Scripps Humanities Institute Opens Spring 2005 Program: “Empathy”

The Scripps College Humanities Institute has announced its spring 2005 program planned to explore “Empathy” under the leadership of Institute Director Julia E. Liss. Professors and researchers in the fields of neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, English, law, music, anthropology, architecture, art history, and history will come to the Scripps College campus this spring to explore empathy from an integrated perspective. For more information and a complete schedule of events, please call the Humanities Institute at (909) 621-8326.

The January/February “Empathy” program schedule includes the following lectures and events:

The program opens with a lecture on “Empathy and Remorse,” on Thursday, January 27 at noon in the Hampton Room of the Malott Commons. Benjamin Vilhauer, Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, will present. Claudia Strauss, Professor of Anthropology at Pitzer College, will present the first February lecture, “Is Empathy Gendered and If So, Why? A Perspective from Feminist Psychological Anthropology,” on February 10 at noon in the Hampton Room of the Malott Commons.

The program continues in February with a symposium, “Empathy and Consciousness,” on Thursday, February 17 at 4:15 p.m and 7:00 p.m. The symposium will take place in the Old Music Hall on the Scripps College campus on Ninth Street. Jean Decety will lecture on, “The Functional Architecture of Human Empathy,” at 4:15 p.m along with Evan Thompson, who will lecture on “Empathy and Consciousness.” Decety is currently Professor and Head of Social Cognitive Neuroscience for the Institute for Learning and Brain Services at the University of Washington. Thompson is the Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Science & Embodied Mind in the Department of Philosophy at York University. Finally, Dorothy Otnow Lewis, M.D. will lecture at 7:00 p.m. on “Ethical Implications of Our Knowledge about Violence: Biopsychosocial Characteristics of Condemned Juveniles.” Lewis is currently Clinical Professor at Yale University’s Child Study Center. The speakers will discuss and explore how consciousness affects emotions, criminality, and empathy.

On Monday, February 28 at 4:15 p.m., Stephen Darwall will present a lecture on “Empathy, Respect, and the Second-Person Standpoint.” The lecture will take place in the Old Music Hall on the Scripps College Campus on Ninth Street. Darwall is the John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan.