Philosophical Empathy (in the Style of Merleau-Ponty)

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Is there a sense in which we can be said to empathize with a philosophical position and, if so, what does empathy consist of here? Drawing on themes in the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, I sketch an account of the relationship between philosophical language and philosophical thought, according to which the task of understanding, evaluating, and building upon an explicit philosophical position can involve engaging with the experiential world of its author. If accepted, this account has broader implications for how we conceive of both empathy and philosophical thought.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalContinental Philosophy Review
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021


  • empathy
  • indeterminacy
  • language
  • Merleau-Ponty
  • possibility
  • thought

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