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Luísa Semedo (IFL) : "Ethics of Empathy : From Theory to Practice"

Luísa Semedo received his PhD from the University Paris-Sorbonne. She is an associate member of the research team of the Institute for Philosophy of Language (IFL) at the New University of Lisbon and a research team member of the IFL project "Cognitive Foundations of the Self".

Title : "Ethics of Empathy : From Theory to Practice"
Date, Time, Place : 29/03/2013, 4pm, Salle de Réunion du Pavillon Jardin

Abstract : In this talk I will present some of the main ideas of my PhD dissertation entitled “Towards an Ethics of Empathy” and its outcomes, both theoretical and practical. Empathy is an early, universal and flexible faculty which allows us to be affected (emotional empathy, empathic distress, contagion, imitation), to recognize (cognitive empathy, empathic concern, perspective taking, simulation, imagination) and to respond (empathic action, altruism, trust, cooperation, respect) properly to the subjectivity of others. This behavior can range from simple social coordination to a true ethical conduct. I will review and discuss these different components of empathy, and I will argue that there is a necessary link between emotion, cognition and morality. My hypothesis is that we can build a coherent and pragmatic ethics of empathy and to support this purpose I will present some of the most recent, French and international, initiatives in education of empathy and also my own project (in progress), "Philo’Ensemble", an interdisciplinary association that aims to raise awareness among citizens, especially among young people, to the issue of "living together", through the fight against discrimination and the strengthening of social ties.
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