John Deigh teaches moral, political, and legal philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Sources of Moral Agency (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Emotions, Values, and the Law (Oxford University Press, 2008), and An Introduction to Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He was the editor of Ethics from 1997 to 2008.
EMPATHY, JUSTICE, AND JURISPRUDENCE
Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
© 2011 The University of Memphis
The Southern Journal of Philosophy
Special Issue: Spindel Supplement: Empathy and Ethics
Volume 49, Issue Supplement s1, pages 73–90, September 2011
How to Cite
DEIGH, J. (2011), EMPATHY, JUSTICE, AND JURISPRUDENCE. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 49: 73–90. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2011.00058.x
- Issue published online: 1 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
This paper uses a study of the opinions in a case recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., to explain the role of empathy in legal interpretation. I argue for two theses: (1) that empathy is essential to an interpretation of law if that interpretation is to serve the interests of justice and (2) that no interpretation of a law is sound if it ignores whether so interpreting the law serves the interests of justice.