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Social Sciences - Political Science | Empathy Imperiled - Capitalism, Culture, and the Brain

Empathy Imperiled

Capitalism, Culture, and the Brain

Olson, Gary

2013, X, 110 p.

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Empathy is putting oneself in another’s emotional and cognitive shoes and then acting appropriately.   The evolutionary process has given rise to a hard-wired neural system, described as “the most radical of human emotions, that equips us to connect with one another.  But this critical connection has been short-circuited by the dynamic convergence of culture, politics and the brain under the hegemonic influence of neoliberal capitalism. The book explores this process through sections on education, the neoliberal state, neuromarketing, corporations, militarization, mass culture, film, photo images and media.  How does the system blunt, bracket off and or otherwise channel empathy’s revolutionary potential?  What does this reveal about how the world works and especially, how it might work better? Empathy Imperiled offers a provocative, empirically grounded dissent from capitalism’s narrative about human nature. It offers a unique perspective on  our current political culture and process and as such it will appeal to students and scholars in political science, psychology, anthropology, and several related fields. 

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Empathy - Mirror neuron system (MNS) - Moral behavior - Neoliberal capitalism - Neuropolitics - Radical political economy

Related subjects » Neuropsychology - Political Science

Table of contents 

​Acknowledgments.- Introduction: Good, Better and Dangerously Best Samaritans.- Retrospective: Moral Outrage or Moral Amnesia?.- Mirror Neurons, Evolution and Morality.- This Is Your Brain on Neoliberal Culture. Any questions?.- The Neoliberal State and the State of Empathy.- Corporations as Empathy Devoid Psychopaths.- Neuromarketing 101: Branding Empathy.- Militarism, Masculinity and Empathy.- The Empathetic Power of Images.- Cuban Medical Internationalism as the Model of Dangerous Empathy.- Making the World Safer for Loving Our Neighbors.- About the Author.​

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