Article ID: CBB625357803

The influence of Max Weber on the concept of empathic understanding (Verstehen) in the psychopathology of Karl Jaspers (2019)


This paper explores key concepts in the writings of Weber in the years preceding the publication of the first edition of Karl Jaspers’ Allgemeine Psychopathologie, focusing on the concept of understanding (Verstehen). This is a key hermeneutic concept and is discussed within the larger context of the epistemological and methodological reflections of both authors. They similarly tried to import the understanding within the humanistic disciplines as a rigorous but anti-reductionist scientific method. However, while Weber tried to mix explanation and understanding according to a legal metaphor, Jaspers retained Dilthey’s sharper distinction between explanation in natural sciences and understanding in humanistic sciences. Finally, Jaspers’ understanding is relatively more empathic, while Weber’s understanding is more rationalistic.

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Authors & Contributors
Wittmann, Barbara
Kumazaki, Tsutomu
Walker, Chris
Revuelta, José I. Pérez
Moreno, José M. Villagrán
Makkreel, Rudolf A.
History of Psychiatry
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Science in Context
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Medicina Historica
Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science
New School for Social Research
Franco Angeli
Los Libros de la Catarata
Mental disorders and diseases
Jaspers, Karl
Dilthey, Wilhelm
Husserl, Edmund
Heidegger, Martin
Moreau de Tours, Jacques Joseph
Kant, Immanuel
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
18th century
School of Milan

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