chapter  29
17 Pages

Vicarious experiences: perception, mirroring or imagination?

ByPierre Jacob and Frédérique de Vignemont

Empathy is the subject of much current psychological investigation and philosophical scrutiny. We take it as a fundamental condition of adequacy on an account of empathy that it should be able to reflect both the similarities and the differences between empathetic experiences and the four following related psychological phenomena: the target’s affective or emotional state that is the cause of the empathetic experience; emotional contagion; non-empathetic mindreading; and sympathy. In previous work, we have offered an account of empathy (de Vignemont and Singer, 2006; de Vignemont and Jacob, 2012; Jacob, 2011; Jacob, 2015) that rests on the following four fundamental ideas.