Empathy and Intersubjectivity – the Legacy

As noted on the first page of the attached article, “intersubjectivity” is understood in the article to mean our interrelated being together with one another in the interhuman world of regard for and sensitivity to the feelings of other individuals (persons). My contacts in the psychoanalytic community have told me that, since the mid-1980s when my article was first published, “intersujbectivity” has taken on a life of its own in the context of self psychology and relational theory, the latter reportedly alternatingly competing with and cooperating with self psychology is a (mostly) friedly rivalry. Without wishing to claim priority, I merely note that I was not familiar with this psychoanalytic literature on intersubjectivity at the time – though, of course, ‘object relations’ was a familiar literature – either because it [intersubjective approach] only existed in nascent form in scattered article or because I simply overlooked its significance. I would be please to be corrected on the dates and emergence of the literature (so please feel free to leave a comment below). However, with the publication of Robert Stolorow and G.E. Atwood’s (1994) Contexts of Being: The Intersubjective Foundations of Psychological Life, among other works, the intersubjective approach comes into its own. At this point, my intention is to note the distinction in the development of the term “intersubjectivity” without pretending to give an account of the points of convergence or divergence. That remains a future task to be engaged. By the way, as far as I know, the attached PDF is not otherwise available in electronic form, and you will have to use the rotate feature on your PDF reader to rotate the pages 90 degrees or, failing that, print a hard copy to read. After having received numerous requests for it, I felt it better to make it available in some form, even if only as an imperfectly captured electronic image. See EmpathyIntersubjectivitybyAgosta

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Categories: Einfühlung, Empathy, Intentionality, Psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, Self, talk therapy, Validation

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