Lou Agosta is on the faculty of the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
He practices psychotherapy in the Chicago. His area of concentration
includes the dynamic containing and transforming of domestic violence and
intimate partner abuse. Lou is author of
Empathy in the Context of Philosophy
which is an exploration of the deep structure of empathy as a fundamentally
human capability for creating possibilities of community and human
relations. He also writes extensively about the
nature of empathy on his website
"The short definition of empathy is that it is the capacity to know what an
other individual is experiencing because (speaking in the first person for
emphasis) I experience it too, not as a merger but as a trace affect or
experience that samples the other’s experience. Thus, if one is overwhelmed
by the other’s trauma and re-traumatized, one is not using one’s empathy
properly. Simply stated, you are doing it wrong. "
The good news is that empathy serves as an antidote
to burnout or "compassion fatigue." Note the language here.
Unregulated empathy results in "compassion fatigue." However, empathy
lessons repeatedly distinguish empathy from compassion.
Most providers of empathy find that with a modest amount of training,
they can adjust their empathic receptivity up or down to maintain
their own emotional equilibrium. In the face of a series of sequential
samples of suffering, the empathic person is able to maintain his
emotional equilibrium thanks to a properly adjusted empathic
receptivity. No one is saying that the other's suffering or pain
should be minimized in any way or invalidated. One is saying that,
with practice, regulating empathy becomes a best practice.
Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action
and create a transcription of this video, check
the volunteers page. The transcriptions will make it easier for
other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)
Introduction: Rewriting the Definition of Empathy
1. A Rumor of Empathy in Hume's Many Uses of Sympathy
2. A Rumor of Empathy in Kant
3. From a Rumor of Empathy to a Scandal of Empathy in Lipps
4. Rewriting Empathy in Freud
5. Rewriting Empathy in Max Scheler
6. Husserl's Rewriting of Empathy in Husserl
"The deep, underground history of empathy is surfaced and
reconstructed in Hume, Kant, Lipps, Freud, Scheler, Stein, and Husserl.
A Rumor of Empathy is engaged in vicarious feeling, receptivity,
empathic understanding, empathic interpretation, and empathic
A rumor of empathy becomes a scandal of empathy in
Lipps' projections and Strachey's mistranslations. Empathy is
reconstructed in Hume's many meanings of "sympathy"; in Kant on "the
communicability of feelings" and "enlarged thinking" of the other; in
Freud's introspection and free association; in Scheler's "vicarious
experience" and perception of The Other; in Stein's sensual empathy; and
in Husserl's late writing on empathic windows of consciousness accessing
other persons as Husserl's empathy moves from the periphery to the
foundation of community.
Yet when all the philosophical arguments and categories
are complete, the phenomenological methods reduced, and hermeneutic
circles spun out, in empathy, we are quite simply in the presence of
another human being."
"This is the complete talk: Explore the secret underground history of
empathy in such thinkers as David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Theodor Lipps,
Sigmund Freud, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger in this lecture.
Surveys show that most people think that empathy is compassion. The
world certainly needs more compassion, but it is not synonymous with
empathy. Empathy tells you what the other person is experiencing as a
vicarious experience, and not an identification; compassion (and ethics)
tells you what to do about it. Empathy is oxygen for the soul. If one is
feeling short of breath at the end of the school year or business cycle,
it is possible that they are in need of expanded empathy."
"A famous person once said: "Empathy is oxygen for the soul." So if one
is feeling shortness of breath, maybe one needs expanded empathy! This
course will connect the dots between empathy and neuroscience ("brain
science"). For example, empathic responsiveness releases the compassion
hormone oxytocin, which blocks the stress hormone cortisol. Reduced
stress correlates to reduced risk of such life style disorders as
cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weak immune system, depression, and
the common cold."
Empathy And Literature At Rush Oct13 2016
"Most people think that empathy is compassion. And while the world needs
more compassion, empathy is distinct from compassion. Empathy tells me
what the other individual is experiencing; compassion tells me what to
do about it. Engages with examples from world literature, including
Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks and Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie.
The scenes include empathic receptivity in Hanno's trip to the dentist
and empathic understanding in Thomas' encounter with Hanno during the
long silence as Gerda makes music with The Lieutenant. Empathic
responsiveness is powerfully illustrated in William's work with Blue
Your Unfair Competitive Advantage in Career Transition: Complete Session
Lou Agosta discusses the four phases of empathy and how break downs and
break throughs in each phase contribute to success in career transition
and job search. This is the complete session and includes engagement
with the multi-dimensional definition of empathy, an exercise to expand
one's empathy (and listening), and significant question-and-answer with
the audience. Highly interactive.
How is empathy different than compassion or altruism?
How does empathy contribute to or act as a filter against burn out or
What does it mean to train or develop one’s empathy – and how does one
In this talk, the attendee learn (engage with):
(1) What is empathy – how is it defined – and how does it function
(2) A short – very short – narrative of the secret story of empathy in
the history of philosophy
(3) How do break downs in empathy give us access to break through
results in human relations?
(4) How does empathy relate to introspection?
"Lou Agosta, Ph.D., specializes in a gracious and
generous listening based on empathy. As an educator, he teaches empathy
in the history and systems of psychology program at the Illinois School
of Professional Psychology at Argosy University and he is a
psychotherapist in private practice in Chicago."
"This educational video explores empathy in the listening and speaking
of the community of psychologists, psychotherapists, and those committed
to emotional and human well-being. That about covers it. Where is
empathy present and where is it missing? Should one expect the therapist
to cry with you if the trauma is really, really sad? What if she or he
does cry anyway? How does this relate to music therapy? Neurology?
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)? How does empathy relate to the “circle of
caring”? All these questions and more are engaged. Not to be missed!"
Review - Empathy in the Context of Philosophy
in the Context of Philosophy,
Lou Agosta seeks to make a philosophical contribution to the debate on what
empathy is, a debate that has often taken place mainly in the psychological
arena. While this topic enjoyed its academic hay-day nearly 100 years ago,
he tells us discussions about the nature and experience of empathy are
making a comeback. Agosta sees humankind entering a new empathetic age,
brought on by such things as discoveries in neurology and discussions in the
media about the fitness about Supreme Court judges (the vetting process
includes investigating if the individual has too little or too much
empathy), however the core problem from a century ago remains: empathy was
never definitively settled, and thus we still don't know what it is.
Empathy will always be a relevant notion because it is, according to Agosta,
what makes the human being 'human' and the lack of it means the loss of
"Lou Agosta Talks About Empathy With Arnon Rolnick. The slight echo in
the sound is quickly corrected. Arron asks Lou about "Training to
Empathy" - how does one improve empathy through training. The
multi-dimensional definition of empathy is revised including empathic
receptivity, empathic understanding, empathic interpretation, and
empathic speech (listening/response)."