Empathy, simulation and narrative

Shaun Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


A number of theorists have proposed simulation theories of empathy. A review these theories show 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 problems: the diversity problem and the starting problem. It is then argued that a narrative approach to empathy avoids all of these problems and offers a more parsimonious account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-381
Number of pages26
JournalScience in Context
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • empathy
  • narrative
  • simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Empathy, simulation and narrative'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this