Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):74-96 (2015)

Meghan Masto
Lafayette College
In this paper, I will argue, contra Prinz, that empathy is a crucial component of our moral lives. In particular, I argue that empathy is sometimes epistemologically necessary for identifying the right action; that empathy is sometimes psychologically necessary for motivating the agent to perform the right action; and that empathy is sometimes necessary for the agent to be most morally praiseworthy for an action. I begin by explaining what I take empathy to be. I then discuss some alleged problems for empathy and explain why some argue that empathy is unnecessary and sometimes even problematic in the moral domain. Next, I criticize a prominent alternative to an empathy-based morality. Finally, I argue that that empathy is sometimes epistemologically and psychologically necessary for doing the right thing and is sometimes necessary for moral worth. I conclude with a discussion of the important role of empathy in our everyday lives
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/sjp.12097
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: 62,343
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

Simulating Minds: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindreading.Amy Coplan - 2008 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (1):94-97.
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.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Relational Value of Empathy.Monika Betzler - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (2):136-161.
Empathy and the Value of Humane Understanding.Olivia Bailey - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Kinesthetic Empathy, Dance, and Technology.Andrew J. Corsa - 2016 - Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Journal 6 (2):1-34.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
129 ( #81,541 of 2,445,337 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #76,507 of 2,445,337 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes