Empathy revisited

de la Mothe, Michael (1987). Empathy revisited. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000dec3


Empathy is presented as a relation between persons and by analogy between persons and non-human entities in which case it is called quasi-empathy. The characteristics of empathy, the sufficient and necessary conditions for its creation and nurturance, and various types of empathy, both authentic and mistaken, are examined. The role of empathy in various types of knowing especially personal knowing are discussed leading to an attempt to classify interpersonal relations. In the course of this analysis different ways of construing human beings are presented and contrasted with particular interest in the extent to which empathy, quasi-empathy and other relations are involved. A variety of emotional bonds which have some bearing on or similarity to empathy are compared with empathy. The dissertation concludes with a review of a selection from the empathy literature in which contrasts are made with the outline theory of empathy developed in this dissertation.

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