Empathy today

Empathy is the feeling of another person's emotions as a presence in one's own self. In today's times of war, crises and polarizing opinions, this phenomenon is more important than ever. The annual conference looks at empathy from different disciplinary perspectives.

How do we physically and cognitively perceive the emotions and feelings of others and how do we categorize them? Is the experience of emotions a purely sensory activity? How are our feelings influenced by economic practices of consumption? Which other people do we empathize with, which do we not - and which should we show much more empathy towards? The answers to these questions are as varied as the messages from our guests.

Prof. Dr. Eva Illouz researches and teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on emotions, capitalism, culture, communication and cultural aspects of their interfaces. She was awarded the EMET Prize for Sociology in 2018.
Isabel Schayani is a German-Iranian television and online journalist (WDR) in the fields of current affairs, Europe and news.
Vittorio Gallese is Professor of Psychobiology in the Department of Neurosciences at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Parma, in Italy.

Editor's note: The other speakers at the conference had not yet been confirmed at the time of going to press.

Language: German / English

As part of the International Science Festival - Geist Heidelberg and the 13th Empathy Conference

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Date: 02.12.2023

Time: 10:00


13th Empathy Conference - Day 2

Very distressing circumstances are currently forcing us to re-form our Empathy Conference (December 1 to 3): Siri Hustvedt has unfortunately had to postpone her visit to us (December 1) until next year, as her husband Paul Auster's health has suddenly deteriorated. Two guests who were invited for the following day (2.12.) also have to cancel their visit for personal reasons, so we will make up for the majority of the conference in 2024. We will announce alternative dates as soon as possible. Tickets that have already been purchased remain valid or can be returned to the respective advance booking office where they were purchased. The event with Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi on Sunday (3.12., 5 p.m.) will take place as planned.