Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):214-233 (2011)

Authors
Jesse J. Prinz
CUNY Graduate Center
Abstract
Empathy can be characterized as a vicarious emotion that one person experiences when reflecting on the emotion of another. So characterized, empathy is sometimes regarded as a precondition on moral judgment. This seems to have been Hume's view. I review various ways in which empathy might be regarded as a precondition and argue against each of them: empathy is not a component, a necessary cause, a reliable epistemic guide, a foundation for justification, or the motivating force behind our moral judgments. In fact, empathy is prone to biases that render it potentially harmful. Another construct—concern—fares somewhat better, but it is also of limited use. I argue that, instead of empathy, moral judgments involve emotions such as anger, disgust, guilt, and admiration. These, not empathy, provide the sentimental foundation for morality.
Keywords emapthy
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DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2011.00069.x
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References found in this work BETA

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
The Emotional Construction of Morals.Jesse Prinz - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Sentiment and Value.Justin D’Arms & Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Ethics 110 (4):722-748.

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Citations of this work BETA

Moral Neuroenhancement.Brian D. Earp, Thomas Douglas & Julian Savulescu - 2017 - In L. Syd M. Johnson & Karen S. Rommelfanger (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. Routledge.
Empathy, Emotion Regulation, and Moral Judgment.Antti Kauppinen - 2014 - In Heidi Maibom (ed.), Empathy and Morality. Oxford University Press.

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