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Jeffrey M. Zacks

The representation of events is a central topic for cognitive science. In this series of lectures, Jeffrey M. Zacks situates event representations and their role in language within a theory of perception and memory. Event representations have a distinctive structure and format that result from computational and neural mechanisms operating during perception and language comprehension. A crucial aspect of the mechanisms is that event representations are updated to optimize their predictive utility. This updating has consequences for action control and for long-term memory. Event cognition changes across the adult lifespan and can be impaired by conditions including Alzheimer’s disease. These mechanisms have broad impact on everyday activity, and have shaped the development of media such as cinema and narrative fiction.

Evolution and Consciousness

From a Barren Rocky Earth to Artists, Philosophers, Meditators and Psychotherapists

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Michael M. DelMonte and Maeve Halpin

This volume provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the emerging concept of the evolution of consciousness. The simple, but dynamic, theory of evolving consciousness blends the powerful insights of modern science with the deep wisdom of age-old cultures, synthesising the traditions of East and West, of the head and heart, of the feminine and the masculine and of science and spirituality. By integrating diverse multi-disciplinary approaches, it provides an overarching and transcending model that moves us to a new level of meaning and understanding of our place in the world. An appreciation of the evolution of consciousness can deepen our connection to ourselves, to others and to the natural world, while bringing a new dimension to the work of psychotherapy.

Tara Chittenden

In The Centrifugal Soul, Mat Collishaw utilises the principles of the zoetrope to create a sculpture where birds and plants appear as ghostly forms suspended outside of the sculpture’s tangible base. The technique of the zoetrope allows for the temporal aspects of a 3D-printed topology to transform perceptions of movement from space to space and from form to form as well as to choreograph an overall composition of space and the dance of display. The intersection of the material arts with optical and natural sciences encourages a sophisticated choreography of viewer perceptions that calls not only on what viewers can see but also what they cannot. My interest is to draw upon some of the conceptual and aesthetic possibilities implied by such choreographic promise in the act of perceiving sculpture. The Centrifugal Soul demonstrates a concern with surface as a site of emergence, or potentially sculpture as a site of emergence for new intensities, expanding and thickening the limits of what we can understand as surface or substance. The behaviour of these surfaces in deformation highlights imaginative possibilities for sculpture to unpack the ephemeral and fluid, including where sculpture might become a technological mediation of vision. I conclude that Collishaw choreographs the intervallic nature of image processes and technologies, and the concepts of motion, time, light and darkness potentially to shift our understanding of the identity of sculpture from an ontological foundation to an epistemological one.

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Edited by Masamichi Sasaki

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Edited by Ricardo Gutiérrez Aguilar

Empathy is sometimes –for unfathomable reasons– a surprisingly evasive emotion. It is indeed a problem open to discussion. It can be particularly problematic since, for one thing, it is in appearance the emotion responsible for stitching together a shared experience with our common fellow. It is the emotion essential to bridging the gap between subjects – to making a community. Some answers in this volume have their place of reference in the welcoming chambers of Mansfield College, at the University of Oxford (UK). The Empathy Project held its third Global Meeting within the premises of ye olde constituent college at Mansfield Road from Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th of July 2016. This volume looks for the common ground between both the results of the conducted research and our experiences: Digital Media ideas on the subject worked just fine elbow to elbow with those proposed by fields like Nursing or Health and Social Care; and Psychiatry, Psychology and Philosophy got along quite well with the lines of inquiry of Education, Literature and Dramatic Performance. Contributors are Victoria Aizkalna, Rosa Elena Belvedresi, Giovanna Costantini, Ricardo Gutiérrez Aguilar, Irina Ionita, Nina Lex, Gerardo López Sastre, Barış Mete, Paulus Pimomo, Johannes Rohbeck, Judy Rollins, Josefa Ros Velasco and Christopher J. Staley.

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Irina Ionita

Abstract

If time is money and the human being an endless range of the homo œconomicus figure who maximizes profit/pleasure by minimizing losses/pain, isn’t empathy eminently anti-utilitarian? Isn’t the effort to connect with the Other, by putting oneself in the place of the Other in order to understand their perspective from their point of view, a risk of minimizing profit/pleasure by maximizing losses/pain? And isn’t that a promising prospect? Stemming from this questioning, the paper tells the story of an interdisciplinary doctoral research in development studies on the nomadic concept of empathy. Beyond inter- or trans-disciplinary, empathy becomes an undisciplined concept, which not only navigates from a discipline to the next, but also questions the ethics and epistemology of every step of the way by taking the researcher into unexpected conceptual, geographical and geopolitical territories. In this case, it moves conceptually from anti-utilitarianism to decoloniality; geographically, from Geneva to Quebec and Ontario; and geopolitically, from a Western perspective to Indigenous loci of enunciation. Through three hypostases, empathy raises some interesting ethical and methodological questions in the realm of social sciences. While trying to answer the initial question of the pertinence of an anti-utilitarian type of empathy by exploring what seemed to be from afar an original case study, the concept took the researcher to Canada, to the Iroquois nations and their notion of responsibility towards the 7th generation into the future. However, when confronted with the complex colonial dimension of the relationship with the Indigenous peoples, the concept became a heuristic tool for the researcher who had to redefine her own capacity to empathize with her interlocutors, which in turn redefined her entire project. Undisciplined, empathy finally became an ethical decolonial practice, helping the researcher build unexpected bridges between several schools of thought and perceive a reciprocal, respectful and responsible dialogue.