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Radical Empathy

WHAT IS RADICAL EMPATHY?
February 16, 2017
Jack Schot
"Radical Empathy is actively striving to better understand and share the feelings of others. To fundamentally change our perspectives from judgmental to accepting, in an attempt to more authentically connect with ourselves and others. Our radically empathetic community places this at the root of everything we do." 


Human Rights to Feminist Empathy: Radical Empathy in the Archives
This article proposes four interrelated shifts in these archival relationships, based on radical empathy.
May 2016 
Marika Cifor
 anthropologist Joan D. Koss-Chioino argues that empathy in healing relationships “creates an inter-subjective space where individuals,” regardless of their prior relationships to one another, enter into “intimate relation.” In its extreme form, “individual differences are melded into one field of feeling and experience,” a phenomenon Koss-Chioino describes as “radical empathy. 


"Radical empathy is thus a learned process of direct and deep connection between the self and another that emphasizes human commonality through “thinking and feeling into the minds of others.”26 Applying a feminist framework, sociologist Lorraine Nencel calls for adopting a politics of “radical empathy” as a relation that increases compassion the sharing of social capital, and empathic demonstrations of the experiences, needs, and wants of all research collaborators in feminist fieldwork practices."

“Radical empathy” has been employed in a range of contexts to describe theoretical and observed relations between people, the self, and others. In her ethnographic work on learning within the psyche and the place of the body in spiritual transformation and healing, anthropologist Joan D. Koss-Chioino argues that empathy in healing relationships “creates an inter-subjective space where individuals,” regardless of their prior relationships to one another, enter into “intimate relation.” In its extreme form, “individual differences are melded into one field of feeling and experience,” a phenomenon Koss-Chioino describes as “radical empathy.”25 Radical empathy is thus a learned process of direct and deep connection between the self and another that emphasizes human commonality through “thinking and feeling into the minds of others.”26"


Joan D. Koss-Chioino, “Spiritual Transformation, Relation and Radical Empathy: Core Components of the Ritual Healing Process,” Transcultural Psychiatry 43, no. 4 (December 2006): 655–56.

The concept of radical empathy has also been taken up in philosophy by Matthew Ratcliffe to describe a distinct kind of empathy emerging out of a phenomenological stance that opens the possibility of structurally different ways of finding oneself in the world.29

Matthew Ratcliffe, “Phenomenology as a Form of Empathy,” Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55, no. 5 (October 2012): 474–95.



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