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Chapter 3 - Perspective Taking in Life

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 November 2023

Peter Dixon
Affiliation:
University of Alberta
Marisa Bortolussi
Affiliation:
University of Alberta
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Summary

Although our ultimate goal is an analysis and theory of perspective taking in literature, an important insight is that perspective taking in reading literature is subject to the same factors and constraints and may depend on the same types of processes as perspective taking in real life. In Chapter 3, we review research in social and personality psychology that is applicable to literary perspective taking and that can help us advance our understanding of how readers make sense of fictional minds. Under the general umbrella term of “mind reading,” theory of mind, theory theory, and simulation theories offer competing explanations of how individuals make sense of other minds. We argue that interpreting these ideas in terms of analogy provides the basis for a more coherent analysis. We also consider the problem of empathy and how it is related to mind reading. Our analysis is that empathy should be thought of as emotional perspective taking, and we apply our analogical inference approach here as well. Finally, we consider the neural bases of perspective taking and discuss how different brain networks may be related to the components of perspective taking by analogy.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Analogical Reader
A Cognitive Approach to Literary Perspective Taking
, pp. 40 - 79
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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