The Epistemic Harms of Empathy in Phenomenological Psychopathology

In her talk, Dr. Lucienne Spencer will raise a tantalizing question for phenomenological psychopathology: is empathy epistemically harmful for the clinical encounter? The talk is titled “The Epistemic Harms of Empathy in Phenomenological Psychopathology” and is scheduled for October 4 at 2 p.m. CEST to be held over Zoom, with a live audience at the Grand Hall of the Institute of Social Sciences (hybrid event).

This talk is based on the joint paper published with Prof Matthew Broome. The authors start by arguing that Jaspers identifies empathic understanding as an essential tool for grasping not the mere psychic content of the condition at hand but the lived experience of the patient. This method then serves as the basis for the phenomenological investigation into the psychiatric condition known as ‘Phenomenological Psychopathology’.

In recent years, scholars in the field of phenomenological psychopathology have attempted to refine the concept of empathic understanding for its use in contemporary clinical encounters. Most notably, they are Stanghellini’s contribution of ‘second-order’ empathy and Ratcliffe’s ‘radical empathy’. The authors reject the pursuit of a renewed version of ‘empathic understanding’ on the grounds that the concept is fundamentally epistemically flawed.

Lucienne Spencer najava 300x300 1 Lucienne Spencer is a Wellcome Trust-funded postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Birmingham. Her research interests include phenomenology, epistemic injustice, and the philosophy of psychiatry. She is also a member of the executive committee for the Society for Women in Philosophy UK.

This is the sixth lecture in the “Philosophy and Psychiatry” seminar series organized by the Center for Philosophy at the Institute of Social Sciences.


You can also participate in the discussion via Zoom platform.

Meeting ID: 990 8343 2948
Passcode: 717333


Годишњи програм семинара “Филозофија и психијатрија”

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30. 11. 2022.

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