Summary of The Empathic Civilization

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The Empathic Civilization summary
Will people’s capacity for empathy eventually save humankind?


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In this RSAnimate production, social commentator Jeremy Rifkin describes new scientific research that demonstrates humans’ inherent ability to empathize. He poses the question, “Is it possible to extend our empathy to the entire human race?” Rifkin postulates that this empathy will eventually sustain humankind and save planet Earth. The video lights a match to a combustible conversation regarding human nature, religion, philosophy, activism and science. getAbstract recommends watching it and joining the debate.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How new scientific discoveries challenge long-held beliefs regarding human behavior
  • How humans are “soft-wired” to relate to what other people are feeling
  • How the ability to empathize may foster the creation of an “empathic civilization.”


Researchers in the fields of evolutionary biology, neurocognitive science and child development have made discoveries that challenge long-held beliefs about human behavior. This new information may topple notions that form the basis for educational, corporate and governmental institutions.
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About the Speaker

Jeremy Rifkin is the author of The Empathic Civilization, The Hydrogen Economy and The Age of Access.

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