•  11
    One of the reasons why empathy is a topic of enduring interest is the role it can play in understanding others. Empathy can help us to predict each other’s future actions and explain past ones; to...
  •  17
    Why severe moral transgressions are often difficult to understand
    Philosophical Explorations 27 (2): 144-156. 2024.
    When we learn about a severe moral transgression that has been committed, we are often not only horrified but also puzzled. We are inclined to raise questions such as ‘Why did they do this?’ or exclaim: ‘I cannot understand why anyone would do such a thing!’. This suggests that there is something difficult to understand about severe moral wrongs. In this paper, I offer an explanation of the phenomenon that severe moral transgressions are often difficult to understand. I begin by arguing that the…Read more
  •  38
    The Significance of Meta-Emotions for Reflecting on Ourselves and Others
    Passion: Journal of the European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotion 1 (2): 169-184. 2023.
    Meta-emotions are emotions about emotions, such as, for example, shame about anger. An important subset of meta-emotions constitutes a special case of co-experienced emotions, in which one emotion is directed at another emotion experienced by a subject at the same time. By making us reflectively aware of our own first-order emotions and suggesting an evaluation of them, meta-emotions enable reflection on our own emotional sensibility. In this paper, I explore the roles of meta-emotions in the co…Read more
  •  61
    Testimony of Oppression and the Limits of Empathy
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 27 (2): 185-202. 2024.
    Testimony of oppression is testimony that something constitutes or contributes to a form of oppression, such as, for example, “The stranger’s comment was sexist.” Testimony of oppression that is given by members of the relevant oppressed group has the potential to play an important role in fostering a shared understanding of oppression. Yet, it is frequently dismissed out of hand. Against the background of a recent debate on moral testimony, this paper discusses the following question: How shoul…Read more
  •  54
    Democratic Empathy and Affective Polarization
    Social Philosophy Today 39 71-87. 2023.
    Social scientists have observed a sharp rise in affective polar­ization in many societies, particularly the United States. Since it is widely agreed that this poses a threat to democracy, finding solutions to this predicament is essential. One prominent proposal to depolarize the electorate holds that citizens need to exercise their capacities for empathy with the political opposition. However, defenders of the empathy response to affective polarization have yet to fully specify the range of mec…Read more
  •  259
    Although moral relativists often appeal to cases of apparent moral disagreement between members of different communities to motivate their view, accounting for these exchanges as evincing genuine disagreements constitutes a challenge to the coherence of moral relativism. While many moral relativists acknowledge this problem, attempts to solve it so far have been wanting. In response, moral relativists either give up the claim that there can be moral disagreement between members of different comm…Read more
  •  148
    Emotional Gaslighting and Affective Empathy
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (3): 320-338. 2022.
    Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that undermines a target’s confidence in their own cognitive faculties. Different forms of gaslighting can be distinguished according to whether they undermine a target’s confidence in their emotional reactions, perceptions, memory, or reasoning abilities. I focus on ‘emotional gaslighting’, which undermines a target’s confidence in their emotional reactions and corresponding evaluative judgments. While emotional gaslighting rarely occurs in isolation, it is…Read more
  •  385
    Functionalist Conceptions of Moral Progress and the Plurality of Ways of Life
    In Michael Reder, Alexander Filipovic, Dominik Finkelde & Johannes Wallacher (eds.), Yearbook Practical Philosophy in a Global Perspective 3, Verlag Karl Alber. pp. 50-72. 2019.
    Many prominent conceptions of moral progress implicitly assume that progress must lead to convergence in the moral domain. However, given the actual plurality of ways of life and attendant moral outlooks, there is no reason to assume improvement must lead to uniformity. Moreover, as the entanglement of the Enlightenment discourse of progress with colonialism makes evident, the assumption that progress must lead to convergence can license problematic practical conclusions. Drawing on insights fro…Read more