In Michael Schefczyk & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Utility, Progress, Technology. Karlsruhe, Germany: KIT Scientific Publishing. pp. 139-151 (2021)

Christoph Lumer
University Of Siena
The article develops an internalist justification of welfare ethics based on empathy. It takes up Hume’s and Schopenhauer’s internalistic (but not consistently developed) justification approach via empathy, but tries to solve three of their problems: 1. the varying strength of empathy depending on the proximity to the object of empathy, 2. the unclear metaethical foundation, 3. the absence of a quantitative model of empathy strength. 1. As a solution to the first problem, the article proposes to limit the foundation of welfare ethics to certain types of empathy. 2. In response to the second problem, an internalistic metaethical conception of the justification of moral principles is outlined, the result of which is: The moral value of the well-being of persons is identical to the expected extent of (positive and negative) empathy arising from this well-being. 3. The contribution to the solution of the third problem and focus of the article is an empirical model of the (subject’s) expected extent of empathy depending on (an object’s) well-being. According to this model, the extent of empathy is not proportional to the expected empathy, but follows a concave function and is therefore prioritarian. Accordingly, the article provides a sketch of an internalist justification of prioritarianism.
Keywords prioritarianism  justification of morals  internalism  internalist justification of prioritarianism  empathy  extent of empathy  strength of empathy  Hume
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Utilitarianism.J. S. Mill - 1861 - Oxford University Press UK.
The Methods of Ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1962 - Cambridge University Press.

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