Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):437-451 (2015)

Authors
Yujia Song
Purdue University
Abstract
A growing interest across disciplines in the nature of empathy has sparked a debate over the place of empathy in morality. Proponents are eager to capitalize on the apparent close connection between empathy and altruism, while critics point to serious problems in our exercise of empathy - we are naturally biased, empathize too much or too little, and prone to making all sorts of mistakes in empathizing. The proponents have a promising response, that it is not empathy simpliciter, but empathy in some “proper” form, that does the work they claim for it. This paper aims to propose a cautiously optimistic position for the proponent by rethinking the suggested approach. I argue that empathy plays two important roles in morality, one epistemic and the other relational, but the proponent must be careful not to exaggerate the contribution that empathy, even in its “proper” form, can make to our moral life
Keywords Empathy  Care  Understanding  Morality
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-014-9525-9
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References found in this work BETA

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Relational Value of Empathy.Monika Betzler - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (2):136-161.
Is Empathy an Emotion?Isaura Peddis - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham

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