Empathy and its Limits

September 30, 2021 - October 1, 2021

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Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
University of Memphis
University of Cincinnati
Tufts University
Freie Universität Berlin
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
University of Salzburg


Dortmund University
TU Dortmund
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
TU Dortmund

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Although empathy has received much attention over the past decades, there is still disagreement about what empathy is and how it can be distinguished from other mental phenomena such as sympathy, compassion, or contagion. In light of this, the aim of this workshop is to gain clarity on the concept of empathy.

Questions we intend to discuss at the workshop include, but are not limited to the following:

·Does empathy involve knowing what another person thinks or feels, based on, for example, theoretical considerations?

· Alternatively, is to have empathy to imagine yourself being another person? Is it even possible to do so?

·To what extent do different approaches to the concept of empathy substantially differ in the first place?

·Is there possibly no standard definition of empathy?

·Do we have to worry about an ambiguity of the concept?

·What are possible limits for empathy?

·What would it mean for concrete fields of application, such as medicine or psychology, if empathy were limited?

Unfortunately, the epidemic situation makes it impossible to hold an on-site event. The workshop will take place online via Zoom. We will keep you updated on this issue. Please register via mail to [email protected] until 23/09/2021. 

The workshop will be organized by Jessica Struchhold, Eva Schmidt, Simon Wimmer and Paul Klur.

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].


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September 23, 2021, 11:45pm CET

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