Article ID: CBB694306127

Empathy in the Early 20th Century: Moritz Geiger and the Importance of Conceptual Clarification (2016)


This article discusses Geiger’s review of empathy, expressed in a lecture at the IV German Congress of Experimental Psychology in 1910. It deals with the key psychological question of how it is possible to know the minds of others. This question is complex and needs clarification, so Geiger divided it into 3 basic questions: The first is phenomenological (what is the conscious experience of empathy?); the second relates to the psychological function performed by the empathic act; and the third question asks whether and how empathy is acquired during personal development. Finally, Geiger introduces a distinction between basic empathy and reliving. Geiger’s conceptual clarification is discussed and its relevance for the psychology and philosophy of his time is considered, as well as its possible influence on Jaspers’ General Psychopathology. Finally, the current debate in the neurocognitive science of empathy is examined in light of Geiger’s conceptualization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: journal abstract)

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Authors & Contributors
Lanzoni, Susan Marie
Cauvin, Jean-Paul
Maria Antonia Rancadore
Bruzzone, Victor
Turner, Stephanie S.
Turkle, Sherry
Science in Context
History of Psychiatry
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
History of the Human Sciences
History of Psychology
Pavia University Press
Penguin Press
Duquesne University
Yale University Press
Verlag J. H. Röll
Edizioni ETS
Emotions; passions
Social psychology
Philosophy of mind
Husserl, Edmund
James, William
De Giorgi, Cosimo
Titchener, Edward Bradford
Zutt, Jürg
Ward, James
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
18th century
United States
Great Britain

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