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Deconstructing empathy - so nice that you empathise with what I am saying

Empathy, an orientation of spirit decidedly different from sympathy, has become central to our moral universe.

 We celebrate it as the hallmark of a noble spirita pillar of social justice, and the gateway to reaching our highest human potential — a centerpiece of our very humanity. 

And yet this conception of empathy is a little more than a century old and originated in art: It only entered the modern lexicon in the early twentieth century, when it was used to describe the imaginative act of projecting oneself into a work of art in an effort to understand why art moves us.

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