If I understand correctly what you and Victor are trying to say, it is that empathy is simply having an intellectual understanding of the feelings of another person, without actually feeling them yourself? This doesn't even really make sense, because if empathy is only a cognitive understanding of feeling, then how can it be defined as an emotional state? If you want to appeal to authority, at least appeal to a good one. I would recommend consulting Simon Baron-Cohen on this one.
Here's a quote from "The Essential Difference."
"Imagine if you could recognize that Jane is in pain but this left you cold, or detached, or happy, or preoccupied. That would not be empathizing. Now imagine you not only see Jane's pain, but you also automatically feel concern, wince, and feel a desire to run across and help alleviate her pain. This is empathizing" (Baron-Cohen 2).