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Simulating MindsThe Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindreading$
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Alvin I. Goldman

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195138929.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 December 2019

The Fabric of Social Life

The Fabric of Social Life

Mimicry, Fantasy, Fiction, and Morality

(p.276) 11 The Fabric of Social Life
Simulating Minds

Alvin I. Goldman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Many of our distinctively human social traits are interwoven with simulational propensities. A stroll through simulation-related topics includes the psychological underpinnings of social bonds, our fascination with fiction, and the relevance of simulation and empathy to moral theory. The “chameleon effect”, which involves unconscious mimicry of facial expressions, postures, and mannerisms, promotes cohesion and liking within a group. Enactment imagination and empathy lie at the core of our experience of fiction. Emotional empathy, i.e., affective contagion, is a crucial determinant of the quality of life, and high-level empathy, or perspective taking, plays a critical role in moral motivation and moral principles, especially universalization principles like the golden rule.

Keywords:   chameleon effect, contagion, empathy, fiction, golden rule, mimicry, moral motivation, perspective taking, quality of life, social bonds

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