the word itself in English “empathy” was not invented until a Cornell University psychologist, Edward Bradford Titchner, was translating (1895) one of the innovators who are credited with founding psychology as a science, namely, Wilhelm Wundt – and Titchener invented the word “empathy” to translate the German “Einfühlung”.
Surveys show that most people think that empathy is compassion. The world certainly needs more compassion, but it is not synonymous with empathy. Empathy tells you what the other person is experiencing as a vicarious experience, and not an identification; compassion (and ethics) tells you what to do about it. Empathy is oxygen for the soul. If one is feeling short of breath at the end of the school year or business cycle, it is possible that they are in need of expanded empathy.
By the end of George Makari’s engaging – indeed monumental – Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind (W.W. Norton 2016: 652 pp.) one comes to understand that the modern mind is more ancient than most people believe and the… Read More ›
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… Read More ›
This work is now available thanks to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Empathy and Sympathy in Ethics. URL: http://www.iep.utm.edu/emp-symp/ This work is in effect an unpublished chapter (now published) from my book Empathy in the Context of Philosophy (Palgrave… Read More ›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 ›