Continental Philosophy Review 51 (3):301-321 (2018)

Authors
Zhida Luo
University of Copenhagen
Abstract
In recent years, the phenomenological approach to empathy becomes increasingly influential in explaining social perception of other people. Yet, it leaves untouched a related and pivotal question concerning the unique and irreducible intentionality of empathy that constitutes the peculiarity of social perception. In this article, I focus on this problem by drawing upon Husserl’s theory of image-consciousness, and I suggest that empathy is characterized by a “seeing-in” structure. I develop two theses so as to further explicate the seeing-in structure in question: first, empathy as a phenomenologically sui generis act is an intentional fusion of both presentation and re-presentation; and second, empathic intentionality is in essence twofold in that it is at once directed at both the other’s sensuously given body and the other’s non-sensuously given mentality. In this light, I argue that empathy is better conceived as a quasi-perceptual act that is fundamentally different from external perception simpliciter and other complex acts such as signitive, recollective and imaginative intention.
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DOI 10.1007/s11007-017-9432-6
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Citations of this work BETA

Husserl’s Theory of Bodily Expressivity and its Revision: In View of the “1914 Texts”.Zhida Luo - 2021 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 53 (3):315-331.
Inter-affectivity and social coupling: on contextualized empathy.Zhida Luo & Xiaowei Gui - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 21 (2):377-393.

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