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Understanding empathy: Metaphysical starting assumptions in the modeling of empathy and emotions
University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1221-6699
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of AISB Annual Convention 2017: Society with AI / [ed] Joanna Bryson, Marina De Vos, Julian Padget, Bath, UK, 2017, 263-267 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper has three main purposes: to set out the relationship between empathy and related phenomena, including emotional contagion; to explain how metaphysical starting assumptions regarding the nature of empathy predispose one toward one or another account of these phenomena and toward different interpretations of the same empirical data -- often radically different; and to use recent discussions of empathy in the phenomenological and enactive communities (in particular their rejection of theory of mind accounts) to put forward a radical proposal. In the paradigmatic cases, one feels that one is feeling (at least some substantive portion of) what another person is feeling: “I feel your pain”. But there are certain intense experiences along with certain related but less intense ones where there is, I claim, a single joint experience among two or more individuals. One could call these experiences “extreme” empathy. This is how phenomenologists should, I think, cash out the frequent claim that in many circumstances, one agent “directly” experiences the emotional state of another without requiring the mediation of anything like theory of mind.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bath, UK, 2017. 263-267 p.
Keyword [en]
empathy, emotions, metaphysical starting assumptions, joint experience
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14141OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-14141DiVA: diva2:1143510
Conference
2017 convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (SSAISB)
Available from: 2017-09-21 Created: 2017-09-21 Last updated: 2017-09-26

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http://aisb2017.cs.bath.ac.uk/conference-edition-proceedings.pdf

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Parthemore, Joel
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