Applications of Edith Stein's empathy theory to Library Science

Katelyn Angell


Library Science has traditionally been a discipline which operates from a pragmatic rather than a philosophical framework. Theory is traditionally superseded by practice, rendering librarianship a field lacking in concrete foundations. However, philosophy, particularly phenomenology, harbors powerful ramifications for improving both the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of the field. In particular, phenomenologist Edith Stein's research on empathy has the unique potential to advance librarianship by providing a model for better understanding of patron needs. In order to translate Stein's theory into practice, the classic feminist strategy of consciousness-raising provides a novel methodology.


feminism; phenomenology; philosophy

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CILIP Registered Charity no 313014

ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)