The Limits of Empathy?

Does everyone feel empathy? Our fifth, “Empathy” conference will address the limits of empathy. Given that even psychopaths seem to experience feelings of empathy, we must ask where exactly the limits of this emotion lie. Are narcissism, anger, bitterness and sadism the antipodes of empathy or are these simply its limits? Given that neuroresearch has already began to throw doubt on the concept of mirror neurons, we want to avoid taking a naively positive view of empathy. The aim is to determine the extent to which emphatic therapies, sympathy for others and sensitivity are strongly allied. Looking at the darker side of empathy brings us to questions regarding happiness and health.


10:15 – Dr Werner Bartens
Doctor and journalist, “SZ Wissen”
Author of, “Empathie. Die Macht des Mitgefühls” (2015)
Empathy – The Power of Sympathy

11:30 – Professor Hans Günther Gassen
Biochemist and specialist in Biotechnology
Author of, “Wie das Böse in unsere Köpfe kam” (2013)
Must we, or do we want to kill?

12:45 - Lunchbreak

14:00 – Lydia Benecke
Criminal psychologist

Author of, “Sadisten: Tödliche Liebe” (2015)
Criminal cases, criminals and love

15:15 – Professor Michael Linden
Psychiatrist and psychologist
The Charité University Clinic and Institute for Behavioural Therapy, Berlin.
Empathy and Bitterness

16:30 - Dr Heidi Kastner
Psychiatrist und Austria’s best-known court expert
Author of “Wut: Plädoyer für ein verpöntes Gefühl” (2014)
We have to do some work on the dark side – Fury as a significant component in emphatic behaviour

Language: German

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Date: 24.10.2015

Time: 10:00


Bartens, Benecke, Gasser, Kastner & Linden

5. “Empathy” conference