Empathy is a practice and priority, not a mere psychological mechanism. Practicing empathy is a way of being in the world, creating a safe space of openness, acceptance and toleration. In the face of a contagion of Omicron, we need a contagion of empathy.
A new year and a new virus variant? Being cynical and resigned is easy, and the empathy training is to drive out cynicism and resignation – then empathy naturally comes forth. If given half a chance. People want to be empathic. The prediction is that with a rigorous and critical empathy (and getting a very high percent of the population vaccinated), we are equal to the challenge.
A significant aspect of the interest in relating empathy and the reading of fiction is to make the world a better place. Read some quality fiction; expand one’s empathy; and take action to improve the world. Wouldn’t it be nice?
The ontological definition of empathy as “being in the presence of another human being without anything else added” – anything else such as judgment, evaluation, memory, desire, hostility, and the many factors that make us unavailable to be in relationship. Though Gillian Isaacs Russell uses the word “empathy” in a specific psychological sense, I would argue that her work on “presence” is consistent with and contributes to an enlarged sense of empathic relatedness that builds community.
Professor Turkle, Sherry, launches a Jeremiad – remember the Prophet Jeremiah? – against buzzing, beeping, interrupting devices, which give us acquired attention deficit, and carries her concerns in the direction of online therapy. If empathy is being copresent with another person, where is the empathy online? Find out in the engaging conversation between Lou and Arnon about Sherry’s penetrating and incisive work!
A scientist has not been burned at the stake in over 350 years – and even then it was Giordano Bruno, not Galileo. Find out how Professor Alice Dreger (PhD) become an advocate for survivors of intersex sexual reassignment surgery and she becomes a strong candidate to be burned in effigy by those for whom she was advocating.
Kohut’s definition of empathy is a rigorous and critical one. Empathy is a mode of observation that gives one access to the thoughts and feelings of other human beings as subjects. Key term: subjectivity. Empathy is the foundation of intersubjectivity and that intersubjectivity has a temporal horizon extending from the past into the future.
Even in politics empathy is always empathy. However, politics brings along a whole new set of questions, issues, and challenges by with which empathy is confronted and to which empathy gets applied.
It’s gettin’ crowded under the bus. We confront the paradox of “embracing” our socially distanced neighbor. There is something about humans that makes us want to breathe on one another. Empathy? There is nothing that says an empathy trend has to be positive – but don’t try and hold your breath. Expanding neighborliness is the ultimate empathy trend.
Empathy flourishes in a space of acceptance and tolerance. But acceptance and tolerance have their dark side, too. People can be intolerant and unaccepting. Be accepting of what? Be accepting of intolerance? Be tolerant of intolerance? Yes, be tolerant, but… Read More ›