2011 年 1 巻 p. 14-21
The task of this study is to clarify the abnormalities of empathy in autistic patients in keeping with their situation and experience. As for the methods to be used, the situation described in "Variable Stars (Henkousei)" by Naomi Moriguchi, who suffers from autism, will be phenomenologically considered. In the phenomenological method used in this study, the situations and experiences described by autistic individuals or what is known as the "meaning of their living world" will be initially recognized, while refraining from looking at autistic people using specified theories or methods in advance. In order to complement and ensure the process, all kinds of knowledge and methods regarding human beings will be actively used as a measure or perspective to understand autistic individuals.
Moriguchi described that she did not quite understand how to connect with others. Connecting with others is realized through empathy. People relate to others and are involved in their situations through empathy. Empathy is an intuitive experience of others through natural pathos, pain, suffering, emotion and passion.
Empathy is at the base of emotion and intellect, meaning that empathy is a natural ability to become involved in the world. In Moriguchi's case, empathy is a barrier to normal involvement with human beings. In other words, it may be said that Moriguchi, who is not able to establish relationships with her schoolmates, has unnatural empathy and is in a state where involvement in the world is absent or immature.