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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Dan Zahavi

http://j.mp/XRIFcl

Dan Zahavi and Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy

Dan Zahavi is a Professor in the Department of Media, Cognition, and Communication at the University of Copenhagen, where he specializes in the social dimension of self-experience; the nature of empathy and its relevance for social cognition; the relation between phenomenology and naturalism; selfhood and unity of consciousness with particular focus on no-self doctrines. Dan is the director of the Danish National Research Foundation’s Center for Subjectivity Research.

The center has a grant for an "Empathy and Interpersonal Understanding" project that runs from 2011 to 2015. The aim of the project is to contribute to investigate two questions:

1) What is empathy and what role does it play in interpersonal understanding?

2) To what extent does interpersonal understanding presuppose a common social and cultural background?

Dan has written numerous articles on the nature of empathy and the center is hosting workshops and conferences on the topic. One conference being held in May 2013, is on the  "Phenomenology of Empathy".
Sub Conference: Science

 

 
 

 

Dan Zahavi and Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy

 
 

 

 

Self and Other Exploring Subjectivity, Empathy, and Shame
Dan Zahavi
 

 Acknowledgements
Introduction

Part I: The Experiential Self

1: Conflicting perspectives on self
2: Consciousness, self-consciousness, and selfhood
3: Transparency and anonymity
4: Subjectivity or selfhood
5: Self and diachronic unity
6: Pure and poor
7: A multidimensional account


Part II: Empathic Understanding
8: Subjectivity and intersubjectivity
9: Empathy and projection
10: Phenomenology of empathy
11: Empathy and social cognition
12: Subjectivity and otherness

Part II: The Interpersonal Self
13: The self as social object
14: Shame
15: You, me, and we


References

 


Reciprocal empathy, second-person engagement and self-alienation
Dan Zahav at Institut für Philosophie Philosophisches Kolloquium Sommersemester 2016
One of the central questions within contemporary debates about collective
intentionality concerns the notion and status of the we. The question, however,
is by no means new. At the beginning of the last century, it was already
intensively discussed in phenomenology. Whereas Heidegger argued that a
focus on empathy is detrimental to a proper understanding of the we, and that
the latter is more fundamental than any dyadic interaction, other
phenomenologists, such as Stein, Walther and Husserl, insisted on the
importance of empathy for proper we-experiences. In my talk, I will present
some of the key moves in this debate and then discuss and assess Husserl’s
specific proposal.
: Dan Zah

 

 

Selected articles
 

January 2012 - Emotion Review: Special Section: Empathy

Basic Empathy and Complex Empathy. Emotion Review 4 (1):81-82. (2012)
"Although there in recent years has been something of an upsurge of interest in and work on empathy, there is still no clear consensus about what precisely it is. Is empathy a question of sharing another’s feelings, or caring about another, or being emotionally affected by another’s experiences though not necessarily experiencing the same experiences? Is it a question of imagining oneself in another’s situation, or of imagining being another in that other’s situation, or simply of making inferences about another’s mental states? People are disagreeing about the role of sharing, and caring, and imagination in empathy, just as they disagree about the relation between empathy and social cognition in general, and about whether empathy is a unitary phenomenon or a multidimensional construct."
 

Empathy, Embodiment And.
"When it comes to understanding the nature of social cognition, we have— according to the standard view—a choice between the simulation theory, the theory-theory or some hybrid between the two. The aim of this paper is to argue that there are, in fact, other options available, and that one such option has been articulated by various thinkers belonging to the phenomenological tradition. More specifically, the paper will contrast Lipps’ account of empathy—an account that has recently undergone something of
 (...)"
 

Empathy and mirroring: Husserl and Gallese - Dan Zahavi
"The focus of my current contribution will be on Husserl’s theory of empathy. My reason for choosing this topic is not merely a wish to fill what some might see as a lacuna in my earlier work, but is also and primarily motivated by the fact that there in recent years has been a renewed interest  in the topic. Interestingly, and perhaps also slightly surprisingly, the impetus for this interest stems from empirical research, and from the discovery of the so-called “mirror neurons”, i.e., neurons which respond both when a particular motor action, say grasping an object with the hand, is performed by the subject and when the subject observes the same goal-directed action performed by another individual."
 

 

2011Empathy and Direct Social Perception: A Phenomenological Proposal. 
Review of Philosophy and Psychology
 2 (3):541-558.
"Quite a number of the philosophical arguments and objections currently being launched against simulation (ST) based and theory-theory (TT) based approaches to mindreading have a phenomenological heritage in that they draw on ideas found in the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Stein, Gurwitsch, Scheler and Schutz. Within the last couple of years, a number of ST and TT proponents have started to react and respond to what one for the sake of simplicity might call the phenomenological proposal (PP). This paper addresses some of these critical responses, and distinguishes—in the process—substantive disagreements from terminological issues and other issues that are symptomatic of different research agendas. It does so by focusing specifically upon some objections made by Pierre Jacob. These epitomize the kinds of concerns that are being raised about PP at the moment, and thus facilitate a reply on behalf of PP that also applies more generally"
 

2010 -"Empathy, Embodiment and Interpersonal Understanding: From Lipps to Schutz 
Inquiry 53/3, 2010, 285-306
"ABSTRACT When it comes to understanding the nature of social cognition, we have  according to the standard view—a choice between the simulation theory, the theory-theory or some hybrid between the two. The aim of this paper is to argue that there are, in fact, other options available, and that one such option has been articulated by various thinkers belonging to the phenomenological tradition.  More specifically, the paper will contrast Lipps’ account of empathy—an account that has recently undergone something of
a revival in the hands of contemporary simulationists—with various accounts of empathy found in the phenomenological tradition. I  discuss the way Lipps was criticized by Scheler, Stein and Husserl, and outline some of the core features of their, at times divergent, alternatives. I then proceed by  considering how their basic take on empathy and social cognition was taken up and modified by Schutz—a thinker whose contribution to the analysis of interpersonal understanding has been unjustly neglected in recent years."


2008 - Simulation, projection and empathy." 
Consciousness and Cognition 17, 2008, 514-522.

 

2007- Expression and empathy."
 In D. Hutto & M. Ratcliffe (eds.):
 Folk Psychology Reassessed. Springer, 2007, 25-40.
"The ongoing debate about the nature of social cognition has been dominated by two competing positions, the theory–theory of mind and the simulation theory of mind. Although these positions are regularly depicted as being quite divergent, I will in the following discuss what I take to be a shared assumption, namely a certain conception of the mind–body relation. I will criticize it and, drawing on thinkers like Scheler, Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein, I will argue that our understanding  of others is crucially dependent on our understanding of their expressive behaviour."

 

Beyond Empathy: Phenomenological Approaches to Intersubjectivity
Drawing on the work of Scheler, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl and Sartre, this article presents an overview of some of the diverse approaches to intersubjectivity that can be found in the phenomenological tradition. Starting with a brief description of Scheler’s criticism of the argument from analogy, the article continues by showing that the phenomenological analyses of intersubjectivity involve much more than a ‘solution’ to the ‘traditional’ problem of other minds. Intersubjectivity doesn’t merely concern concrete face-to-face encounters between individuals. It is also something that is at play in simple perception, in tool-use, in emotions, drives and different types of self-awareness. Ultimately, the phenomenologists would argue that a treatment of intersubjectivity requires a simultaneous analysis of the relationship between subjectivity and world. It is not possible simply to insert intersubjectivity somewhere within an already established ontology; rather, the three regions ‘self’, ‘others’, and ‘world’  belong together; they reciprocally illuminate one another, and can only be understood in their interconnection