Shaun Gallagher (left) and Karsten Stueber (right) on empathy.
Most people possess a substantial (although also limited) ability to know and understand the actions, intentions, and desires of other people. In this conversation, Gallagher and Stueber examine the notion of empathy and its importance for debates in the philosophy of mind. They ask: What is empathy? Is empathy an automatic process, or does it require effort? What are the neurological and psychological processes involved in empathy? Does our ability to empathize provide us with a reliable guide to the contents of others’ minds, or does empathy routinely mislead us?