Session led by Luisa Menano
Text: 'The Joys and Sorrow of Empathy' by Eagleman, D. The Brain - the story of you (2016). Canongate Books, pp. 157 - 163.
Following our previous session, when we discussed the subject of 'care as value', there were several relevant keywords that came to my attention, and I felt that it might need more thoughtfulness, such as: ‘gift-giving’; ‘care’, ‘exchange’, amid others.
Our brain connects with our own personal experience and therefore with the world we live in; therefore, I proposed a reflection on the way we perceive things, for instance: why does it matter to care? Is it for the ‘joy of empathy’? or is it for the “sorrow of empathy'? In sum, I brought to our discussion the subject of ‘empathy’, which is crucial in our emotions. This ‘control’ of empathy is located in our prefrontal cortex and other areas of our brain. ‘Empathy’ helps to clarify what makes us be more ‘humanising’ people and/ or ‘dehumanising’.
The text “The Joys and Sorrows of Empathy’ reflects on the subject of ‘empathy’ and helped us to discuss, to be more self-aware about ‘empathy’. Our senses are also an essential part of ‘empathy’ because it helps us to feel that we belong to a niche/ a group, makes us feel that we are accepted in the society, we live in. The strategy of propaganda, made by politicians and others, are very good at ‘manipulating’ our senses/ our vision, if and when we don’t have the capability to control and turn off our own our medial prefrontal cortex. “Empathy is, literally, feeling the other’s pain as if that were your pain.’(Eagleman)
Next session: 15 June 2020