Navigation auf


Seminar für Filmwissenschaft

The Medium of Love: A New Theory of Empathy for Film, Television, and Reality

Robert Blanchet M.A. (Mag. phil.)
Referentin: Prof. Dr. Margrit Tröhler

Analyzing emotional responses, such as vicarious embarrassment, spectator disgust, and so-called empathy for pain, as well as what it means to say that one finds the behavior of another person, or a fictional character, to be understandable, this dissertation aims to refute the replication theory of empathy. Instead, I argue that empathy consists in a purely cognitive shift of one’s egocentric perspective on the world to what I call an allocentric perspective. In addition, I develop a novel account of the effects of the long-term     engagement with the characters of television series, and how these effects influence the spectator’s empathic and emotional engagement. While focusing on fiction film and television I not only aim to redefine empathy for the aesthetics but also for the real world. Hence besides film theory and aesthetics the dissertation also aims to contribute the current discussion of empathy in the philosophy of mind, ethics, social psychology, and neuroscience.