Seisuke Hayakawa
University of Tokyo
In one sense of the term, empathy refers to the act of sharing in another person’s experience of and perspective on the world. According to simulation accounts of empathy, we achieve this by replicating the other’s mind in our imagination. We explore a form of empathy, empathic perspective-taking, that is not adequately captured by existing simulationist approaches. We begin by pointing out that we often achieve empathy (or share in another’s perspective) by listening to the other person. This form of empathy, which we call “empathy through listening”, involves four distinctive features: (i) the actual sharing of a perspective; (ii) dynamical unfolding; (iii) collaboration; and (iv) mutual transformation. Next, we consider the individual basis of empathy through listening. We argue that it requires an attitude of “receptivity” and elaborate on this elusive concept in terms of “epistemic respect”. Finally, we consider whether this form of empathy can be adequately explained within the simulationist framework. We argue that simulationist approaches must be complemented by a receptivity-based conception of empathy—that is, a conception that envisions empathy not so much as an individual imaginative enterprise, but rather as a collaborative practice of engaging with the other while paying her due epistemic respect.
Keywords empathy  simulationism  receptivity  epistemic respect  listening
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Intellectual Humility: Owning Our Limitations.Dennis Whitcomb, Heather Battaly, Jason Baehr & Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):509-539.
Phenomenology of Illness.Havi Carel - 2016 - Oxford University Press.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Ideas of Empathy in Nursing: A Conceptual Analysis.Philip A. Greiner - 1989 - Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Empathy, Respect, and Vulnerability.Elisa Magrì - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (2):327-346.
What is Empathy For?Joel Smith - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
No Empathy for Empathy: An Existential Reading of Husserl’s Forgotten Question.Iraklis Ioannidis - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (2):201-223.
Empathy and Transformative Experience Without the First Person Point of View.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (3):315-336.
Against Empathy.Jesse Prinz - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):214-233.
The Nature of Empathy.Shannon Spaulding, Hannah Read & Rita Svetlova - forthcoming - In Felipe De Brigard & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (eds.), Philosophy of Neursocience. MIT Press.
How to Be a Proponent of Empathy.Yujia Song - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):437-451.
Empathy and Testimonial Trust.Olivia Bailey - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84:139-160.
Similarity Versus Familiarity: When Empathy Becomes Selfish.Elias L. Khalil - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1):41-41.


Added to PP index

Total views
72 ( #159,838 of 2,506,032 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #29,989 of 2,506,032 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes