Coming to our Senses: Sherry Turkle on Empathy

MON, APR 5, 2021 (1:06:02)

Pandemic lockdowns created a slew of emotional challenges for everyone, from toddlers to seniors. Now that our social skills have atrophied, how can be retrain ourselves to interact with each other again?

MIT Professor Sherry Turkle aims to help us understand how we might rejuvenate our senses and flex our empathy muscles once again. In her new memoir, “The Empathy Diaries,” Turkle unpacks how her family, upbringing, and intellectual development shaped her life’s work. Turkle explores a counterintuitive pattern observed across many decades devoted to keeping people connected: that empathy and connection can arrive when we feel the most alone and unfamiliar.

Moderating this conversation is psychologist, Todd Essig Ph.D

Check out Turkle’s book, “The Empathy Diaries” :

+ BIO: Dr. Todd Essig

Dr. Todd Essig is a psychoanalyst with a private practice in NYC. Known internationally for workshops on the possibilities and limitations of teletherapies, he is also Co-Chair of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Covid-19 Response Team.

+ BIO: Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauz Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, a center of research and reflection on the evolving connections between people and artifacts in the co-construction of identity. The Initiative looks at a range of technologies including robotics, psychopharmacology, video games, and simulation software and their effects on human development. Dr. Turkle has written numerous articles on psychoanalysis and culture and on the “subjective side” of peoples’ relationships with technology, especially computers. She received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University, and is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is the author of Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud’s French Revolution (1978); The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (1984); Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet (1995); and Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age (2015).

Cambridge Forum