Empathy is a crucial component of the complex context of emotions, beliefs and (mis)understandings of human communication. How can we best understand this essential ability?
Empathy in Communication
Empathy implies the imagination and feeling of the other’s experiences, usually distinguished as the cognitive and the affective part. It is used in personal and in professional relationships, like care-relationships. There, empathy is only one, but a crucial component of a complex context of emotions, beliefs and (mis)understandings of communication. Professor Joachim Duyndam proposes a concept of empathy developed from philosophical and psychological perspectives, and based on emotion theories. It connects the cognitive and the affective part while taking into account this dependence on the context. How is it possible that we put ourselves in other people’s shoes?
About Joachim Duyndam
Joachim Duyndam studied philosophy at universities in Utrecht (UU), Nijmegen (KUN/RU) and Amsterdam (UvA). Since 1989 has lectured and taught at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht. In 1997 he finished his PhD on empathy (‘Thinking, Passion and Compassion’). Since 2010 is Socrates Professor of Philosophy. His expertise and lectures on humanist anthropology includes work on empathy, passion, compassion and emotional resilience.
About lecture series Empathy
At a time when social contrasts and social inequality are coming to the fore, there are loud calls for more empathy. Many regard the human ability to put ourselves in another person’s place as a tried and tested remedy for indifference. But what is empathy? What does it do? And will ‘more empathy’ really make the world a better place?