Something I stumbled upon

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Dan Bloom

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Jul 27, 2010, 6:15:11 PM7/27/10
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Empathy is “a relational mode of knowing emotional reality.”
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Sean Gaffney

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Jul 28, 2010, 4:24:52 AM7/28/10
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From both reading Edith Stein and the comments by Haydn below, I am becoming increasingly aware of the value of entitling her work On the Problem of Empathy.

I can feel myself caught between needing the other in order to be me and Sarte's notion of hell being other people!

So yes - the Problem of Empathy...

Seán

On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 12:31 AM, John Gurmin <h.gu...@gmail.com> wrote:
Interesting to read all the posts recently. I see people have spoke about Heidegger and Lévinas. I was talking to a number of experts in Heideggerian philosophy and they all seem to believe there is no 'other' for Heidegger, well no ethics in particular, not that there are no others in the world. I can't imagine being able to have concern for another in a Heideggerian framework given that it would seem to me that I would be impinging on the Dasein of 'another' and neglecting my own Dasein. Would it not be akin to Nietzsche's 'herd' to try and dictate to the 'other' how to live their 'Dasein' - I guess Dr. Phil's direct approach might go down that line. 

 With regard to Lévinas - in his writings he states 'subjectivity is taken hostage'  (Levinas, Otherwise than Beingor Beyond Essence, translated by Alphonso Lingis (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1981) p. 127) by the Other, here it would seem that one's 'I' is lost totally to the Other, is as it were, sub-jected to the Other - so it would be difficult to imagine 'empathy' as empathy would require that your 'I' remain intact when empathizing. If you are taken hostage by the Other- is there a 'you' at all - is it not all totally other? 

Haydn


On 27 Jul 2010, at 23:15, Dan Bloom wrote:

Empathy is “a relational mode of knowing emotional reality.”

Dan Bloom

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Jul 28, 2010, 8:29:15 AM7/28/10
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Seán and Haydn:

Haydn, I missed your original message. My mailbox was on the server needed emptying. I am not an expert in Heidegger, but this is a topic I’ve studied. I’ve read and reread a lot of Heidegger on this, read lots of commentaries, and discussed this with experts, too. This is not an open and closed matter. People debate this. So I am not speaking definitively.

Let me respond,

On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 12:31 AM, John Gurmin <h.gu...@gmail.com> wrote:
Interesting to read all the posts recently. I see people have spoke about Heidegger and Lévinas. I was talking to a number of experts in Heideggerian philosophy and they all seem to believe there is no 'other' for Heidegger, well no ethics in particular, not that there are no others in the world.

Of course there is an other. Dasein is in-a-world-with others. That means, the Dasein is constituted by the other. This includes living breathing other human beings and it includes history, culture, and society. Dasein is disconnected from others. 

Ethics is another matter. There is no ethics in Being and Time — to no ethics concerning an other. Heidegger makes it clear that authentic Dasein makes its own choices without reference to written or established ethical or moral codes. Dasein makes choices for its own possibilities — but does this within history and within community.

In Heidegger, death is non-relational. This is often understood to mean that Heidegger ignores intersubjectivity. That is a mistake. 
Heidegger is NOT the philosopher of intersubjectivity, but he does not ignore it. Dasein is always already in a world of the other. 

Heidegger addresses empathy, too. He remarks that the topic had been framed in a misleading way.  He doesn’t disagree with Husserl (or Stein — I need to look up the section to see how close his reference is to S), but thinks the discussion doesn’t include the structure of being in. Dasein is not a subject, but the ontico-ontological condition, as it were, for a subject, self and ego, an other. Dasein’s being, then, as a being-in-the-world of other Dasein’s is condition for the emergence of self and other. “We” are always already connected with one another is a felt, sensed, primordial, ontological way, as beings-in-the-world. (Read: mirror neurons). 
Empathy is privative in that it describes a state of Dasein once removed from sense of this world and into an ontic world where self and other, subjects and subjects, are differentiated — as entities.
I am doing a presentation at an upcoming GT conference “Talking in the House of the Other: the Ethos of Dialogical Contacting.” One of the my basic points is that we are always in “a relational home,” a world into which we are thrown and in which we develop — an historical and specifically relational world of people. It is the ground upon which we walk, the walls that shelter us as individuals.

I can't imagine being able to have concern for another in a Heideggerian framework given that it would seem to me that I would be impinging on the Dasein of 'another' and neglecting my own Dasein.


The name Heidegger gives for Dasein’s concern for other Daseins is Fürsorgen, which is translated as “solicitude.” Heidegger also develops something referred to as “authentic solicitude” as an authentic way of being concerned for others.
Heidegger also develops 3 styles of solicitude, only 1 of which does not disturb the potential authenticity of an other. 
“Concern” for things is another word, Besorgen.

“Authenticity” is “Eigentlichleit”— mine-own-most-ness. So it strongly stresses an unfettered choosing by Dasein, as a person. Heidegger is explicit that this choice should not be interfered with by inauthentic matters— relating to Das Man, see below. 
The ethics of authenticity, if it is an ethics, disturbs many.
Would it not be akin to Nietzsche's 'herd' to try and dictate to the 'other' how to live their 'Dasein' - I guess Dr. Phil's direct approach might go down that line. 

Yes, precisely. But Heidegger develops ideas about the “herd,” which he calls Das Man. He takes this from Kierkegaard.

Heidegger’s ethics leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, Being and Time’s ethics is hardly an ethics at all. But there is an other there. 
There is an ethics of authenticity — and this ethics can lead to authentic choices that are repugnant to other peoples’ eyes.

Dasein’s authentic choosing is within history. That is, within the story of his or her particular society, community, nation, people. This is a kind of ethical tie. Authentic choice achieves a special impact when it is fateful, that is, takes into account a sense of futurity (destiny), so that future, past, and present together stand out of time. There are others here. Perhaps lost in the ideas, but Heidegger did not ignore them. 


 With regard to Lévinas - in his writings he states 'subjectivity is taken hostage'  (Levinas, Otherwise than Beingor Beyond Essence, translated by Alphonso Lingis (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1981) p. 127) by the Other, here it would seem that one's 'I' is lost totally to the Other, is as it were, sub-jected to the Other - so it would be difficult to imagine 'empathy' as empathy would require that your 'I' remain intact when empathizing. If you are taken hostage by the Other- is there a 'you' at all - is it not all totally other? 

I am interested in this, too. 
Let me play with it. And I am being ridiculous to play with these idea. I know Heidegger. I hardly know any Levinas!

When I take infinite responsibility for the Other, I remain myself. I am held hostage by the command uttered by his face. 
Is there an I in I-Thou.

I think Levinas was also making it clear that the I- Other relationship is asymmetrical.

Dan Bloom

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Jul 28, 2010, 8:30:23 AM7/28/10
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For Sartre, hell would have been other people.

But put that into the context that “we are condemned to be free.”
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