Empathy and its Limits

September 30, 2021 - October 1, 2021
TU Dortmund


This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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All speakers:

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


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?

If possible, the workshop will be organized as a face-to-face or hybrid event. We will then provide hotel accommodation for all accepted speakers. In addition, there is a limited budget for covering travelling expenses. The workshop venue is wheelchair accessible. We will be able to provide child care upon request. If you are interested in this, please contact us for more information. If the epidemic situation requires it, the workshop will take place online via Zoom. We will keep you updated on this issue.

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

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


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