Thank you for bringing the work of Simon Baron-Cohen into this conversation. His work is interesting in that it suggests a genetic predisposition for lesser developed emotional intelligence at birth- a very controversial topic but one worth continuing to follow. I have also noted of late newer research into gender neuroscience and brain chemistry (see the work of Helen Fisher and others, sometimes referred to as biological temperament) that could also shed some light on the biological and chemical basis for empathic predisposition. Cultural contexts and the meaning we ascribe to different responses and behaviors also play a role in our interpretation and understanding of empathy- it would be great to have a class on current research into empathy and compassion as they are essential to our sustainable future.
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