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Empathy and Morality - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Empathy and Morality

Heidi L. Maibom


Empathy’s centrality to morality is heavily debated. Many religious and philosophical traditions have favored empathy, sympathy, or compassion as key to moral thought, conduct, or motivation. David Hume famously thought that the pains and pleasures of others move people only because they are capable of feeling what they feel by communication, as it were. In recent decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in the idea that empathy or sympathy is central to moral judgment and motivation, but the view is increasingly attacked. Empathy is so morally limited, some argue, that researchers sho ... More

Keywords: empathy, sympathy, morality, empathy-related emotions

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199969470
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969470.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Heidi L. Maibom, editor
University of Cincinnati

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3 Empathy and Morality

Tracy L. Spinrad and Nancy Eisenberg

6 At the Empathetic Center of Our Moral Lives

K. Richard Garrett and George Graham

8 Are Empathy and Morality Linked?

Giuseppe Ugazio, Jasminka Majdandžic´, and Claus Lamm

9 On Empathy

R. Peter Hobson and Jessica A. Hobson

10 Empathy in Other Apes

Kristin Andrews and Lori Gruen

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