What is it for two or more people to be with each other or together? And what role do empathic psychological processes play, either as essential or typical constituents? This chapter begins with the proposal that to be genuinely with one another, persons must be jointly aware of their mutual openness to mutual relating. It follows that being-with is a second-personal phenomenon in the sense discussed in SPS. People who are with each other are in one another's presence, where the latter involves a second-personal standing or authority, as in the divine presence, or the king's. To be with someone is therefore to give the other second-personal standing, implicitly, to claim it for oneself, and therefore to enter into a relation of mutual accountability. Second-personal relating requires a distinctive form of empathy, projective empathy, through which we imaginatively occupy others' perspectives and view ourselves from their point of view.
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