WCSU – 2012 ‘What is Empathy?’ discussion panel to be held at WCSU

 A panel that includes two professors from Western Connecticut State University and a Buddhist monk will discuss theories in response to “What is Empathy?” at a public event to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012.


The panel discussion of the nature of empathy and altruism in humans and other animals will begin at noon in Warner Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. It is free and open to the public. The discussants will focus on theories and research in psychology and other areas that provide evidence for the existence or absence of empathy.


Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Daniel Barrett will describe the leading theory regarding the conditions under which humans may feel empathic concerns and, consequently, engage in true, selfless, helping behavior. Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Patricia O’Neill will discuss the evidence for the existence of empathy and altruism in nonhuman animals. Senior Buddhist Monk Geshe Lobsang Dhargey of Do Ngak Kunphen Ling in Redding will talk about the Buddhist conception of empathy and how it can be cultivated in humans.