Empathy as intersubjectivity: Resolving Hume and Smith's divide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Although empathy is arguably an important factor to consider in moral education, the concept itself has consistently stood on tenuous ground. In this essay, I claim that our adherence to ontological dualism and discrete subjectivity have problematized our comprehension of empathy. I propose that our understanding is limited by our understanding of selfhood. If the self were defined as intersubjective, along the lines of Merleau-Ponty, then empathy's ambiguities would dissipate. After reconceptualizing empathy in light of intersubjectivity, I call for pedagogical relations that are aligned with developmental research, which provides further support for adhering to an alternative conception of the phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-178
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Dialogue
  • Empathy
  • Intersubjectivity


Dive into the research topics of 'Empathy as intersubjectivity: Resolving Hume and Smith's divide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this