The element of intersubjectivity

Heidegger's early conception of empathy

Christian Ferencz-Flatz

pp. 479-496

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.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11007-015-9350-4

Full citation:

Ferencz-Flatz, C. (2015). The element of intersubjectivity: Heidegger's early conception of empathy. Continental Philosophy Review 48 (4), pp. 479-496.

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