Empathy and the extended mind

Zygon 44 (3):675-698 (2009)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
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.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
KRUEAT
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-02-28
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Phenomenological Mind.Gallagher, Shaun & Zahavi, Dan
The Extended Mind.Clark, Andy & Chalmers, David J.

View all 73 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2009-08-27

Total views
524 ( #6,712 of 46,246 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
109 ( #5,353 of 46,246 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.