Cambridge University Press (2022)

An influential body of recent work on moral psychology has stressed the interconnections among ethics, narrative, and empathy. Yet as Patrick Colm Hogan argues, this work is so vague in its use of the term 'narrative' as to be almost substanceless, and this vagueness is in large part due to the neglect of literary study. Extending his previous work on universal story structures, Hogan argues that we can transform ill-defined intuitions about narrative and ethics into explicit and systematic accounts of the deep connections between moral attitudes and narratives. These connections are, in turn, inseparable from empathy, a concept that Hogan proceeds to clarify and defend against a number of widely read critiques. In the course of the book, Hogan develops and illustrates his arguments through analyses of global narratives, constructing illuminating ethical interpretations of literary works ranging from Shakespeare to Chinese drama and the Bhagavad Gita.
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