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On Sympathy$
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Sophie Ratcliffe

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239870.001.0001

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Understanding Sympathy and Sympathetic Understanding

Understanding Sympathy and Sympathetic Understanding

(p.6) 1 Understanding Sympathy and Sympathetic Understanding
On Sympathy

Sophie Ratcliffe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an overview of ideas of sympathy and empathy, and their relations with theology, from the late 19th century to the present day. Using The Tempest as a central example, it considers the limits of the cognitive-evaluative object-based view of sympathy that is common in liberal humanist readings of texts, particularly those by Martha Nussbaum. Drawing on the ideas of Stanley Cavell and Noël Carroll, the chapter puts forward alternative models for reading, setting the idea of fictional ‘character’ against that of a fictional ‘creature’.

Keywords:   allegory, allusion, analogy, Carroll, Cavell, character, cognitive-evaluative theories of mind, creature, empathy, emotion, George Eliot, identification, Nussbaum, simulation, sympathy

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