Against kittens: The satire of empathy and essay on the art of ingeniously tormenting

Friday 9 March 2018, 11:00


Présentation de la communication

«My title refers to a line from Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by psychologist Paul Bloom. In the opening Bloom writes that, from friends and acquaintances reactions to his topic, he has learned that being against empathy is like “being against kittens”, a view so outlandish that it can’t be serious. But Bloom is seriously worried about the widespread, unquestioning investment in our feelings and in empathy in particular. He builds a logical case against it by citing recent studies that show how empathy privileges personal stories over systemic problems and how it reproduces unconscious biases against racialized and other marginalized peoples.»

Archive audio de la communication

Referenced author(s) and artist(s):
To cite this document:
Bobker, Danielle. 2018. “Against kittens: The satire of empathy and essay on the art of ingeniously tormenting”. Within Perspectives féministes en histoire de l’art. Repenser les marges. Symposium hosted by CRILCQ/IREF/Département d’histoire de l’art de l’UQAM/ACSHA. Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, 9 mars 2018. Document audio. Available online: l’Observatoire de l’imaginaire contemporain. <>. Accessed on April 19, 2019.
Fields of Discipline:
Objects and Cultural Practices: