Closing the Empathy Gap: Technology, Ethics, and the Other

Cees Zweistra

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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This research investigates a phenomenon that is referred to as “the empathy gap” (Konrath,, 2011). The empathy gap is the situation in which there is diminished ability in Perspective Taking (PT) and Emotional Concern (EC), caused by technology. The central objective of this investigation has been to understand what the empathy gap is, how technology could have caused it, and what we need in order to close it. From the perspective of this investigation, the empathy gap is a failure to establish successful contact with exteriority. As such it constitutes a sui generis ethical challenge, because, from the proposed perspective, the Self needs exteriority in order to let itself be “called into question”. This is the definition of ethics as employed over the course of this investigation and it is derived from and inspired by Levinas’s account of ethics.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van der Hagen, Tim, Supervisor
  • Aydin, Ciano, Supervisor
Award date26 Sep 2019
Print ISBNs978-90-386-4852-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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