“Empathy Education: A Response to Affective Polarization” by Hannah Read (Duke, Philosophy)
Date: Wednesday, 17 April, 2019
Time: 12:40 – 13:30
Organized by the Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Group at Bilkent University.
Abstract: In this talk, I propose empathy education as a response to the problem of affective polarization, or extreme antagonism towards moral and political opponents. More specifically, I suggest that empathy is a promising means of mitigating affective polarization and the highly negative practical, epistemic, and moral outcomes it can yield. I also maintain that empathy education of certain kinds plays a crucial role in motivating empathy for opponents, including those towards whom one is affectively polarized.
About the speaker: Hannah Read is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Duke University. Before Duke, she completed her MA in Philosophy at Tufts University and her BA in Philosophy and Literary Studies at The New School University. Her work falls primarily within moral philosophy, especially moral psychology and metaethics. She has additional interests in feminist philosophy and the philosophy of education. Hannah’s dissertation aims to address problems associated with sharp moral disagreement, including extreme antagonism and incivility between moral opponents. She is currently developing an account of the way in which empathy and perspective taking might play a crucial role in ameliorating antagonism and incivility between moral opponents by helping them understand and find common ground with one another.