Can autistic people epistemically love or know of love?
Let's say we are to accept this portion of SEP:
To distinguish loving from liking via the intuition that the “depth” of love is to be explained in terms of a notion of identification: to love someone is somehow to identify yourself with him, whereas no such notion of identification is involved in liking. As Nussbaum puts it, “The choice between one potential love and another can feel, and be, like a choice of a way of life, a decision to dedicate oneself to these values rather than these” (1990, p. 328); liking clearly does not have this sort of “depth.”
But empathy is hard for an autist. It is difficult for them to put themselves in someone’s shoes and imagining their experience(s). Autists cannot feel the perspective of hurt or sad when someone else is in pain. So, how can they love if they can’t identify?
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