Chapter

Empathy

Paul Woodruff

in The Necessity of Theater

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195332001
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868186 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332001.003.0011
Empathy

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Good audiences bring a capacity for empathy to theater. “Empathy” is used for a variety of emotional responses to others, some of which are goals of the art of theater more than others. Some responses that have been called “empathy” are not compatible with understanding. Tonal sympathy is analogous to the sympathetic vibration of one violin string with another, and this is independent of understanding. Tonal sympathy, identification, and related responses tend to undermine the ability of an audience to watch carefully what is presented to them. Bertolt Brecht therefore argued for an epic...

Keywords: empathy; Bertolt Brecht; identification; tonal sympathy; cognitive empathy

Chapter.  9522 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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