Authors
Andrew Fenton
Dalhousie University
Abstract
In moral psychology, it has long been argued that empathy is a necessary capacity of both properly developing moral agents and developed moral agency . This view stands in tension with the belief that some individuals diagnosed with autism—which is typically characterized as a deficiency in social reciprocity —are moral agents. In this paper we propose to explore this tension and perhaps trouble how we commonly see those with autism. To make this task manageable, we will consider whether high functioning individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder are capable of empathetic responses. If they are, then they possess a capacity that, on the view above, is required for moral agency. If they are not so capable, and yet sometimes engage in moral behaviour, this casts some doubt on the claim that empathy is required for moral agency. This second possibility will necessitate an exploration of the capacity of some individuals with autism to engage in moral behaviour, giving us further grounds to re-see these individuals as moral agents
Keywords moral behaviour  moral psychology  moral agency  empathy  Autism  cognitive/affective empathy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5914.2009.00402.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,079
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 37 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Empathy and Its Role in Morality.Meghan Masto - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):74-96.
Should We Welcome a Cure for Autism? A Survey of the Arguments.R. Eric Barnes & Helen McCabe - 2012 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (3):255-269.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Autism, Empathy and Moral Agency.Jeanette Kennett - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):340-357.
In Defense of the Moral Significance of Empathy.Aaron Simmons - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):97-111.
Against Empathy.Jesse Prinz - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):214-233.
Empathy, Emotion Regulation, and Moral Judgment.Antti Kauppinen - 2014 - In Heidi Maibom (ed.), Empathy and Morality. Oxford University Press.
Empathy, Approval, and Disapproval in Moral Sentimentalism.Justin D'arms - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):134-141.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-11-22

Total views
73 ( #157,812 of 2,506,097 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,380 of 2,506,097 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes