Antonio Rainone

Einfühlung in Analytic Philosophy: A Historical Perspective

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The concept of Einfühlung, empathy, has practically run through much of analytic philosophy, sometimes explicitly, sometimes tacitly. From Hempel to Wittgenstein it has been widely criticized, albeit for different reasons. Nevertheless, one often comes across considerations aimed at restoring this form of Verstehen, understanding, but perhaps the model of understanding that has been most successful in analytic philosophy is the societal one of Wittgenstein and some of his followers (such as Peter Winch). Einfühlung reappears in Saul Kripke’s careful reading of some of Wittgenstein’s texts and is somewhat present in Donald Davidson’s theory of interpretation, as well as in W.V. Quine and in contemporary debate on Mindreading and the now famous Simulation Theory of Alvin I. Goldman and Robert Gordon (which we will leave aside here).


  • Analytic Philosophy
  • Charity
  • Einfühlung
  • Empathy
  • Human Action
  • Understanding


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