Faculty Book: Nancy Yousef
(Stanford University Press, 2013)
How much can we know about what other people are feeling and how much can we sympathize or empathize with them? The term “intimacy”—which has always referred both to the inmost and personal, and to relationships of exceptional closeness—captures a tension between a confidence in the possibility of shared experience and a competing belief that thoughts and feelings are irreducibly private. This book is an interdisciplinary study of shared feeling as imagined in eighteenth-century ethics, romantic literature, and twentieth-century psychoanalysis. Original interpretations of Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Austen show how aspirations toward mutual recognition give way to appreciation of varied, nonreciprocal forms of intimacy. The book concludes with accounts of empathy and unconscious communication in the psychoanalytic setting, revealing the persistence of romantic preoccupations in modernity. Nancy Yousef (Assoc. Prof., Baruch) serves on the doctoral faculty in English.
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Submitted on: FEB 14, 2014