Empathy and agency: the problem of understanding in the human sciences
How do we, as interpreters and theorists in the human and social sciences, understand agency? What are the methods, models, and mediating theoretical frameworks that allow us to give a reliable and adequate account of beliefs, actions, and cultural practices? More specifically, how can we as interpretive analysts employ our own cognitive capacities so as to render the beliefs, intentions, and actions of other human beings intelligible? These are the leading questions that a group of well-established social philosophers explore in this volume in light of the most recent (and hotly debated) findings in cognitive science, developmental psychology, and philosophy of mind. In particular, the debate concerning simulation -- whether agents interpret others by means of implicit theoretical assumptions, or whether they rather simulate their behavior by putting themselves in their shoes -- has produced a wide set of important empirical and philosophical insights. This book takes up those insights and discusses their impact in the context of their most important paradigms in social methodology today.A systematic introduction pertaining to the understanding-explanation debate sets the stage, followed by eleven chapters representing the different approaches tot he field. The paradigms include Wittgensteinian, Davidsonian and Diltheyan approaches, hermeneutics and critical theory, game theory, naturalized epistemology, philosophy of history and twentieth-century social theory, as well as simulation approach proper. As stake are the relation between everyday and social-scientific interpretation, the role of empathy (or role-taking) in understanding human agency, the implications of attributing rationality in the course of interpretation, as well as the relation between rational and causal models in social explanation. The discussions cut across well-established disciplinary boundaries so that the book appeals to both analytic and hermeneutic traditions within philosophy. In addition, the book speaks to all who are engaged in interpreting or explaining human agency in the cultural and social sciences.
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Simulation and Epistemic Competence
Understanding Other Minds and
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action agent argue argument assumptions Azande basic behavior beliefs and desires capacities causal ceteris paribus claim cognitive processes cognitive science Collingwood conceive conception Connectionism connectionist context counterfactual cultural Davidson debate derstanding dialogical Dilthey discussion emotions empathetic empathy epistemic epistemic virtues example experience explanation explanatory explication explicit expressions fact first-person Gadamer Goldman Gordon grasp Heal hermeneutic historical holistic human sciences ideal Ilongot imagining implicit imply inference intentional inter interpretive process knowledge language Levine and Malpas linguistic logical meaning mental method methodological narrative structure normative attitudes object off-line one's other's perspective philosophy philosophy of mind position possible practical predict preter principle of charity problem psychic psychological question rationality reason reconstruction reflexive regarding relevant requires role second person self-understanding sense simulation theory situation social sciences specific taking terpretation theoretical theorists theory of mind theory theory thought tion tive understanding Verstehen Wittgenstein
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