How empathetic are you as a person?
I have no doubt that many different sorts of social animals have a form of empathy that is similar to aspects of our own.
I have seen empathic behaviour in dogs, horses, cows, sheep.
I have even seen it in fish, in swordfish, one of which had a broken bill, but was given a turn by the others in it group to feed, even though it couldn’t contribute by using its own sword to stun prey.
Games theory predicts the emergence of levels of empathy in socially cooperative species.
That is in fact what we see.
It also predicts the presence of cheating strategies, and of countermeasures to cheating strategies, which is again, what we observe, in something of an evolutionary arms race.
One of the things that some find hard, is the idea that these bahaviours can evolve without the sort of awareness or understanding that we humans have about such things – that awareness can come much later, if at all.
I seem to rate quite high in empathy.
And it seems that empathy is certainly enhanced via shared experience (is reliant on it in a sense, and doesn’t always come from it – necessary and not sufficient – as they say).