ERIC Number: ED201019
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
An Ethical Alternative to Empathic Listening: An Existential/Phenomenological Approach.
Arnett, Ronald C.; Nakagawa, Gordon
This paper offers a tentative and exploratory discussion of the assumptive bases and ethical implications of a theory of interpersonal listening based on empathy. The first major section of the paper presents a brief historical overview of the empathic tradition, particularly as it relates to interpersonal communication study and to theory construction in listening. The second section offers a critique of empathic listening on the basis of three considerations: (1) the reification of the notion of self, resulting in the untenable position of psychologizing human language, meaning, and conduct and contributing to the "new narcissism"; (2) the tendency toward studying, teaching, and employing empathic listening as an instrumental technique for enhancing personal growth; and (3) the"cultural baggage" of the sixties-styled nonevaluation, inviting ethical neutralism. The third section formulates an alternative to the listening process, which is rooted in contemporary dialogical and hermenuetic philosophy. (FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Empathic Listening
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the International Listening Association (Denver, CO, March 1981).