25 February 2011

Empathy is instrinsic to morality

"Moral values are not something that we work out rationally on the principle of utility, or any other principle, for that matter, but are irreducible aspects of the phenomenal world, like colour. ... moral value is a form of experience irreducible to any other kind, or accountable for on any other terms; and ... this perception underlies Kant's derivation of God from the existence of moral values more rather than moral values from the existence of a God. Such values are linked to the capacity for empathy, not reasoning; and moral judgments are not deliberative, but unconscious and intuitive, deeply bound up with our emotional sensitivity to others. Empathy is instrinsic to morality." (The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist, 2009; page 86). 

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