Challenges and Opportunities in the Interdisciplinary Study of Empathy

Frazer, Michael (2018) Challenges and Opportunities in the Interdisciplinary Study of Empathy. In: Video Teleconference on Empathy and Emotions in Morality, Communication and Human Life, 2018-09-06 - 2018-09-06, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Abstract

There is a growing sense that the current structure of disciplinary divisions in the academy is both arbitrary and unduly constraining. Interdisciplinarity is the watchword of the day, but most scholars are so utterly socialized into their segregated disciplines that it is often unclear how interdisciplinary research can proceed. I think that the long-dead authors I wrote about in my book, The Enlightenment of Sympathy, can provide us with a path forward. These eighteenth-century sentimentalists were united in a common project synthesizing all of what are now the humanities and social sciences to both understand and improve human nature via the human faculty that we now call empathy. This project that could serve as an inspiration to analogous work in the twenty-first century. But such interdisciplinary work on empathy faces serious challenges. This paper focuses on four of them, which I call: 1. The Challenge of Terminology 2. The Challenge of Methodology 3. The Challenge of Normativity 4. The Challenge of Neutrality Each of these challenges is also an opportunity, a chance to shake up how humanistic and social-scientific research is usually conducted and change things for the better.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2018 10:30
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 01:15
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/68206
DOI:

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