Zygon 44 (3):675-698 (2009)

Authors
Joel Krueger
University of Exeter
Abstract
I draw upon the conceptual resources of the extended mind thesis to analyze empathy and interpersonal understanding. Against the dominant mentalistic paradigm, I argue that empathy is fundamentally an extended bodily activity and that much of our social understanding happens outside of the head. First, I look at how the two dominant models of interpersonal understanding, theory theory and simulation theory, portray the cognitive link between folk psychology and empathy. Next, I challenge their internalist orthodoxy and offer an alternative "extended" characterization of empathy. In support of this characterization, I analyze some narratives of individuals with Moebius syndrome, a kind of expressive deficit resulting from bilateral facial paralysis. I conclude by discussing how a Zen Buddhist ethics of responsiveness is helpful for articulating the practical significance of an extended, body-based account of empathy.
Keywords Empathy  Extended Mind  Other Minds
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2009.01024.x
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References found in this work BETA

Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.

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Citations of this work BETA

Empathy’s Blind Spot.Jan Slaby - 2014 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (2):249-258.

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