Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 283-293

First online:

Overcoming the Problems of ‘Difference’ in Education: Empathy as ‘Intercorporeality’

  • Marjorie O'LoughlinAffiliated withSchool of Social and Political Studies, University of Sydney

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In this paper I am concerned with the notion of empathy and its capacity for overcoming the problem of difference in social life. The concept of empathy has a long history in the Western philosophic tradition but has become discursively submerged in recent times. I am particularly interested in what philosophies of the body may contribute to our understanding of empathy. Psychoanalytic feminism provides some insights. However I identify Merleau-Ponty's conception of body-subject and the intersubjective encounter as offering a potentially more fruitful account of empathy.

empathy intercultural communication perspective intercorporeality