Sympathy for the Devil: The Rhetoric of Compassion
Is compassion the foundation of human morality or a dangerously unreliable emotion? This course explores how different media foster empathy for commonly held enemies or discriminated groups. The syllabus runs from Ancient Greece to depictions of Nazis and terrorists in modern film. Half of our readings are in moral philosophy, while the plays, stories, and films serve as an experimental field to evaluate the philosophers’ claims about compassion. This course engages in team-based learning.
Readings and discussions in English.