On the Problem of Empathy by Edith Stein (auth.)

By Edith Stein (auth.)

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I am initially surrounded by a world of psychic occurrences, that is to say, at the same time as I discover that my body is in the world of my outer experience against the background of the spatial world spread out boundlessly on all sides, I also discover that my psychic individual is in the world of inner experience, a boundless world of psychic individuals and psychic life. All this is certainly incontestable. But the basis here is altogether different from ours. We have excluded from the field of our investigation this whole world of inner perception, our own individual and all others, together with the outer world.

A child seeing another crying cries, too. When I see a member of my family going around with a long face, I too become upset. When I want to stop worrying, I seek out gay company. We speak of the contagion or transference offeeling in such <25) cases. It is very plain that the actual feelings aroused in us do not serve a cognitive function, that they do not announce a foreign experience to us as empathy does. So we need not consider whether such a transference offeeling presupposes the grasping of the foreign feeling concerned, since only phenomena of expression affect us like this.

31. dole, p. 52. dole, p. 42 ff. 28 <32) <33) The Essence of Acts of Empathy by nature an "l's" experience that cannot be separated phenomenally from the "I" itself. It is only because Scheler fails to recognize a pure "I," always taking "I" as "psychic individual," that he speaks of an experience present before "l's" are constituted. -less" experience. Every case he brings up presupposes our own as well as the foreign "I" and does not verifY his theory at all. Only if we leave the phenomenological sphere do these terms make good sense.

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