Empathy, Mind, and Morals

Alvin I. Goldman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter explains how the core of modern cognitive science is rooted from early philosophical theories, specifically the Theory of Mind (ToM) and moral theory. Its main focus is the subject of empathy which is a vital point in the philosophy of mind and essential to several aspects of the moral theory. It initially discusses the two approaches to the ontology of mental attribution, the rationality approach and the theory-theory. It also examines a possible third, the simulation heuristic approach. Furthermore, the chapter presents an account of the developmental stages in a child's mentalizing ability, followed by an analysis of empathy in relation to affective states and its role in prescriptive and descriptive ethics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJoint Ventures
Subtitle of host publicationMindreading, Mirroring, and Embodied Cognition
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190267674
ISBN (Print)9780199874187
StatePublished - Sep 12 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Affective states
  • Cognitive science
  • Descriptive ethics
  • Empathy
  • Moral theory
  • Prescriptive ethics
  • Rationality
  • Simulation heuristic
  • Theory of mind
  • Theory-theory


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