Empathy: A Model Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Empathy is oxygen for the soul. Simply stated, empathy is being in the presence of another human being without anything being added. Being present with another human beings without adding labels, categories, philosophical arguments, diagnostic distinctions, hermeneutic circles, simply being in the presence of another human being. Empathy is human relatedness. Easier said than done. See the famous quotation from Heinz Kohut at the bottom of this post. That said, empathy intersects with many, many topics and research areas. Hence, the usefulness of a model curriculum on empathy. As a work in progress, each one of these opens up into a course or series of workshops. This is a draft. Please find a comprehensive bibliography attached – download bibliographical references by clicking here: 011_POE_References.


This list is NOT complete. For example, empathy and improv – improvisational practice in theatre and humor – is missing. Empathy is closely related to comedy and humor – both traverse a boundary between self and other. The one doing so aggressively or sexually (humor), the other doing so, well, empathically. I ran out of space for more bubbles. This is a draft.

Courses and course work in progress:

Outline (syllabus) of Course Issues in Neural Science and Empathy, to download PDF, please click here: IssuesinNeuroscienceandEmpathy.

Outline (syllabus) of Course: History and Systems of Psychology, to download PDF, please click here:  SyllabusPP7000Summer2013Agostav3.

Outline (syllabus) of Course: The Secret, Underground History of Empathy, to download PDF, please click here: EmpathyCourse2015GrahamSchoolv2.

Outline (syllabus) of selected Courses, delivered, work-in-progress, or wish list, to download PDF, please click here:  AgostaSyllabusCoursesTeaching20161024.


Kohut speaks about empathy as oxygen for the soul

For a follow up conversation on how Lou Agosta, Ph.D. can deliver this curriculum to your department, clients and/or students or how he can train you to do so, please contact LAgosta@uchicago.org. Each of the bubbles in the graphic expands or contracts to fit the available time and varies from a single, comprehensive lecture in a multiweek series to an entire course. Comments are feedback are welcome regarding this single graphic, high level overview. How can I be of service? Let me hear from you!

Categories: Altruism, Curriculum (empathy), Einfühlung, Empathy, empathy consulting, Ethics, Hermeneutics, Intentionality

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