Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (2):319-319 (2014)

Lou Agosta
University of Chicago (PhD)
Heidegger’s 1927 call to provide “a special hermeneutic of empathy” is linked with his later commitment at the Zollikon Seminars to engage explicitly with issues in psychodynamic therapy with psychiatrists. The task of providing a special hermeneutic of empathy is one that Heidegger assigns in Being and Time, but on which he does not deliver. Inspired by the assignment, this article applies the distinctions of Heidegger’s Daseinanalysis to human interrelations. This article generates a Heideggerian account of empathy as a multi-dimensional process that delimits and illuminates the field of possibilities of authentic human relationships. The multiple dimensions of empathy include affectedness (Befindlichkeit), understanding of possibility, interpretation, and speech, the latter including listening. The result is a reconstruction of a Heideggerian account of empathic human relations in the sense that it goes beyond what Heidegger explicitly says to what the Heideggerian method of inquiry can contribute to understanding and implementing the process of empathy. In particular, a two-by-two matrix is built and engaged in detail, cross referencing the four possibilities of authentic and inauthentic relationships with the individual and the other. A specifically Heideggerian analysis of the multi-dimensional process of empathy is the result. The clinical relevance of Heidegger’s work is made explicit as empathy is positioned as the foundation of clinical practice as exemplified in psychodynamic psychotherapy
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11019-013-9520-2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,323
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Social Construction of What?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed.Paulo Freire - 2008 - In David J. Flinders & Stephen J. Thornton (eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader. Routledge.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Relationship Between Empathy and Sympathy in Good Health Care.Fredrik Svenaeus - 2015 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 18 (2):267-277.
The Phenomenology of Empathy in Medicine: An Introduction.Fredrik Svenaeus - 2014 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (2):245-248.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Nature of Empathy.Jakob Eklund - 2013 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 20 (1):28-38.
Empathy as a Hermeneutic Practice.Ellen S. More - 1996 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 17 (3).
Depth Psychology, Death and the Hermeneutic of Empathy.George B. Hogenson - 1981 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (1):67-90.
A Three-Person Model of Empathy.Fritz Breithaupt - 2012 - Emotion Review 4 (1):84-91.
How Automatic and Representational is Empathy, and Why.Martin L. Hoffman - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1):38-39.
Empathy: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? [REVIEW]Reidar Pedersen - 2007 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11 (3):325-335.
Empathy and Consciousness.Evan Thompson - 2001 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (5-7):1-32.
Similarity Versus Familiarity: When Empathy Becomes Selfish.Elias L. Khalil - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1):41-41.


Added to PP index

Total views
23 ( #472,883 of 2,448,700 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #445,641 of 2,448,700 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes