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Sai Emrys, On 11/04/2009 05:37:
> Empathy without sympathy does happen. Sympathy doesn't do very well with
> non-attachment (Buddhism and all that); empaths can get jaded too (or shut
> off their empathy); and people who actually like to inflict pain (empathy is
> a very good skill to have for that, as otherwise you wouldn't really know if
> it's effective or not).
> 
> Sympathy without empathy is where you care about someone's emotions, want
> them to be better, etc., but don't necessarily directly understand what
> their mindstate is like (either because you've not experienced it, or
> because you can't detect what theirs is sufficiently quickly / thoroughly).

Do you make a distinction between sympathy and compassion? If not, then sympathy is more than merely caring about another's emotions; it also involves putting oneself in the other's shoes, striving to ascertain how the other feels, and experiencing a vicarious reflection of the other's emotion, the archetypal case being a parent's sympathy for their child. And in ordinary English, sympathy still retains senses that involve mutuality (e.g. sympathetic vibrations in acoustics; political sympathies, etc.). But I have the impression (not supported by the dictionaries I have to hand) that perhaps 'sympathy'/'sympathize' has been by some (such as, to my unyoung British mind, the speakers of a stereotypical alien Californian psychobabble) replaced by 'empathy'/'empathize', because for them, 'sympathy'/'sympathize' have shifted in meaning to 'pity'? But you seem to mean something more by empathy, such as the property of feeling, say, irrational fear and anxiety when the other feels 
irrational fear and anxiety, rage when the other feels rage, hatred when the other feels hatred, and so forth?

--And.