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ERIC Number: EJ1054555
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1744-9642
Epistemic Empathy in Childrearing and Education
Horsthemke, Kai
Ethics and Education, v10 n1 p61-72 2015
The question, what is it like to be a child?, is one that most of us, in our capacity as parents and/or educators, have probably asked ourselves already at some point. Perhaps one might go further and suggest that it is a question we ought to ask (or have asked) ourselves, insofar as the attempt to provide a meaningful response has a significant bearing on childrearing and education. It is a question that presumably frames the processes of cognitive and moral education--i.e. showing respect for the child's point of view and inducting the child into respecting the points of view of others. After briefly discussing the idea of empathy and relating it to ideas such as sympathy or compassion, this paper focuses on "epistemic" empathy in particular. The relevant characteristics in this regard are knowledge of another's internal state, including her thoughts and feelings; understanding how another is thinking and feeling and imagining how one would think and feel in the other's place. Regarding childrearing and education, the two central questions that concern us here are: what is the role of epistemic empathy in our dealings with our children, learners and students and how can we ensure that they become empathic individuals themselves? In other words, (how) can empathy be taught and learned? After examining several recommendations regarding the nurturing and development of epistemic empathy (exemplification, modelling, acquisition of poetic and general aesthetic skills, and sensitivity, induction, imitation, etc.), I pay closer attention to the idea of "modelling" epistemic empathy. I conclude the paper with a few thoughts about limits to epistemic empathy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A