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Commentary: Empathy and its discontents
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Decision Research, Eugene, OR, USA. (JEDlLab)
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Lund University, Sweden. (JEDILab)
Decision Research, Eugene, OR, USA; University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (JEDILab)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8159-1249
2017 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, 542Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

In “Empathy and its discontents” Bloom (2017: see also Bloom, 2016) argues that we should abandon empathy as a moral compass in favor of compassion. Bloom’s central premise is that empathy is narrow in its focus on single identified individuals, biased in that it favors the in-group, and can be used as a tool to motivate us to do things that are not optimally effective, or even destructive (e.g., motivate war). For all these reasons, Bloom argues that policy decision should not be motivated by empathy. There is indeed ample evidence that empathy is fraught with biases and we have, as Bloom, argued that deliberate mechanisms are needed to counteract the innumeracy and parochialism of empathy (Slovic and Västfjäll, 2010). While there is much to agree with Bloom on, there are a few points where we disagree; (1) the definition of compassion, (2) data supporting why empathy, but not compassion, is bad, (3) the role of deliberation in moral judgment. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2017. 542
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-137123DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00542ISI: 000400736100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-137123DiVA: diva2:1093331
Funder
Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelseMarianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation
Note

Funding agencies: National Science Foundation, Vetenskapsradet; Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

Available from: 2017-05-05 Created: 2017-05-05 Last updated: 2017-06-01Bibliographically approved

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