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. This ability, some think, is explained by our capacity to empathize with one another. 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?
“Neurons, neonates and narrative: From embodied resonance to empathic understanding” in Foolen, Lüdtke, Racine and Zlatev (eds.), Moving Ourselves, Moving Others: Motion and Emotion in intersubjectivity, consciousness, and language (forthcoming)
“Comment: Three Questions for Stueber” (2012)
Brainstorming: Views and Interviews on the Mind (2008)
“Varieties of Empathy, Neuroscience and the Narrativist Challenge to the Contemporary Theory of Mind Debate” (2012)
SEP entry on empathy (2008)
Rediscovering Empathy: Agency, Folk Psychology, and the Human Sciences (2006)