Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal

Volume 13, April 2020

Allison Gould
Pages 62-71

Not So Skeptical
A Cow’s-Eye View on Optimism for Empathy

In this essay, I look at two skeptical accounts of empathy that argue against our ability to imagine what it is like to be someone else but present alternative solutions to accomplish the same sort of human understanding. I will demonstrate how these solutions can encompass the imaginative process cattle-equipment-designer Temple Grandin describes undergoing while trying to imagine what it is like to be a cow. I then argue that Grandin’s exercise is a successful imagination of the other and because she uses the approaches described to achieve this, the accounts are not actually skeptical, and policymakers ought to adopt these sorts of practices.