Vol. 39 Núm. 1 (2019)

¿Por qué la empatía es importante para la moralidad?

Carme Isern-Mas
University of the Balearic Islands
Antoni Gomila
University of the Balearic Islands

Publicado 2019-05-01

Palabras clave

  • Moral Competence,
  • Morality,
  • Empathy,
  • Sympathy,
  • Moral Judgment
  • Competencia moral,
  • Moralidad,
  • Empatía,
  • Simpatía,
  • Juicio moral


En este trabajo, nos centramos en los argumentos kantianos de Prinz en “Is Empathy Necessary for Morality?” (2011), donde niega que la empatía sea necesaria para la moralidad porque no es una de las capacidades requeridas para tener competencia moral. Primero mostramos que incluso aceptando las nociones de Prinz de empatía y de competencia moral, la empatía sigue teniendo un papel en la competencia moral. Segundo, argumentamos que la competencia moral no se reduce al juicio moral. Tercero, criticamos la noción de empatía de Prinz porque es demasiado restrictiva, ya que requiere convergencia emocional. Concluimos que una vez entendidas la moralidad y la empatía, el papel de la empatía en moralidad queda justificado. La moralidad no se reduce al juicio racional, sino que presupone necesariamente preferencias sociales y motivación y sensibilidad para con las demandas intersubjetivas.


Asada, M. (2015), “Towards Artificial Empathy: How Can Artificial Empathy Follow the Developmental Pathway of Natural Empathy?”, International Journal of Social Robotics, 7 (1), pp. 19-33.
Baez, S., Manes, F., Huepe, D., Torralva, T., Fiorentino, N., Richter, F., Huepe-Artigas, D., Ferrari, J., Montañes, P., Reyes, P., Matallana, D., Vigliecca, N. S., Decety, J. and Ibanez, A. (2014), “Primary Empathy Deficits in Frontotemporal Dementia”, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6, pp. 1-11.
Batson, C. D. (2009), “These Things Called Empathy: Eight Related but Distinct Phenomena”, in Decety, J. and Ickes, W. (eds.), The Social Neuroscience of Empathy, Cambridge, The MIT Press, pp. 3-16.
Blair, I. V. (2002), “The Malleability of Automatic Stereotypes and Prejudice”, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6, pp. 242-261.
Blair, R. J. R. (1995), “A Cognitive Developmental Approach to Morality: Investigating the Psychopath”, Cognition, 57 (1), pp. 1-29.
Bloom, P. (2014), “Against Empathy”, Boston Review, pp. 1-11.
Cela-Conde, C. J. (1987), On Genes, Gods and Tyrants: The Biological Causation of Morality, Dordrecht, Springer.
Darwall, S. (1998), “Empathy, Sympathy, Care”, Philosophical Studies, 89, pp. 261-282.
Darwall, S. (2006), The Second-Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.
Dasgupta, N. and Rivera, L. M. (2008), “When Social Context Matters: The Influence of Long-Term Contact and Short-Term Exposure to Admired Outgroup Members on Implicit Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions”, Social Cognition, 26 (1), pp. 112-123.
De Vignemont, F. and Singer, T. (2006), “The Empathic Brain: How, When and Why?”, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, pp. 435-441.
De Waal, F. B. M. (2008), “Putting the Altruism back into Altruism: The Evolution of Empathy”, Annu.Rev.Psychol., 59, pp. 279-300.
Decety, J. and Jackson, P. L. (2006), “A Social-Neuroscience Perspective on Empathy”, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15 (2), pp. 54-58. Retrieved from http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.gi?T=JS&PAGE=reference&D=psyc5&NEWS=N&AN=2006-06 699-002.
Dezecache, G., Eskenazi, T. and Grèzes, J. (2016), “Emotional Convergence: A Case of Contagion?”, in Obhi, S. S. and Cross, E. S. (eds.), Shared Representations: Sensorimotor Foundations of Social Life, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 417-438.
Dezecache, G., Jacob, P. and Grèzes, J. (2015), “Emotional Contagion: Its Scope and Limits”, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19 (6), pp. 297-299.
Dill, B. and Darwall, S. (2014), “Moral Psychology as Accountability”, in D’Arms, J. and Jacobson, D. (eds.), Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 40-83.
Falkenstein, L. (2010), “Étienne Bonnot de Condillac”, in Zalta, E. N. (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2010). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2010entries/ condillac/.
Goldman, A. I. (1992), “Empathy, Mind, and Morals”, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 66 (3), pp. 17-41.
Gomila, A. (2008), “La relevancia moral de la perspectiva de segunda persona”, in Pérez, D. y Fernández Moreno, L. (eds.), Cuestiones filosóficas: Ensayos en honor de Eduardo Rabossi, Buenos Aires, Catálogos, pp. 493-510. Retrieved from http://menteylenguaje.pucp.edu.pe/wpcontent/uploads/2014/05/Gomila-La-relevancia-moral-de-la-perspectivade-la-segunda-persona.pdf
Gomila, A. and Amengual, A. (2009), “Moral Emotions for Autonomous Agents”, in Vallverdú, J. and Casacuberta, D. (eds.), Handbook of Research on Synthetic Emotions and Sociable Robotics: New Applications in Affective Computing and Artificial Intelligence, IGI Global, pp. 166-180.
Gould, S. J. and Lewontin, R. C. (1979), “The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme”, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 205 (1161), pp. 581-598.
Haidt, J. (2008), “Morality”, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3 (1), pp. 65-72.
Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J. T. and Rapson, R. L. (1993), Emotional Contagion: Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 2, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Hatfield, E., Rapson, R. L. and Le, Y.-C. L. (2009), “Emotional Contagion and Empathy”, in Decety, J. and Ickes, W. (eds.), The Social Neuroscience of Empathy, Cambridge, The MIT Press, pp. 19-31.
Heyes, C. (2018), “Empathy Is Not in Our Genes”, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 95, pp. 499-507.
Hoffman, M. L. (2001). Empathy and Moral Development: Implications for Caring and Justice, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Iacoboni, M. (2009), “Imitation, Empathy, and Mirror Neurons”, Annual Review of Psychology, 60 (1), pp. 653-670.
Isern-Mas, C. and Gomila, A. (2018), “Externalization Is Common to All Value Judgments, and Norms Are Motivating because of Their Intersubjective Grounding”, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41, p. 21.
Jackson, P. L., Meltzoff, A. N. and Decety, J. (2005), “How Do We Perceive the Pain of Others? A Window into the Neural Processes Involved in Empathy”, NeuroImage, 24 (3), pp. 771-779.
James, R. and Blair, R. (1996), “Brief Report: Morality in the Autistic Child”, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 26 (5), pp. 571-579.
Kraut, R. E. and Johnston, R. E. (1979), “Social and Emotional Messages of Smiling: An Ethological Approach”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37 (9), pp. 1539-1553.
Lim, A. and Okuno, H. G. (2015), “A Recipe for Empathy: Integrating the Mirror System, Insula, Somatosensory Cortex and Motherese”, International Journal of Social Robotics, 7 (1), pp. 35-49.
Maibom, H. L. (2009), “Feeling for Others: Empathy, Sympathy, and Morality”, Inquiry, 52, pp. 483-499.
Masto, M. (2015), “Empathy and Its Role in Morality”, Southern Journal of Philosophy, 53 (1), pp. 74-96.
Meltzoff, A. N. and Decety, J. (2003), “What Imitation Tells Us about Social Cognition: A Rapprochement between Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 358 (1431), pp. 491-500.
Mendez, M. F., Anderson, E. and Shapira, J. S. (2005), “An Investigation of Moral Judgement in Frontotemporal Dementia”, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, 18 (4), pp. 193-197.
Monsó, S. (2015), “Empathy and Morality in Behaviour Readers”, Biology and Philosophy, 30 (5), pp. 671-690.
Paiva, A., Leite, I., Boukricha, H. and Wachsmuth, I. (2017), “Empathy in Virtual Agents and Robots”, ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems, 7 (3), pp. 1-40.
Pettigrew, T. F. (1998), “Intergroup Contact Theory”, Annual Review of Psychology, 49 (1), pp. 65-85.
Pettigrew, T. F. and Tropp, L. R. (2006), “A Meta-Analytic Test of Intergroup Contact Theory”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90 (5), pp. 751-783.
Prinz, J. (2011), “Is Empathy Necessary for Morality?”, in Coplan, A. and Goldie, P. (eds.), Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 211-229.
Railton, P. (2016), “Moral Learning: Why Learning? Why Moral? And Why Now?”, Cognition, 167, pp. 172-190.
Rhodes, M. and Chalik, L. (2013), “Social Categories as Markers of Intrinsic Interpersonal Obligations”, Psychological Science, 24 (6), pp. 999-1006.
Roskies, A. L. (2011), “A Puzzle about Empathy”, Emotion Review, 3 (3), pp. 278-280.
Rowlands, M. (2012), “Can Animals be Moral?”, Dilemata, 4 (9), pp. 1-32.
Schilbach, L., Timmermans, B., Reddy, V., Costall, A., Bente, G., Schlicht, T. and Vogeley, K. (2013), “Toward a Second-Person Neuroscience”, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36, pp. 393-462. Retrieved from http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0140525X12000660.
Sie, M. (2014), “Self-Knowledge and the Minimal Conditions of Responsibility: A Traffic-Participation View on Human (Moral) Agency”, Journal of Value Inquiry, 48 (2), pp. 271-291.
Stueber, K. (2014), “Empathy”, in Zalta, E. N. (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2014/entries/empathy/.
Thirioux, B., Mercier, M. R., Blanke, O. and Berthoz, A. (2014), “The Cognitive and Neural Time Course of Empathy and Sympathy: An Electrical Neuroimaging Study on Self-Other Interaction”, Neuroscience, 267, pp. 286-306.
Tomasello, M. (2016), A Natural History of Human Morality, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.
Tomasello, M. and Vaish, A. (2013), “Origins of Human Cooperation and Morality”, Annual Review of Psychology, 64 (1), pp. 231-255. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eoah&AN=29304.
Trevarthen, C. (1977), “Descriptive Analyses of Infant Communication Behavior”, in Schaffer, H. R. (ed.), Studies in Mother-Infant Interaction: The Loch Lomond Symposium, London, Academic Press, pp. 227-270.
Trevarthen, C. (1980), “The Foundations of Intersubjectivity: Development of Interpersonal and Cooperative Understanding in Infants”, in Olson, D. (ed.), The Social Foundations of Language and Thought: Essays in Honor of J. S. Bruner, New York, Norton, pp. 316-342.
Tronick, E., Als, H., Adamson, L., Wise, S. and Brazelton, T. B. (1978), “The Infant’s Response to Entrapment between Contradictory Messages in Face-to-Face Interaction”, Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 17 (1), pp. 1-13.
Van Baaren, R. B., Decety, J., Dijksterhuis, A., van der Leij, A. and van Leeuwen, M. L. (2009), “Being Imitated: Consequences of Nonconsciously Showing Empathy”, in Decety, J. and Ickes, W. (eds.), The Social Neuroscience of Empathy, Cambridge, The MIT Press, pp. 31-42.
Wispé, L. (1986), “The Distinction between Sympathy and Empathy: To Call Forth a Concept, a Word Is Needed”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50 (2), pp. 314-321.