Colloque, 9 mars 2018

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

Danielle Bobker
Perspectives féministes en histoire de l’art. Repenser les marges, événement organisé par Marie Ferron-Desautels et Fanny Poupart

«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.»

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