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Empathy, Simulation, and Narrative

  • Shaun Gallagher (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0269889712000117
  • Published online: 24 July 2012
Abstract
Argument

A number of theorists have proposed simulation theories of empathy. A review of these theories shows that, despite the fact that one version of the simulation theory can avoid a number of problems associated with such approaches, there are further reasons to doubt whether simulation actually explains empathy. A high-level simulation account of empathy, distinguished from the simulation theory of mindreading, can avoid problems associated with low-level (neural) simulationist accounts; but it fails to adequately address two other problems: the diversity problem and the starting problem. It is argued that a narrative approach to empathy obviates all these problems and offers a more parsimonious account.

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