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Introduction: Embodiment and Empathy, Current Debates in Social Cognition


This special issue targets two topics in social cognition that appear to increasingly structure the nature of interdisciplinary discourse but are themselves not very well understood. These are the notions of empathy and embodiment. Both have a history rooted in phenomenological philosophy and both have found extensive application in contemporary interdisciplinary theories of social cognition, at times to establish claims that are arguably contrary to the ones made by the phenomenologists credited with giving us these notions. But this special issue is not about defending any philosophical tradition or theoretical stance against all others. It is about understanding some central aspects of the nature of our experience of other people.

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    The terms “empathetic” and “empathic” are used interchangeably in this special issue.


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This work was supported by Marie Curie Actions- Intra-European Fellowship (FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IEF, project no. 298633). I would like to thank the reviewers for their help with this special issue.

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Correspondence to Nivedita Gangopadhyay.

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Gangopadhyay, N. Introduction: Embodiment and Empathy, Current Debates in Social Cognition. Topoi 33, 117–127 (2014).

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  • Empathy
  • Embodiment
  • Social cognition