Semedo is a PhD Philosophy student at the University of Paris-Sorbonne,
PhD dissertation is about Ethics of Empathy. The aim of her
interdisciplinary work is to frame a new ethics in which empathy is its
foundation (contagion, empathic distress and imitation), its instrument
(simulation, imagination and empathic concern) and its purpose (trust,
altruism, cooperation and respect).
Her definition of empathy is “
...a modular, universal and innate faculty that allows us to be affected
(emotional empathy), to recognize (cognitive empathy) and to respond
(empathic action) properly to the subjectivity of others.”
She says that empathy is
like dreams, because in dreams we can be a different version of ourselves.
In real life, empathy allows us to put ourselves in the place of others,
and experienced others lives. Because of our common humanity, others are a
possibility of us. The opposite of empathy is a desert island. Sub Conference:
Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action
and create a transcription of this video, check
the volunteers page. The transcriptions will make it easier for
other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)
How can we build a culture of empathy?
1. Give empathy a serious, a respectable, and a documented framework.
Clarifying the definition of empathy.
Promote the concept of empathy in
academic world, and also vulgarize the concept.
2. Educate people through empathy to the ethical idea of the
universality and the singularity of others. Other is at the same time “the same”, and “another”.
3. Promote an optimistic idea about humankind. If humankind is not worthy, how and why should we build a culture of
empathy and compassion? We must defend at least a methodological
optimism, that is very practical and pragmatical, simply because it
works. At a personal level it’s a question of build self-confidence. You
can make great things if you believe, or if someone makes you believe
that your are capable of doing it. And to do this things you must also
believe that is worthy. That humankind “deserves” our efforts to build a
culture of empathy and compassion. And also that moral progress is