Philosophical Psychology 32 (4):508-531 (2019)

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ABSTRACTDespite being held in something approaching universal esteem for its capacity to promote prosocial behavior and inhibit antisocial behavior, empathy has recently become the recipient of strong criticism from some of today’s leading academics. Two of the more high-profile criticisms of empathy have come from philosopher Jesse Prinz and psychologist Paul Bloom, each of whom challenges the view that empathy has an overall beneficial influence on human behavior. In this essay, I discuss the basis of their criticisms as well as why I am not compelled by their arguments to believe that empathy does more harm than good. In the process of responding to empathy’s critics, I discuss the important role that empathy plays in our moral lives. I argue that, rather than employing rational considerations to minimize the role that empathy plays in our moral and political judgments, such considerations are put to better use by expanding empathy when conducive to the common good and suppressing it when it opposes th...
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2019.1587911
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References found in this work BETA

Against Empathy.Jesse Prinz - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):214-233.
Power Changes How the Brain Responds to Others.Jeremy Hogeveen, Michael Inzlicht & Sukhvinder S. Obhi - 2014 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 143 (2):755-762.
Empathy, Justice, and Moral Behavior.Jean Decety & Jason M. Cowell - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 6 (3):3-14.

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