Modern western cultures have shifted their focus from groups and classes to the individual and his or her personal right to pursue happiness. Each one of us feels that whatever is within the mantle of our skin is ‘self’, and whatever is outside is something else, something ‘out there’.
In this vision of the world, you and I are two separate entities with very little connection between us. This view of human nature raises a terrible question: is there anything inside us that makes us care about other people? The response of the international community against the Syrian government gives us a positive message: it seems that we do care…
As I describe in my recent book The Empathic Brain when we see other people’s actions, sensations and emotions, a set of our brain circuits seems to transform this sight into a representation of our own actions, sensations and emotions.
by Christian Keysers