Criticisms of Empathy
A list of criticisms of empathy.

Empathy can be used for a bad purpose 
    • Bully - reading their emotions
    • Used Car Salesman
    • Interrogators 
    • Torturer   


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Scholars have pointed out that empathy can have deleterious effects on people as it can be abused, manipulated, and misunderstood. Empathy is not in and of itself moral and this moral ambiguity can lead to abuse. Some of the concerns identified include: 
  • Potential for consumer manipulation (the “empathy economy”)
  •  Creation of a false sense of understanding of others 
  • Potential manipulation through the development of empathy in Artificial Intelligence and robotics
  •  Increased vulnerability
  •  Reinforcement of current hierarchies of power 
  • A bias to cuteness and familiarity (children, puppies, peers, and people like us)How can museums help people to harness the good while minimizing the potential negative effects of heightened empathy?
  • Defining empathy as not being about action versus compassion as being about taking action and wanting to alleviate suffering.
  • Too much empathy can be debilitating.
  • Becoming distressed about the suffering of others, 
  • Empathic Distress

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