A Just Medium: Empathy and Detachment in Historical Understanding

This paper explores the role of empathy and detachment in historical explanation by comparing Collingwood and Hume's philosophies of history to Brecht and Stanislavki's theories of theatre. I argue that Collingwood's notion of re-enactment shares much more with Hume and Brecht than it does with Stanislavski. This enables a just medium between rationalistic and empathetic accounts of historical understanding, as recently put forth by Mark Bevir and Karsten Stueber respectively.
Keywords Understanding   Detachment   Empathy   Explanation   Re-Enactment   Theatre
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DOI 10.1163/187226311X582310
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Mark Bevir & Karsten Stueber (2011). Empathy, Rationality, and Explanation. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (2):147-162.
Dan Zahavi (2008). Simulation, Projection and Empathy. Consciousness and Cognition 17 (2):514-522.
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Jesse Prinz (2011). Against Empathy. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):214-233.
Karsten Stueber, Empathy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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