Thursday, 20 May 2010

on empathy


xtina said...

learning in pairs

xtina said...

read the comments-why so much bitterness and fear against the virtual other/android/imaginary order

xtina said...

The mental creative activity of the individual, called for in classical mnemonics, is precisely what is necessary in current educational theory in order to promote constructivist learning. The best way to learn and comprehend is by building relationships between new facts and consciously combining them with existing knowledge.

It is this demand which can be best fulfilled using digital media. The digital medium offers another crucial advantage: the possibility that individual knowledge construction may become a co-operative experience, allowing for the fact that no individual could come to terms with a constantly increasing body of knowledge without continuous communication and division of labour.

The solution offered by the digital era is machine-aided interactivity in a more comprehensive sense than the explorative interactivity offered in the examples above: At first, the interaction of human and machine may be extended in the sense that one can learn from the other – every input from the user leads to a further development of the system. Second, digital systems enable not only interaction between the user and the machine, but also the machine-aided interaction between humans themselves, the co-operative discussion and modification of the digitally visualised contents and structures. Also in that sense, one can cite already existing activities, for example so-called MUDs and MOOs12. Both terms refer to virtual environments with various rooms or spaces which can be individually designed and furnished by their visitors, who also communicate with each other. The systems offer spaces for public information exchange, private communication and the deposit of objects and documents which may be analysed, interpreted and discussed by the participants of the project. Thereby MUDs and MOOs not only fulfil the demands of classical mnemonic techniques, but exceed them by allowing the co-operative construction of knowledge systems. MUDs and MOOs have been used in a games context, but also for educational purposes since the middle of the 1990s. Older versions work with simple Telnet connections and are far from offering virtual reality in the sense of simulating real space as perfectly as possible. Some show a rudimentary floor plan to enable orientation, but they are essentially text based (Fig. 9).

xtina said...

“Empathy is more than just awareness and concern. It is about cultural sensitivity and conflict resolution. It’s about the ability to communicate effectively and understand the motivations of others. Empathy is about standing up, not standing by, uncovering what’s below the surface through active listening and putting words into action” (Ashoka Changemakers).

By educating for an understanding of empathy, a culture of changemakers and peacemakers will open the doors of a world where conflict resolution is done with empathy, understanding, and by appropriate measures, as the perspectives of the ‘other’ will be considered. Through empathy more effective conflict resolution will be possible.

xtina said...

xtina said...
Empathy and Consciousness

This article makes five main points. (1) Individual human consciousness is formed in
the dynamic interrelation of self and other, and therefore is inherently intersubjective.
(2) The concrete encounter of self and other fundamentally involves empathy, under-
stood as a unique and irreducible kind of intentionality. (3) Empathy is the precondi-
tion (the condition of possibility) of the science of consciousness. (4) Human empathy
i s i nherent l y devel opment al : open t o i t are pat hways t o non- egocent r i c or
self-transcendent modes of intersubjectivity. (5) Real progress in the understanding
of intersubjectivity requires integrating the methods and findings of cognitive
science, phenomenology, and contemplative and meditative psychologies of human