Empatia, emozioni e linguaggio. Riscoprire la mediazione del linguaggio attraverso la teoria ibrida delle emozioni e i modelli della responsività empatica

  • Andrea Velardi


Empathic processes require the cognitive and emotional depth of the role taking in what Janet Strayer called “participatory empathy”, more linked to the lived inner experiences, distinghuished from “parallel empathy”, more linked to the external events. In the contemporary multidimensional models the role taking is the marker of the veridical empathy together with decentralization of the Self. These models rediscover primitive forms of empathic distress, mainly concerning with the emotional dimension, already operating at birth like primary circular reaction and egocentric distress. Hoffman (2000) underlines how only with the advent of the association mediated by language the depth of the role taking achieves its full growth developing also the empathic meta-cognition (awareness that the personal distress is an answer to the suffering of another person) integrating avanced processes of activation and the embryonic ones more linked to the visceromotor embodiment. This contribution starts from an analysis of the limits of the Paul Ekman theory of basic emotions in order to propose a hybrid framework that empahsises the role of representation and language in the recognition and in the generating of the emotional expression. At the end we bind this theory with the empathic responsiveness models, showing the importance of language for the role taking and going beyond both anti-representationalist embodiment and radical constructivism in the mold of culturalism.


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How to Cite
Velardi, A. (2020) “Empatia, emozioni e linguaggio. Riscoprire la mediazione del linguaggio attraverso la teoria ibrida delle emozioni e i modelli della responsività empatica”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio. doi: 10.4396/SFL2019ESC005.
Emotions and Cognitive Sciences