Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 22, 2022


Honghe Wang
Pages 209-235

Theodor Lipps’ vier Arten der Nachahmung und Revision einiger prominenter Kritiken

Theodor Lipps’ doctrine of empathy (Einfühlung) is enjoying renewed relevance today for two reasons. On the one hand, it offers heuristic potential in researching the functionality of mirror neurons. On the other hand, as many of the early phenomenologists gained their conceptions of empathy by examining Lipps’ related works, the presently widespread interest in empathy necessitates a re‑reading of Lipps in phenomenological circles. The critiques that phenomenology launches against Lipps, however, often remain bound to the established cliché interpretations of Lipps. This article counters such shortsighted readings by differentiating four kinds of imitation in Lipps. The supposed persuasiveness of such critiques, as will be shown, is lost in light of this differentiation.