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The element of intersubjectivity. Heidegger’s early conception of empathy

Abstract

Heidegger’s doubts concerning the concept of “empathy” are unequivocally proven not only by his general tendency to avoid it, but also by his sharp critique of this term, as presented in both Being and Time and the lectures from the Summer Semester 1925, History of the Concept of Time. However, the concept of empathy is used by Heidegger in a positive, albeit rather allusive fashion, in three consecutive lectures of his early Freiburg period: Basic Problems of Phenomenology (Winter Semester 1919/20), Phenomenology of Intuition and Expression (Summer Semester 1920) and The Phenomenology of Religious Life (Winter Semester 1920/21). The present paper analyzes these three passages of Heidegger’s early lectures in close detail, revealing their connection to the conceptions of empathy found in the works of both Dilthey and Scheler. Thus it aims to connect Heidegger’s rather idiosyncratic conception of intersubjectivity with some of the discussions on that topic in the phenomenological millieu of the early 1920s.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 125; English translation: p. 117).

  2. 2.

    Heidegger (1994a, p. 335; English translation: p. 243).

  3. 3.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 206; English translation: p. 191).

  4. 4.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 125; English translation: p. 117).

  5. 5.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 125; English translation: p. 117).

  6. 6.

    See, for instance, the chapters “A Heideggerian Interpretation of Empathy” and “Delivering Heidegger’s Hermeneutic of Empathy” in Agosta (2010).

  7. 7.

    Heidegger (2010, p. 45; English translation: p. 36). For a more detailed account of this concept see also Ferencz-Flatz (2010).

  8. 8.

    Heidegger (2010, p. 50, no. 7; English translation: p. 212, no. 7; translation modified by me, CFF).

  9. 9.

    Kroner (1919).

  10. 10.

    Husserl (1952, pp. 236–246; English translation: pp. 248–258).

  11. 11.

    Husserl (2008, p. 370).

  12. 12.

    Husserl (2008, p. 411) For a more detailed account of this issue in Husserl, see also Ferencz-Flatz (2011) and Flynn (2009).

  13. 13.

    Heidegger (1988, p. 98; English translation: p. 75 f.).

  14. 14.

    Heidegger (1994a, p. 330; English translation: p. 240).

  15. 15.

    Cf. Heidegger (1995, p. 64; English translation: p. 44).

  16. 16.

    Heidegger (1995, p. 51; English translation: p. 34 f.).

  17. 17.

    Heidegger (1995, p. 87; English translation: p. 44).

  18. 18.

    Heidegger speaks here of a methodological turn (Umwendung), leading from an object-historic to an enactmental perspective on history; Heidegger (1995, p. 90; English translation: p. 63).

  19. 19.

    The steps of this process are layed out in Heidegger (1995, p. 83 f.; English translation: p. 57 f.).

  20. 20.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 116, no. 1; the English translation seems to have skipped this footnote). On Heidegger’s relation to Scheler, see also Gorevan (1993) and Dahlstrom (2002).

  21. 21.

    Heidegger (1995, p. 88; English translation: p. 61).

  22. 22.

    Heidegger (1995, p. 89; English translation: p. 62).

  23. 23.

    Heidegger (2010, p. 18; English translation: p. 13).

  24. 24.

    Heidegger (1988, p. 73; English translation: p. 57).

  25. 25.

    Heidegger (1988, p. 73; English translation: p. 57).

  26. 26.

    Heidegger (1988, p. 81; English translation: p. 63).

  27. 27.

    Stein (2010, pp. 21–52; English translation: pp. 3–37).

  28. 28.

    Heidegger (1994a, p. 335; English translation: p. 243).

  29. 29.

    Heidegger (1994a, p. 217; English translation: p. 161).

  30. 30.

    Heidegger (1994a, p. 222; English translation: p. 165).

  31. 31.

    Scheler (1973, p. 240; English translation: p. 246).

  32. 32.

    Scheler (1973, p. 241; English translation: p. 247).

  33. 33.

    Scheler (1973, p. 242; English translation: p. 248).

  34. 34.

    Heidegger (2005, p. 349, no. 7; English translation: p. 41, no. 8).

  35. 35.

    Heidegger (1995, p. 85; English translation: p. 59).

  36. 36.

    Heidegger (1995, p. 89; English translation: p. 62).

  37. 37.

    Dilthey (1979, p. 146 f.; English translation: p. 168).

  38. 38.

    Dilthey (1979, p. 147 f.; English translation: p. 169).

  39. 39.

    Heidegger (2010, p. 159; English translation: p. 122).

  40. 40.

    Heidegger (2010, p. 159; English translation: p. 122).

  41. 41.

    Heidegger (2007, p. 156 f.; English translation: p. 120).

  42. 42.

    Heidegger (1992, p. 386; English translation: p. 267).

  43. 43.

    This difference becomes thematic as such in Heidegger’s distinction between a selbstweltliche Mitwelt and a nicht selbstweltliche Mitwelt, Heidegger (1994b, p. 96; English translation: p. 72).

  44. 44.

    Heidegger (1988, p. 98; English translation: p. 75 f.).

  45. 45.

    “On the strength of this worldly encountering of others, they can be distinguished from the world-things in their being on hand and being handy in the environing world and demarcated as a ‘with-world,' while my own Dasein, insofar as it is encountered environmentally, can be taken as the 'selfworld.' This is the way I saw things in my earlier courses and coined the terms accordingly. But the matter is basically false. The terminology shows that the phenomena are not adequately grasped in this way, that the others, though they are encountered in the world, really do not have and never have the world's kind of being. The others therefore cannot be designated as a ‘with-world.' Heidegger (1994a, p. 333; English translation: p. 242).

  46. 46.

    Heidegger (1994a, p. 335; English translation: p. 243).

  47. 47.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 125; English translation: p. 118).

  48. 48.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 384; English translation: p. 352).

  49. 49.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 162; English translation: p. 152).

  50. 50.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 388; English translation: p. 355).

  51. 51.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 383; English translation: p. 351).

  52. 52.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 161; English translation: p. 151).

  53. 53.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 169 f.; English translation: p. 159).

  54. 54.

    For instance in Heidegger (1998).

  55. 55.

    Cf. for instance Husserl (1992, p. 87).

  56. 56.

    Heidegger (2006, p. 385; English translation: p. 352).

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Correspondence to Christian Ferencz-Flatz.

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Ferencz-Flatz, C. The element of intersubjectivity. Heidegger’s early conception of empathy. Cont Philos Rev 48, 479–496 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11007-015-9350-4

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Keywords

  • Empathy
  • Heidegger
  • Historicity
  • Dilthey
  • Scheler
  • Intersubjectivity