Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Edith Stein and the Contemporary Psychological Study of Empathy

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

Abstract Illuminated by the writings of Edith Stein (1917/1989), this paper presents a model of empathy as a very particular intersubjective understanding. This is commonly a view absent from psychology literature. For Stein, empathy is the experience of experientially and directly knowing another person’s experience, as it unfolds in the present, together with the awareness of the ‘otherness’ of that experience. It can be conceptually distinguished, in terms of process and experience, from current models that propose that empathic understandings are ‘intellectual’ experiences (e.g., explicit simulation theories, perspective-taking) or sympathetic experiences (e.g., implicit simulation theories, contagion-related theories). As such, she provides an additional or alternative aspect to understanding other people’s experiences. Our paper provides a summary of Stein’s key analytic claims about three key facets of empathy (directly perceiving, experientially projecting, and interpretatively mentalizing). Her views are discussed in the light of debates relevant for contemporary psychology and social cognition.

Affiliations: 1: Catolica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics, Universidade Católica, Portuguesa Lisbon Portugal ; 2: School of Psychology, University of Birmingham Birmingham UK


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Bachelor A. "How clients perceive therapist empathy: a content analysis of “received” empathy" Psychotherapy 1988 Vol 25 2 227 240
2. Baron-Cohen S. , Wheelwright S. , Hill J. J. , Raste Y. , Plumb I. "The “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” Test—Revised version: A study with normal adults, and adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism" Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2001 Vol 42 241 251
3. Barrett-Lennard G. T. "The empathy cycle: Refinement of a nuclear concept" Journal of Counselling Psychology 1981 Vol 28 2 91 100
4. Batson C. D. Decety J. , Ickes W. "These Things Called Empathy: Eight Related But Distinct Phenomena" The Social Neuroscience of Empathy 2009 Vol 1 Cambridge MIT press 3 13
5. Boulanger C. , Lançon C. "L’empathie: réflexions sur un concept. Discussion" Annales médico-psychologiques 2006 Vol 164 6 497 505
6. Bornemark J. Sepp H. R. , Copoeru I. "Alterity in the Philosophy of Edith Stein: Empathy and God" Phenomenology 2005—Selected Essays from Northern Europe 2005 Vol 4 121 152
7. Bozarth J. D. Decety J. , Ickes W. "Rogerian Empathy in an Organismic Theory: A Way of Being" The Social Neuroscience of Empathy 2009 Vol 1 Cambridge MIT press 101 112
8. Darling N. , Clarke S. A. "Seeing the Partner: A Video Recall Study of Emotional Behavior in Same- and Mixed-Sex Late Adolescent Romantic Couples" Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2009 Vol 38 1015 1026
9. Davis C. M. "What is empathy and can empathy be taught?" Physical Therapy 1990 Vol 70 707 711
10. Davis M. H. Reis H. T. , Sprecher S. "Empathy" Encyclopaedia of Human Relationships 2009 SAGE Publications, Inc, at < >. accessed 10 October 2009
11. Decety J. , Jackson P. I. "A social neuroscience perspective on empathy" Current Directions in Psychological Science 2006 Vol 15 2 54 58
12. Decety J. , Jackson P. I. "The Functional Architecture of Human Empathy" Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews 2004 Vol 3 2 71 100
13. Depraz N. "Rainbow of Emotions: at the crossroads of neurobiology and phenomenology" Contemporary Philosophy Review 2008 Vol 41 237 259
14. Depraz N. "The Husserlian Theory of Intersubjectivity as Alterology: Emergent Theories and Wisdom Traditions in The Light of the Genetic Phenomenology" Journal of Consciousness Studies 2001 Vol 8 5–7 169 178
15. Dinstein I. , Thomas C. , Behrmann M. , Heeger D. J. "A mirror up to nature" Current Biology 2008 Vol 18 1 13 18
16. Duan C. , Hill C. E. "The current state of empathy research" Journal of Counselling Psychology 1996 Vol 43 3 261 274
17. Eisenberg N. "Emotion, Regulation, and moral development" Annual Reviews of Psychology 2000 Vol 51 665 697
18. Finlay L. "Reflexive embodied empathy: a phenomenology of participant-researcher intersubjectivity, Methods Issue" The Humanistic Psychologist 2005 Vol 33 4 271 292
19. Gallagher S. "Simulation Trouble" Social Neuroscience 2007 Vol 2 3 353 365
20. Gallese V. "The Roots of Empathy: The Shared Manifold Hypothesis and the Neural Basis of Intersubjectivity" Psychopathology 2003 Vol 36 4 171 180
21. Geist R. A. "Empathic Understanding The Foundation of Self-Psychological Psychoanalysis" Self and Systems: Annals of the New York Academy Science 2009 Vol 1159 63 74
22. Gladstein "How clients perceive therapist empathy: a content analysis of “received” empathy" Psychotherapy 1983 Vol 25 2 227 240
23. Goldman A. I. Simulating Minds: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindreading 2006 New York Oxford University Press
24. Gurmin H. "Edith Stein and Tania Singer: A Comparison of Phenomenological and Neurological Approaches to the ‘Problem of Empathy’ Maynooth Philosophical Papers" 2007 Vol 4 99 122
25. Håkansson J. Exploring the phenomenon of Empathy 2003 Ph.D dissertation, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, , Accessed 6 August 2010
26. Håkansson J. , Montgomery H. "Empathy as an Interpersonal Phenomenon" Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 2003 Vol 20 3 267 284
27. Hall J. A. , Mast M. S. "Sources of Accuracy in the Empathic Accuracy Paradigm" Emotion 2007 Vol 7 2 438 446
28. Hancock M. , Ickes W. "Empathic Accuracy: When does the Perceiver-Target Relationship Make a Difference?" Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 1996 Vol 13 2 179 199
29. Hart T. "The refinement of Empathy" Journal of Humanistic Psychology 1999 Vol 39 111 125
30. Hassenstab J. , Dziobek I. , Rogers K. , Wolf O. T. , Convit A. "Knowing What Others Know, Feeling what others Feel: A Controlled Study of Empathy is Psychotherapists" The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2007 Vol 195 4 277 281
31. Hatfield C. D. , Rapson R. L. , Le Y. L. Decety J. , Ickes W. "Emotional Contagion and Empathy" The Social Neuroscience of Empathy 2009 Vol 1 Cambridge MIT Press 3 13
32. Hess U. , Blairy S. "Facial Mimicry and Emotional Contagion to Dynamic Emotional Facial Expressions and their Influence on Decoding Accuracy" International Journal of Psychophysiology 2001 Vol 40 129 141
33. Hoffman M. L. Empathy and moral development: Implications for caring and justice 2000 New York Cambridge University Press
34. Jabbi M. , Swart M. , Keysers C. "Empathy for Positive and Negative Emotions in the Gustatory Cortex" NeuroImage 2007 Vol 34 4 1744 1753
35. Kerem E. , Fishman N. , Josselson R. "The Experience of Empathy in Everyday Relationships: Cognitive and Affective Elements" Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 2001 Vol 18 5 709 729
36. Lobchuk M. M. "Concept Analysis of Perspective-taking: Meeting Informal Caregiver needs for Communication Competence and Accurate Perception" Journal of Advanced Nursing 2006 Vol 54 3 330 341
37. Macintyre A. Edith Stein: A philosophical prologue 2006/2007 2nd ed. London Continuum
38. Maturana H. R. "The Organization of the living: A theory of the living organization, The International Journal of Man-Machine Studies" 1975 Vol 7 313 332
39. Meneses R. W. "Experiences of Empathy" 2011 Ph.D. dissertation, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham,
40. Moustakas C. Phenomenological research methods 1994 Thousand Oaks, CA Sage
41. Oben F. M. Edith Stein: Scholar, Feminist, Saint 1988/2010 New York Alba House
42. Paal T. , Bereczkei T. "Adult Theory of Mind, Cooperation, Machiavellianism: the Effect of Mindreading on Social Relations" Personality and Individual Differences 2007 Vol 43 541 555
43. Preston S. D. , de Waal F. B. M. "Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases" Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2002 Vol 25 1 72
44. Prinz J. Gendler T. S. , Hawthorne J. "Beyond Appearances: The Content of Perception and Sensation" Perceptual Experience 2006 Oxford Oxford University Press 434 459
45. Reik T. Listening with the Third Ear 1948/1971 5th ed. NY Arena Books
46. Rockwell T. "Dynamic empathy: A new formulation for the simulation theory of mind reading" Cognitive Systems Research 2007 Vol 9 52 63
47. Rogers C. "The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change’" Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training 1957/2007 Vol 44 3 240 248
48. Scheler M. Heath P. The Nature of Sympathy 1913/1979 2nd ed. Hamden, CT Archon Books
49. Stein E. Waltraut Stein On the problem of empathy 1917/1989 3rd ed Washington ICS Publications
50. Tempel L. R. "Pathways to the Clinician’s Experience of Empathy in Engaging Single Mothers at Risk for Physical Abuse of their Children" Clinical Social Work Journal 2007 Vol 35 257 265 DOI 10.1007/s10615-007-0106-4
51. Thompson E. "Empathy and Consciousness" Journal of Consciousness Studies 2001 Vol 8 5–7 1 32
52. van Baaren R. B. , Decety J. , Dijksterhuis A. , van der Leij A. , van Leewen M. L. Decety J. , Ickes W. "Being Imitated: Consequences of Nonconsciously Showing Empathy" The Social Neuroscience of Empathy 2009 Vol 1 Cambridge MIT press 3 13
53. White S. J. "Empathy: a literature review and concept analysis" Journal of Clinical Nursing 1997 Vol 6 253 257
54. Zahavi D. "Beyond Empathy: Phenomenological Approaches to Intersubjectivity" Journal of Consciousness Studies 2001 Vol 8 5–7 151 167
55. Zahavi D. Ratcliffe M. M. , Hutto D. "Expressions and Empathy" in Folk Psychology Re-Assessed 2007 Vol 1 25 40
56. Zahavi D. "Simulation, projection and empathy" Consciousness and Cognition 2008 Vol 7 2 514 522
57. Zepf S. , Hartmann S. "Some Thoughts on Empathy and Countertransference" Journal of the American Am Psychoanalytical Association 2008 Vol 56 741 768

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Phenomenological Psychology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation