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Crossover QueriesDwelling with Negatives, Embodying Philosophy's Others$
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Edith Wyschogrod

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226061

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226061.001.0001

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Empathy and Sympathy as Tactile Encounter

Empathy and Sympathy as Tactile Encounter

(p.157) 10 Empathy and Sympathy as Tactile Encounter
Crossover Queries

Edith Wyschogrod

Fordham University Press

This chapter considers several theories of sense that are brought up short by the peculiarities of touch and reveal features of tactility that are of importance for a phenomenological understanding of empathy and sympathy. It argues that the tactile subject—the subject that can touch and be touched by the other—is the experiencing subject of these feeling-acts. In the course of this discussion, the chapter also considers the affinities and overlappings that, though loose, unite empathy and sympathy, while taking into account their differences and particularities. In addition, the chapter touches upon the consequences of ignoring the primordiality of tactile experience by considering the ressentiment view of pity, which unites empathy to vision rather than placing it in its proper, haptic field.

Keywords:   empathy, sympathy, tactility, vision, feeling-acts, pity

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