Group Empathy? A Conceptual Proposal, Apropos of Polseres Vermelles

  • Héctor J. Pérez


Although the concept of empathy has received attention in different disciplines for more than a century, it is only over the last two decades that its interdisciplinary development has given it a major scientific role in fields such as neurology, psychology, social studies, ethology and philosophy. Within philosophy there have been significant developments in ethics and philosophy of mind, as well as in narrative aesthetics, an area of particular interest for this article. One of the most obvious reasons for the increase in the number of studies regarding empathy is the fact that this concept allows us to focus on primordial and other complex issues; for example, studies of empathy in psychology have contributed to the appearance of theories explaining moral development and social competence. Meanwhile, studies of empathy in aesthetics have had an extraordinary impact on research into spectator engagement with characters. However, at the same time, the complexity of the questions raised by empathy has led to controversy and debate. For example, in the field of cognitive studies of films and television series, since the articulation of the first major sympathy-based theory of emotional engagement, empathy has appeared as a term in opposition to sympathy.1 One advantage of the significant focus on empathy in so many disciplines is that the concept has become more precise and clearer; research undertaken to date has provided a solid foundation for studies grounded in interdisciplinary contributions, such as the case explored here.


Asperger Syndrome Emotional Intensity Television Series Narrative Effect Narrative Experience 
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© Héctor J. Pérez 2016

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  • Héctor J. Pérez

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