Etymology is always fun. I’m reading John Protevi’s Political Affect for reading group. In the second part of the book, Protevi traces and expounds on some Artistotelian and Kantian thought. For both of these philosophers, of course, Reason was paramount. Feelings and emotions are to be subordinated below it. Some nice Greek roots came out in the reading, which got me to thinking.
I’m not saying, certainly, that this linguistic problem is the cause of empathy being so far devalued in our world. However, looking at the etymology and the similarity of empathy with words that typically have negative connotations, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t something there, at least a little bit.