When one experiences the lack of empathy as a boundary issue or even a boundary violation, including a dignity violation, then the response is narcissistic rage in an attempt to get back one’s own and re-establish the boundary. I suggest this is a primitive, primary process response that is rarely well thought out or even all that adaptive – except perhaps in a context of self-defense against an immediate danger – but it is a common response. This does not jive with the average everyday understanding of empathy but it is the heart of the matter: wherever there is empathy – can narcissistic rage be far behind?
This post explores the parallel – the analogy – between empathy and taste. Such a parallel is justified by invoking the tradition in which empathy is made the basis of aesthetics. Instead of regarding this basis as a historical confusion, the… Read More ›
In the Anthropology (1797: §16; 33; 154), Kant calls out “The thrill that comes over us at the mere idea of the sublime and the gooseflesh [grüseln] with which fairy tales put children to bed late at night are vital… Read More ›
The Development of Sympathy in Hume’s Thinking: From a ‘Delicacy of Sympathy’ [i.e., Empathy] to a Taste
Draft article: DraftHumeSympathy20091116Agosta There is a long history in British empiricist philosophy that engages “sympathy.” There are at least four meanings of “sympathy” in the writings of David Hume, dating to his a Treatise on Human Nature (1739). In today’s… Read More ›