The concept of Einfühlung, which developed at the center of German aesthetics in the nineteenth century, is an effective concept in many fields from ethics to hermeneutics, from aesthetics to psychology, from phenomenology to art history. However, it becomes a concept that cannot be easily understood, with the changes it undergoes when passing from one field to another, from one language to another, but a rich concept that becomes very nutritious for many fields. To explain entirely the meaning of the concept of Einfühlung is as difficult as to follow the history of its development and these two difficulties are tightly interconnected. The concept of Einfühlung, on the one hand, is based on the concept of sympathy of David Hume and Adam Smith, on the other hand, J. Gottfried Herder and German Romanticism, and the aesthetics of R. Hermann Lotze and F. Theodor Vischer. The term Einfühlung, invented by Robert Vischer, became the more comprehensive theory with Theodor Lipps. Lipps regarded Einfühlung similar to the concept of sympathy. But Edward Titchener coined the term empathy as the translation of Einfühlung. Thus, on the one hand, the controversial distinction between sympathy and empathy became evident, on the other hand, in many languages the term empathy was increasingly adopted as translation of Einfühlung and used as a concept in itself. The concept of Einfühlung is also translated into Turkish in many different ways. Starting from this concept confusion, the history of the development of Einfühlung and its current heritage, as well as the Einfühlung-theory will be examined. In this way, it is aimed to elucidate the puzzling structure of the concept.
Keywords: Einfühlung, sympathy, empathy, aesthetics, Theodor Lipps