Some think empathy is not a very good guide to moral decisions. Psychologists Daryl Cameron, Michael Inzlicht, and William A. Cunningham disagree. They think we can choose to feel empathy when we want to. “Arguments against empathy rely on an outdated view of emotion as a capricious beast that needs to yield to sober reason. Yes, there are many situations in which empathy appears to be limited in its scope, but this is not a deficiency in the emotion itself. In our view, empathy is only as limited as we choose it to be.”
Empathy … for and against
Paul Bloom claims that “if you want to be good and do good, empathy is a poor guide.” Some agree, some disagree, and that leads to a very interesting exchange of ideas on empathy.