A Typology of Empathy and its Many Moral Forms
Debates about empathy's role in morality are notoriously complex. On the one hand, proponents of empathy argue that it plays a crucial role in the process of making moral judgments, moral motivation, moral development, and the cultivation of meaningful personal relationships. On the other hand, critics of empathy warn that it is especially susceptible to a number of morally troubling biases and motivational shortcomings. Yet there is little consensus about what empathy is or what it might be good for from a moral point of view. As a result, critics and proponents of empathy alike often wind up talking past each other and debates about empathy's role in morality reach an impasse. Hannah Read proposes a typology of empathy's affective, cognitive, and motivational dimensions and the different forms that empathy can take depending on the nature and degree of prominence of these. She argues that different forms of empathy are well equipped to handle some moral tasks as well as ill-equipped to handle others.
Hannah Read ist Doktorandin im Fachbereich Philosophie der Duke University. In ihrer Promotion arbeitet sie zum Thema "Moral Conflict: A Cognitive, Emotional, and Institutional Approach". Im Herbst 2022 wird sie im Rahmen des CAS-Schwerpunktes "Empathy" als Visiting Fellow ans CAS kommen.