Authors
Jing Hu
Concordia University
Abstract
This article challenges the pessimistic view that empathy and other fellow feelings are biased and erratic motivation for morality. By discussing Mencius’ account on how to develop empathy from its biased and erratic beginnings, I argue that empathy can be extended to less common objects, such as non-kin, the faraway, the unfamiliar, and the abstract. The extension facilitated by empathy in turn enhances one’s moral cognition toward the sufferings of less common objects; the extension also helps to include less common objects into one’s circle of care. I respond to critics of empathy such as Prinz by highlighting the dynamic cultivational process of empathy that they overlook, and further point out that empathy can be cultivated so as to provide a remedy for the biases that no emotion is immune to. This article contributes to the ongoing discussion on moral cultivation in the Chinese philosophy community and the dispute over empathy’s role in morality in contemporary ethics.
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-018-9614-x
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References found in this work BETA

On Revolution.E. J. Hobsbawm & Hanna Arendt - 1965 - History and Theory 4 (2):252.
The Ethics of Care and Empathy. [REVIEW]M. Slote - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):190-192.
Is Empathy Necessary for Morality.Jesse J. Prinz - 2011 - In Amy Coplan & Peter Goldie (eds.), Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 211--229.
Against Empathy.Jesse Prinz - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):214-233.
Understanding Empathy.A. Coplan - 2011 - In Amy Coplan & Peter Goldie (eds.), Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 3--18.

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