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(Zahavi + 2016)

Beyond Mirroring: 4E Perspectives on Empathy
Dan Zahavi & John Michael
Forthcoming in A. Newen, L. de Bruin, S. Gallagher (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of 4e Cognition. Oxford University Press. In press

Notes: Addresses some of the criticism of empathy by Paul Bloom.

"The notion of empathy does not have a long history. The German term ‘Einfühlung’ was introduced into the field of social cognition by the psychologist Theodor Lipps at the beginning of the 20 th Century and used as a label for our basic understanding of others; an understanding that, according to Lipps, involved a combination of imitation and projection. It was Lipps’ notion that Edward Titchener had in mind when he in 1909 translated ‘Einfühlung’ as ‘empathy’  (Titchener 1909). When considering the current debate on empathy, it quickly becomes evident that a diversity of different definitions of and  approaches to the topic are available, and that no consensus seems forthcoming. A recent issue of   Boston Review entitled (Against) Empathy  can serve as a good illustration of this ."

 role of reciprocity 
"One aspect that may not have been sufficiently highlighted in Schilbach and colleagues’ article, however, is the role of reciprocity (de Bruin et al., 2012; Fuchs, 2013). After all, the second-person perspective involves bidirectionality and reciprocation.  In short, to adopt the second-person perspective is to engage in a subject  – subject (you  –  me) relation where I not only respond to the other but am aware of the other as an other, and, at the  same time, implicitly aware of myself in the accusative, as attended to or addressed by the other  (Husserl, 1973a, 211). This process has been described in much detail by developmental psychologists working on dyadic joint attention (Rochat 2001, Reddy 2008), but also by classical phenomenologists such as Walther, Stein and Schutz who argued that reciprocal empathy is a key to experiential sharing and communal experiences (cf. Zahavi & Rochat 2015, León & Zahavi 2016, Zahavi & Salice 2016)."

Definitions of empathy
"In the contemporary debate, one can encounter distinctions between 
  • mirror empathy, 
  • motor empathy, 
  • affective empathy,
  •  perceptually mediated empathy,
  •  reenactive empathy and
  •  cognitive empathy, 
  • to mention just a few of the options available."