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Title: The triviality of empathy
Authors: Chee, Benny Jian Li
Keywords: Humanities::Philosophy
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Chee, B. J. L. (2023). The triviality of empathy. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: In this paper, I attempt to critique empathy as a method for gaining knowledge of other minds. I do so by first outlining an account of empathy and how it is commonly construed as a way of understanding others. I first suggest that the requirements such accounts make of us in terms of perspective-shifting lead to inaccuracies in the knowledge we come to have of others as our imaginative capabilities are often flawed. I then consider whether such problems can be solved by specifying relevant features for successful perspective-shifting, as well as restricting the scope of empathy to when successful perspective-shifting can be achieved. However, the two challenges from our inability to identify with those radically different from ourselves and the existence of transformative experiences leads me to conclude that such solutions are ultimately unsatisfactory because empathy ends up only giving us trivial knowledge of those we are already similar to, and cannot allow us knowledge of those different from us.
Schools: School of Humanities 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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