An Empathic Eye

Dominic McIver Lopes

in Aesthetics on the Edge

Published in print May 2018 | ISBN: 9780198796657
Published online June 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191860829 | DOI:
An Empathic Eye

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  • Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art
  • Philosophy of Mind


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What you see can shape how you feel, and the route from seeing to feeling sometimes involves empathy—as one might empathize with a woman seen grieving the death of her child. But empathy also comes from what is seen in pictures. Many paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs are designed to evoke empathy. Moreover, episodes of empathy triggered by pictures can help build up a person’s capacity for empathic response. Indeed, they do so by fortifying the link between seeing and empathy in a distinctive way. The case for this thesis relies upon a broad conception of empathic response plus the right conception of what it is to see scenes in pictures.

Keywords: empathy; emotion; expression; pictures; skill

Chapter.  8388 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Philosophy of Mind

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