Ethics Table brown bag lunch to examine institutional empathy Feb. 20

The Ethics Table brown bag lunch series will continue this week on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees will discuss the topic of institutional empathy.

Last week, Anthony Jack, assistant professor of cognitive science, philosophy and psychology, kicked off a wide-ranging discussion around the place of emotion in ethics, focusing especially on emotional reasoning and its relation to the capacity to connect with distant others.

Empathy is amoral, used by the compassionate and the torturer alike to accomplish their ends. We are empathetic creatures, capable of mirroring others intuitively and deeply. Good institutions begin by using empathy for ends supporting human dignity, rather than by rewarding any use of empathy to manipulate others. How should institutions develop empathy, i.e., in coordination with which fundamental moral categories? And how does our own institution fare?

The discussion lunch will meet in Meeting Room A of the Thwing Center. Attendees, especially students, can come for all or part of the time. Attendees should bring their own lunches; coffee and cookies will be served.

Further information can be found at

This forum is not intended to be merely academic. Is there something at the university, in Cleveland, in the United States or transnational that raises ethical questions you’d like to discuss? Propose them to Jeremy Bendik-Keymer at