Compassion

Author: Paul Gilbert, PhD
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135231656
Format: PDF, Docs
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In Compassion, ten scholars draw on literature, psychoanalysis, and social history to provide an archive of cases and genealogies of compassion. Together these essays demonstrate how "being compassionate" is shaped by historical specificity and social training, and how the idea of compassion takes place in scenes that are anxious, volatile, surprising, and even contradictory.

Political Emotions

Author: Janet Staiger
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136956026
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Political Emotions explores the contributions that the study of discourses, rhetoric, and framing of emotion make to understanding the public sphere, civil society and the political realm. Tackling critiques on the opposition of the public and private spheres, chapters in this volume examine why some sentiments are valued in public communication while others are judged irrelevant, and consider how sentiments mobilize political trajectories. Emerging from the work of the Public Feelings research group at the University of Texas-Austin, and cohering in a New Agendas in Communication symposium, this volume brings together the work of young scholars from various areas of study, including sociology, gender studies, anthropology, art, and new media. The essays in this collection formulate new ways of thinking about the relations among the emotional, the cultural, and the political. Contributors recraft familiar ways of doing critical work, and bring forward new analyses of emotions in politics. Their work expands understanding of the role of emotion in the political realm, and will be influential in political communication, political science, sociology, and visual and cultural studies.

Desire Love

Author: Lauren Berlant
Publisher: punctum books
ISBN: 0615686877
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"There is nothing more alienating than having your pleasures disputed by someone with a theory," writes Lauren Berlant. Yet the ways in which we live sexuality and intimacy have been profoundly shaped by theories - especially psychoanalytic ones, which have helped to place sexuality and desire at the center of the modern story about what a person is and how her history should be read. At the same time, other modes of explanation have been offered by popular and mass culture. In these domains, sexual desire is not deemed the core story of life; it is mixed up with romance, a particular version of the story of love. In this small theoretical novella-cum-dictionary entry, Lauren Berlant engages love and desire in separate entries. In the first entry, Desire mainly describes the feeling one person has for something else: it is organized by psychoanalytic accounts of attachment, and tells briefly the history of their importance in critical theory and practice. The second entry, on Love, begins with an excursion into fantasy, moving away from the parent-child structure so central to psychoanalysis and looking instead at the centrality of context, environment, and history. The entry on Love describes some workings of romance across personal life and commodity culture, the place where subjects start to think about fantasy on behalf of their actual lives. Whether viewed psychoanalytically, institutionally, or ideologically, love is deemed always an outcome of fantasy. Without fantasy, there would be no love. Desire/Love takes us on a tour of all of the things that sentence might mean.

Empathy and the Novel

Author: Suzanne Keen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199884145
Format: PDF, ePub
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Does empathy felt while reading fiction actually cultivate a sense of connection, leading to altruistic actions on behalf of real others? Empathy and the Novel presents a comprehensive account of the relationships among novel reading, empathy, and altruism. Drawing on psychology, narrative theory, neuroscience, literary history, philosophy, and recent scholarship in discourse processing, Keen brings together resources and challenges for the literary study of empathy and the psychological study of fiction reading. Empathy robustly enters into affective responses to fiction, yet its role in shaping the behavior of emotional readers has been debated for three centuries. Keen surveys these debates and illustrates the techniques that invite empathetic response. She argues that the perception of fictiveness increases the likelihood of readers' empathy in part by releasing them from the guarded responses necessitated by the demands of real others. Narrative empathy is a strategy and subject of contemporary novelists from around the world, writers who tacitly endorse the potential universality of human emotions when they call upon their readers' empathy. If narrative empathy is to be taken seriously, Keen suggests, then women's reading and responses to popular fiction occupy a central position in literary inquiry, and cognitive literary studies should extend its range beyond canonical novels. In short, Keen's study extends the playing field for literature practitioners, causing it to resemble more closely that wide open landscape inhabited by readers.

Against Empathy

Author: Paul Bloom
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062339354
Format: PDF
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New York Post Best Book of 2016 We often think of our capacity to experience the suffering of others as the ultimate source of goodness. Many of our wisest policy-makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers agree that the only problem with empathy is that we don’t have enough of it. Nothing could be farther from the truth, argues Yale researcher Paul Bloom. In AGAINST EMPATHY, Bloom reveals empathy to be one of the leading motivators of inequality and immorality in society. Far from helping us to improve the lives of others, empathy is a capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to our narrow prejudices. It muddles our judgment and, ironically, often leads to cruelty. We are at our best when we are smart enough not to rely on it, but to draw instead upon a more distanced compassion. Basing his argument on groundbreaking scientific findings, Bloom makes the case that some of the worst decisions made by individuals and nations—who to give money to, when to go to war, how to respond to climate change, and who to imprison—are too often motivated by honest, yet misplaced, emotions. With precision and wit, he demonstrates how empathy distorts our judgment in every aspect of our lives, from philanthropy and charity to the justice system; from medical care and education to parenting and marriage. Without empathy, Bloom insists, our decisions would be clearer, fairer, and—yes—ultimately more moral. Brilliantly argued, urgent and humane, AGAINST EMPATHY shows us that, when it comes to both major policy decisions and the choices we make in our everyday lives, limiting our impulse toward empathy is often the most compassionate choice we can make.

The Empathy Exams

Author: Leslie Jamison
Publisher: Graywolf Press
ISBN: 1555970885
Format: PDF, Mobi
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From personal loss to phantom diseases, The Empathy Exams is a bold and brilliant collection, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Essay Collection of Spring 2014 Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison's visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about each other? How can we feel another's pain, especially when pain can be assumed, distorted, or performed? Is empathy a tool by which to test or even grade each other? By confronting pain—real and imagined, her own and others'—Jamison uncovers a personal and cultural urgency to feel. She draws from her own experiences of illness and bodily injury to engage in an exploration that extends far beyond her life, spanning wide-ranging territory—from poverty tourism to phantom diseases, street violence to reality television, illness to incarceration—in its search for a kind of sight shaped by humility and grace.

Identity Technologies

Author: Anna Poletti
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Pres
ISBN: 0299296431
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Identity Technologies is a substantial contribution to the fields of autobiography studies, digital studies, and new media studies, exploring the many new modes of self-expression and self-fashioning that have arisen in conjunction with Web 2.0, social networking, and the increasing saturation of wireless communication devices in everyday life. This volume explores the various ways that individuals construct their identities on the Internet and offers historical perspectives on ways that technologies intersect with identity creation. Bringing together scholarship about the construction of the self by new and established authors from the fields of digital media and auto/biography studies, Identity Technologies presents new case studies and fresh theoretical questions emphasizing the methodological challenges inherent in scholarly attempts to account for and analyze the rise of identity technologies. The collection also includes an interview with Lauren Berlant on her use of blogs as research and writing tools.

Not With a Bang But a Whimper

Author: Theodore Dalrymple
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1566638518
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Theodore Dalrymple's brilliant new collection of writings follows on the extraordinary success of his earlier books, Life at the Bottom and Our Culture, What's Left of It. No writer today is more adept and incisive in exploring the state of our culture and the ideas that are changing our ways of life. In Not with a Bang But a Whimper, he takes the measure of our cultural decline, with special attention to Britain-its bureaucratic muddle, oppressive welfare mentality, and aimless young-all pursued in the name of democracy and freedom. He shows how terrorism and the growing numbers of Muslim minorities have changed our public life. Also here are Mr. Dalrymple's trenchant observations on artists and ideologues, and on the treatment of criminals and the mentally disturbed, his area of medical interest.

Reading the Early Modern Passions

Author: Gail Kern Paster
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812218728
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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How translatable is the language of the emotions across cultures and time? What connotations of particular emotions, strongly felt in the early modern period, have faded or shifted completely in our own? If Western culture has traditionally held emotion to be hostile to reason and the production of scientific knowledge, why and how have the passions been lauded as windows to higher truths? Assessing the changing discourses of feeling and their relevance to the cultural history of affect, Reading the Early Modern Passions offers fourteen interdisciplinary essays on the meanings and representations of the emotional universe of Renaissance Europe in literature, music, and art. Many in the early modern era were preoccupied by the relation of passion to action and believed the passions to be a natural force requiring stringent mental and physical disciplines. In speaking to the question of the historicity and variability of emotions within individuals, several of these essays investigate specific emotions, such as sadness, courage, and fear. Other essays turn to emotions spread throughout society by contemporary events, such as a ruler's death, the outbreak of war, or religious schism, and discuss how such emotions have widespread consequences in both social practice and theory. Addressing anxieties about the power of emotions; their relation to the public good; their centrality in promoting or disturbing an individual's relation to God, to monarch, and to fellow human beings, the authors also look at the ways emotion serves as a marker or determinant of gender, ethnicity, and humanity. Contributors to the volume include Zirka Filipczak, Victoria Kahn, Michael Schoenfeldt, Bruce Smith, Richard Strier, and Gary Tomlinson.