A Rumor of Empathy: Rewriting Empathy in the Context of Philosophy, the book, now available….


A RUMOR OF EMPATHY: Rewriting Empathy in the Context of Philosophy

Here is the short version of the short  version: The deep, underground history of empathy is surfaced and reconstructed in Hume, Kant, Lipps, Freud, Scheler, Stein, and Husserl. A rumor of empathy is engaged in vicarious feeling, receptivity, empathic understanding, empathic interpretation, and empathic intersubjectivity. A rumor of empathy becomes a scandal of empathy in Lipps’ projections and Strachey’s mistranslations. Empathy is reconstructed in Hume’s many meanings of “sympathy”; in Kant on “the communicability of feelings” and “enlarged thinking” of the other; in Freud’s introspection and free association; in Scheler’s “vicarious experience” and perception of The Other; in Stein’s sensual empathy; and in Husserl’s late writing on empathic windows of consciousness accessing other persons as Husserl’s empathy moves from the periphery to the foundation of community. Yet when all the philosophical arguments and categories are complete, the phenomenological methods reduced, and hermeneutic circles spun out, in empathy, we are quite simply in the presence of another human being.

For those who knew Michael Franz Basch personally, see the tribute to him in the Preface – an empathic moment indeed. The work is also available as a more reasonably priced electronic version. Available to ship as of this date (2014/11/24).  “Okay, I’ve read enough – I want to order to book.” Click here to order from Amazon  – A Rumor of Empathy: Rewriting Empathy in the Context of Philosophy.

Other interesting comments by a well known psychoanalyst and academic –


Lou Agosta has written a delightful and much needed book on the evolution and genesis of the idea of empathy. His deep appreciation and understanding of the writings of Hume, Kant, Lipps, Freud, Scheler and Husserl allows him to recognize, explore and ultimately fashion a wonderfully clear and practical notion of empathy, one in which we not only come to know the other as we listen with care, understand with insight, and interpret with feeling, but also one in which we learn to communicate openly and respond with humanity. In bringing together the skills of the philosopher and the experience of the psychotherapist, Lou Agosta helps us to understand the steady rise of empathy and why it informs and inspires so many modern-day disciplines and professional practices. For all those wishing to revel in empathy’s rich provenance, this is the book for you. – David Howe, Emeritus Professor, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK and author of Empathy: What It Is and Why It Matters
A Rumor of Empathy is a masterpiece of philosophical-historical scholarship, presenting a rich and comprehensive account of the explicit and implicit conceptions of empathy that have appeared in the course of Western thinking from Hume through Kant, Lipps, Freud, and contemporary phenomenologists, both philosophical and psychoanalytic. Husserl’s rewriting of his own publishing position as empathy shifts to the foundation of intersubjectivity is particularly eye opening. This book will be a valuable resource not only for scholars in philosophy, psychology and the human sciences, but for practitioners of psychoanalytic and humanistic psychotherapy as well. – Robert D. Stolorow, author of World, Affectivity, Trauma: Post-Cartesian Philosophy
An insightful and provocative exploration of a topic that has only begun to receive the attention it deserves and the conceptual clarity needed for proper understanding. Agosta’s study of empathy is rich in historical context and thorough in covering the intersections of philosophy and psychology on the question of empathy. The deep history of a rumor of empathy in Hume, Kant, Lipps, Scheler, Stein, and Husserl is innovative and disruptive, the latter in a positive sense. Agosta rightly, in my view, finds in Husserl a primary vehicle for advancing the discussion, yet he has his own voice and sense of how to think it through. An impressive achievement. – Lawrence J. Hatab, Louis I. Jaffe Professor of Philosophy, Old Dominion University, USA
The book is also available directly from the publisher –  A Rumor of Empathy: Rewriting Empathy in the Context of Philosophy
This post and all the processes and contents of this web site (c) Lou Agosta, Ph.D.

Categories: David Hume, Edith Stein, Edmund Husserl and Einfühlung, Empathy, empathy consulting, Hermeneutics, historical empathy, Philosophy, sympathy, Theodor Lipps

Tags: , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: