The Empathetic Civilization [10:39]


Cognitive Science, Developmental Psychology, Neuroscience, and a range of other fields have exploded over the last decade with a wealth of information.  Through this growth we are given a new perspective on how to shape our educational, business, and other institutions.  The study of empathy and mirror neurons, for instance, have shown that we are also hardwired for compassion, a need to belong, and connection with others – we are homo empathicus – instead of the red-in-tooth-and-claw picture of society that has become popular.  With this understanding we can extend our moral circle of empathy and identity to create a better world.

Discussion Questions

  • What did he mean when he called us ‘homo empathicus’?
  • How can we change our economic system to reflect the fact that we are more naturally empathic than we may have thought before?  Our education system?  Or institutions?
  • Do you think humanity will ever completely come together with one identity that unites us?
  • The author says we should keep our old identities too.  Do you think there is any value in our religious, ethinic, and political identities?

Keywords: civilization, empathy, futurology, human nature, identity, one world, perspective taking, society, psychology, emotions


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