Empathy and Other-Awareness
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We are aware of other persons in many different ways. Our thoughts, feelings, or experiences may present another by image in a mental picture, by name as “Dagfinn Føllesdal” or “Virginia Woolf”, by description as “the founder of cubism” or “the leader of the Cuban Revolution”, or indexically as “you” or “she” or “he” or “they”. But it is only in perception, especially in seeing “you” or “her” or “him”, that we are acquainted with other persons.
KeywordsPerceptual Experience Phenomenal Quality Direct Awareness Intentional Force Occurrent Process
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- 2.An overall study of Dilthey’s thought is Michael Ermarth 1979], Wilhelm Dilthey: The Critique of Historical Reason.Google Scholar
- 3a.See Kohut , The Analysis of the Self,Google Scholar
- 3b.Kohut , The Restoration of the Self,Google Scholar
- 3c.Kohut , How Does Analysis Cure? Google Scholar
- 3d.Kohut reports Freud’s attitude toward empathy (at one time in one article at least) in Kohut , p. 306n. Kohut’s definition of empathy as vicarious introspection (again cited in , p. 306) originally occurred in Kohut, “Introspection, Empathy, and Psychoanalysis”, Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 7: 459–483, 1959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 5.A variation on a scene from Sartre. Cf. Sartre , Being and Nothingness, Part Three, Ch. One, IV, “The Look”, pp. 347–348.Google Scholar
- 6.See note 3 above on Kohut’s account of the role of empathy in psychoanalysis and in early psychic development. Bruno Bettelheim has argued in , Freud and Man’s Soul, that Freud’s original German prose has a humanistic — and I would say empathic — element that is systematically excised in the standard English translations. In particular, “ich”, “es”, and “überich” have a very different ring to the turn-of-the-century Viennese ear than “ego”, “id”, and “superego” (their standard translations) have for the English or American ear. Of course, I would add, the indexical words “I”, “you”, “her”, and “him” ring with empathy.Google Scholar
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