Empathy: Emotional, Ethical and Epistemological Narratives


Empathy is sometimes –for unfathomable reasons– a surprisingly evasive emotion. It is indeed a problem open to discussion. It can be particularly problematic since, for one thing, it is in appearance the emotion responsible for stitching together a shared experience with our common fellow. It is the emotion essential to bridging the gap between subjects – to making a community. Some answers in this volume have their place of reference in the welcoming chambers of Mansfield College, at the University of Oxford (UK). The Empathy Project held its third Global Meeting within the premises of ye olde constituent college at Mansfield Road from Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th of July 2016. This volume looks for the common ground between both the results of the conducted research and our experiences: Digital Media ideas on the subject worked just fine elbow to elbow with those proposed by fields like Nursing or Health and Social Care; and Psychiatry, Psychology and Philosophy got along quite well with the lines of inquiry of Education, Literature and Dramatic Performance.

Contributors are Victoria Aizkalna, Rosa Elena Belvedresi, Giovanna Costantini, Ricardo Gutiérrez Aguilar, Irina Ionita, Nina Lex, Gerardo López Sastre, Barış Mete, Paulus Pimomo, Johannes Rohbeck, Judy Rollins, Josefa Ros Velasco and Christopher J. Staley.

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Dr. Ricardo Gutiérrez Aguilar (MA in Philosophy, 2006; National Prize in Philosophy, 2008; MA in Teachers Training, 2008) is Assistant Professor and Researcher in Philosophy at the Logic and Theoretical Philosophy Department (Universidad Complutense de Madrid). He holds a PhD (2014) with an European Mention awarded by U.N.E.D. (Spain). He received the degree of Doktor der Philosophie from the Technische Universität zu Berlin (2014) as well. Amongst his various published materials, Deuda y legado en la filosofía de la Historia de Schiller [Debt and Legacy in Schiller’s Philosophy of History] (Herder, 2018) is his latest monograph.
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction: The Joyful Páthos from Oxford
Ricardo Gutiérrez Aguilar
2 In Search of Empathy in Prehistoric Times: Evolution and Revolution
Josefa Ros Velasco
3 Empathy or Compassion? On Rational Understanding of Emotional Suffering
Victoria Aizkalna
4 From Psychology to Morality: Sympathy, Imagination and Reason in Hume’s Moral Philosophy
Gerardo López Sastre
5 Existence as a Matter of Co-existence: Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Moral Psychology of pitié
Nina Lex
6 Empathy in Education: the Successful Teacher
Giovanna Costantini
7 Anti-Utilitarian Empathy: an Ethical and Epistemological Journey
Irina Ionita
8 Empathetic Art in a Paediatric Oncology Clinic
Judy Rollins
9 Practicable Empathy in Acting: Empathic Projection in Sophocles’ Ajax
Christopher J. Staley
10 Empathy in Experimental Narratives
Baris Mete
11 On the Bearability of Others Being: Bartleby, Expression and Its Justification
Ricardo Gutiérrez Aguilar
12 The Basis for Responsibility in Empathy: an Exploration
Paulus Pimomo
13 Empathy and Historical Understanding: a Reappraisal of ‘Empathic Unsettlement’
Rosa E. Belvedresi
14 Empathy with Future Generations? A Historical Approach to Global Justice
Johannes Rohbeck

Index of Subjects
Index of Authors
All scholars and persons interested in clarifying the complex –though familiar– individual experience of being committed to a fellow individual.
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