Blackwell’s Oxford is holding what it is calling the first ever Empathy Festival from 5th-12th June.
The company’s flagship bookshop will host five events over five days on the subject of empathy in conjunction with Roman Krznaric, author of Empathy: Why it Matters and How To Get It (Rider).
The festival will look at why 98% of people have the ability to empathise but very few fulfil their empathic potential.
Kicking off the event on Friday 5th June at 7pm is Krznaric speaking on the subject of Empathy and Family Life, while Saturday 6th June at 4pm will see Professor Peter Singer, author of classics such as Animal Liberation, discussing his new book, The Most Good You Can Do.
Monday 8th June at 7pm Professor Danny Dorling will talk about Injustice and Empathy: Why Social Inequality Still Persists and on Wednesday June 10th at 7pm, a panel including Morten Kringelbach, Nigel Warburton and novelist Rebecca Wait will discuss Can Novels Teach Empathy? Finally, on Thursday 11th June at 7pm Blackwell’s will host a conversational supper with Theodore Zeldin.
Ulric van den Bogaerde, manager of the Norrington Room at Blackwell’s Oxford, said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Roman on this fascinating initiative, bringing together so many exciting voices to discuss a subject that is evermore pressing in contemporary thinking… It promises to be an extraordinary week.”
Krznaric added: “Empathy is a more popular concept today than at any time in the last century - it's on the lips of neuroscientists, education policy makers, business leaders and happiness gurus. With help from an extraordinary range of thinkers from neuroscientists and philosophers to historians and novelists - Blackwell's unique Empathy Festival will be putting the concept under the microscope and exploring whether stepping in to someone else's shoes really has the power not just to transform personal life but forge radical social and political change.”
All tickets range from being free to costing £3.