and compassion; and I shall clarify the nature of the three kinds of experience.

Publication details

Published in:

Guccinelli Roberta, Iocco Gemmo (2020) Positive feelings on the border between phenomenology, psychology and virtue ethics. Metodo 8 (2).

Pages: 149-166

DOI: 10.19079/metodo.8.2.149

Full citation:

Drummond John (2020) „Empathy, sympathy, compassion“. Metodo 8 (2), 149–166.