The presence of others

Philosophical Studies 132 (2):161-190 (2007)
Abstract
Hybrid accounts of folk psychology maintain that we sometimes theorize and sometimes simulate in order to understand others. An important question is why this is the case. In this paper, I present a view according to which simulation, but not theory, plays a central role in empathy. In contrast to others taking a similar approach to simulation, I do not focus on empathy’s cognitive aspect, but stress its affective-motivational one. Simulating others’ emotions usually engages our motivations altruistically. By vicariously feeling what others are feeling, we directly come to be motivated by their projects and concerns. Simulation contrasts with more theoretical approaches to psychological attribution that help us understand and explan others, but that do not move us altruistically. This helps us see why we would posit two different folk psychological approaches instead of merely one
Keywords SIMULATION   EMPATHY   EMOTION   FUNCTIONALISM
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Ekman (1992). An Argument for Basic Emotions. Cognition and Emotion 6 (3):169-200.
Alvin I. Goldman (1992). Empathy, Mind, and Morals. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 66 (3):17 - 41.

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