JBSP Online: Eugenia Stefanello – “Narrative Medicine and Empathy”

journal update

Now online a new article for the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology by Eugenia Stefanello (University of Padova).

Eugenia Stefanello – “Narrative Medicine and Empathy: A Phenomenological Perspective”

JBSP (23 Dec 2022, Accepted 27 Jan 2024, Published online: 19 Feb 2024).

Abstract: In Rita Charon’s account of narrative medicine, empathy seems to be an essential element of the clinical relationship. However, empathy has not received much attention, which I believe is problematic. First, I show that not only is there no clear definition of what empathy is, but that this conceptual gap creates ambiguity about its role in the practice of narrative medicine. Second, I argue that certain passages in Charon’s work seem to implicitly characterize empathy as a combination of cognitive empathy, affective empathy, and sympathy, and that its inclusion in the practice of narrative medicine can be problematic. Third, following Dan Zahavi, I argue that a phenomenological account of empathy not only seems most compatible with the practices, values, and theoretical framework of narrative medicine, but is also capable of resolving the problems posed by alternative definitions of empathy and the ambiguity about the role of empathy in narrative medicine.

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00071773.2024.2314119

Eugenia Stefanello, Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology (FISPPA), University of Padova, Padova, Italy

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