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Sympathy and Denial

A Postcolonial Re-reading of Emotions, Race, and Hierarchy

Alice Bullard

This essay uses transference, in the psychoanalytic sense, to illuminate the history of emotions in the era of late imperialism. Centered on Frantz Fanon's rejoinder to Octave Mannoni's dependency theory and his rejection of Freud's theory of the Oedipal complex, this essay provides as well a broader scholarly understanding of French psychiatry in North and West Africa, and the prominence therein of sympathy, magic, denial, and transference.

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Human Connection in the Light of the Writings of Karl Marx and Amartya Sen

An Investigation Using Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis and Manik Bandyopadhyay's Ekannoborti

Simantini Mukhopadhyay

. Indeed, in The Theory of Moral Sentiments , Smith ([1759] 2002: 11) considers “sympathy” one of the “original passions of human nature,” which even the “greatest ruffian” is not bereft of. Smith's notion of “natural sympathy” explains how an individual

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Kath Weston

With all the attention paid to empathy in recent years, sympathy has received short shrift. Yet it is sympathy that has the longer legacy in anthropology, both as a descriptor for certain ways of relating to the world, and as a moral passion that characterises something important about the relationship between ethnographers and those they study. By juxtaposing biographical accounts of the author's own research with a reading of 18th‐century texts from the Scottish Enlightenment on sympathy, this essay calls into question the assumption that sympathy arises from, even as it generates, culturally inscribed forms of empathy or closeness. I argue that what Malinowski called ‘the ethnographer's magic’ is (or can be) a sympathetic magic woven from biographical threads, depending for its efficacy on concealment and action at a proximate distance, rather than ‘shared experience’, identification with research participants, or affective appeals.

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Jens Kjeldgaard-Christiansen

“liking,” which is directly responsible for “empathic concern for characters” [ Janicke and Raney 2018, 534], something very similar to what I mean by “sympathy”: a stance of rooting for a character. ) However, there may be other ways of interpreting

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Hazel Mackenzie

Nineteenth-century literary journalism is often read in the light of Michel Foucault's disciplinary paradigm as articulated in his seminal work Discipline and Punish: The Birth of a Prison (1975). Contextualising the growth of literary journalism within the evolution of the modern, urban society, this article explores the ways in which journalists in this period manipulated generic conventions to both enact and resist their role in creating a more transparent, disciplined society. Looking at the journalism of Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, Charles Dickens, Charles Collins, John Hollingshead and William Makepeace Thackeray, this article will argue that their use of a limited, first-person perspective and their emphasis on feeling and sympathy attempts to resist a passive and disciplinary spectatorship and yet paradoxically it is the most significantly disciplinary aspect of their texts.

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Murray Smith

rules or “embodied perceptual skill[s]” (36) are ones that we learn (30), presumably informally, and are in that sense cultural. At the same time, these rules augment our more basic perceptual capacities. I am in sympathy with the “thickening” of my

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What Determines the Boundary of Civil Society?

Hume, Smith and the Justification of European Exploitation of Non-Europeans

Elias L. Khalil

Civil society consists of members obligated to respect each other's rights and, hence, trade with each other as equals. What determines the boundary, rather than the nature, of civil society? For Adam Smith, the boundary consists of humanity itself because it is determined by identification: humans identify with other humans because of common humanness. While Smith's theory can explain the emotions associated with justice (jubilance) and injustice (resentment), it provides a mushy ground for the boundary question: Why not extend the common identity to nonhuman animals? Or why not restrict the boundary to one's own dialect, ethnicity or race? For David Hume, the boundary need not consist of humanity itself because it is determined by self-interest: a European need not respect the property of outsiders such as Native Americans, if the European benefits more by exploiting them than including them in the European society. While Hume's theory can provide a solid ground for the boundary question, it cannot explain the emotions associated with justice. This paper suggests a framework that combines the strengths, and avoids the shortcomings, of Smith's and Hume's theories.

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Nicholas J. Long

The metaworld Ultima Online was designed to foster 'tight communities' of inhabitants. So ware users frequently say it has done just that. Yet many users spend most of their time online alone, engaged in practices of self-realization, individuation, and skill maximization. Drawing on Wilde's utopian writings, I suggest that Ultima Online has fostered an emergent sociality of sympathetic individualism - but that characterizing this as 'community', 'friendship' and 'camaraderie' also allows users to engage with seemingly opposed communitarian tropes of the good life. This affords insights into how ethical imaginations influence emergent forms of human sociality.

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Monstrous Masses

The Human Body as Raw Material

John Marmysz

, mentally, from the inside, we can thus come to feel sympathy for the characters on the screen who we know only from outside appearances. In this way, films such as The Human Centipede, Nymphomaniac , and Videodrome evoke the ambiguous nature of human

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Forget Forgiveness

On the Benefits of Sympathy for Political Reconciliation

Nir Eisikovits

The work of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has generated a great deal of interest in the role of forgiveness in politics. More specifically, it has raised the question of whether forgiveness should be a constitutive part of reconciliation processes between groups. In this paper, I argue that it should not, and that it might be both more useful and more realistic to consider something like Adam Smith’s notion of ‘sympathy’ instead. The first part examines the arguments for and against policies promoting political forgiveness. The second part suggests sympathy as an alternative. The third part considers and rejects some objections to the employment of sympathy in this context.