Social distancing increased over the course of human history – but so did empathy and new ways to connect

April 9, 2020

Fritz Breithaupt explores the social distancing, empathy, and human connection throughout history in this article in The Conversation Science and Technology section. 


"Social distancing is vital in the present moment. While the increased isolation and spacing of the new drastic measures come as shock to many people, social distancing is not new if you take the long view – the very long view.As a cognitive scientist and scholar who studies empathy, I see human history as a process of increasing social distancing. Along the way, empathy emerged to bridge the widening gaps, allowing physical distance while encouraging mental bonds. In fact, I suggest that cultural practices of empathy changed over time, from mere tracking of others to “co-experiencing the situations of others” from a distance." Fritz Breithaupt, The Conversation



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