ACLA 2023: Theories and Practices of Empathy Across the World
This seminar explores conceptions of empathy in various philosophical, cultural, and linguistic traditions across the world. The English word “empathy,” adapted from the German einfühlung and closely associated with the older term sympathy, is notoriously slippery. Scholars have identified various affective-cognitive processes that empathy connotes, including imagining oneself in others’ situations, comprehending others’ perspectives, feeling what others feels, feeling affected by others’ experiences, and caring for others. Investigating the premises and implications of these empathic processes, scholars have shown that attending to nuanced differences between notions of empathy enhances our understanding of its possibilities and limitations.