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Empathy and Morality$
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Heidi L. Maibom

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969470

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969470.001.0001

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Empathy, Emotion Regulation, and Moral Judgment

Empathy, Emotion Regulation, and Moral Judgment

Chapter:
(p.97) 5 Empathy, Emotion Regulation, and Moral Judgment
Source:
Empathy and Morality
Author(s):

Antti Kauppinen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969470.003.0005

Empathy’s role in moral judgment has not received as much attention as its role in moral motivation. Empathy makes a difference by way of arousing emotions that causally influence judgment. Empathy’s critics point to its inherent partiality and limitations, which allegedly mean that it cannot play a fundamental role in explaining judgment, and that its influence is normatively problematic. In response, this chapter draws on the classical sentimentalist tradition and recent psychological literature to argue that when empathic reactions are subjected to emotion regulation by reference to an ideal perspective, they are after all fit to fundamentally explain why people make non-self-interested, interpersonally acceptable moral judgments. Getting along with others pressures people to down-regulate empathy with the near and dear and up-regulate empathy with the distant and different. When people successfully do so, there’s good reason to think that the resulting judgments are vindicated rather than undermined.

Keywords:   empathy, moral judgment, emotion regulation, ideal perspective

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