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OnFiction: Fiction and Human Rights

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  • William Benzon
    Folks -- An interesting post on the relationship between literature and human rights, one that relates to the way literature can influence our behavior by
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 2, 2010
      Folks -- An interesting post on the relationship between literature and
      human rights, one that relates to the way literature can influence our
      behavior by expanding the bounds of empathy.

      A key paragraph:

      " Hunt's finding is that invention of the idea of the equality of rights,
      declarations of rights, and the changes in society that have followed them,
      depended on two factors. One was empathy, which really is a human universal.
      "It depends," says Hunt, "on a biologically based ability to understand the
      subjectivity of other people and to be able to imagine that their inner
      experiences are like one's own" (p. 39). The other was the mobilization of
      this empathy towards those who were outside people's immediate social
      groupings. Although Hunt does not attribute this mobilization entirely to
      literary art, she concludes that the novel contributed to it substantially.
      "Reading novels," she says, "created a sense of equality and empathy through
      passionate involvement in the narrative" (p. 39). Many novels contributed.
      One that Hunt discusses is Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1740) written by a
      man and inviting empathetic identification with a woman of a humble social
      class."

      Best,

      Bill B


      http://www.onfiction.ca/2010/02/fiction-and-human-rights.html
    • Jeff P. Turpin
      Nice. jt Jeff P. Turpin, PhD. Turpin and Sons Inc. Cultural Resource Management 2047 Lakeshore, Canyon Lake, TX 78133 (512) 922-7826 ... From: William Benzon
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 2, 2010
        Nice. jt

        Jeff P. Turpin, PhD.
        Turpin and Sons Inc.
        Cultural Resource Management
        2047 Lakeshore, Canyon Lake, TX 78133
        (512) 922-7826
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 1:41 PM
        Subject: [biopoet] OnFiction: Fiction and Human Rights

         

        Folks -- An interesting post on the relationship between literature and
        human rights, one that relates to the way literature can influence our
        behavior by expanding the bounds of empathy.

        A key paragraph:

        " Hunt's finding is that invention of the idea of the equality of rights,
        declarations of rights, and the changes in society that have followed them,
        depended on two factors. One was empathy, which really is a human universal.
        "It depends," says Hunt, "on a biologically based ability to understand the
        subjectivity of other people and to be able to imagine that their inner
        experiences are like one's own" (p. 39). The other was the mobilization of
        this empathy towards those who were outside people's immediate social
        groupings. Although Hunt does not attribute this mobilization entirely to
        literary art, she concludes that the novel contributed to it substantially.
        "Reading novels," she says, "created a sense of equality and empathy through
        passionate involvement in the narrative" (p. 39). Many novels contributed.
        One that Hunt discusses is Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1740) written by a
        man and inviting empathetic identification with a woman of a humble social
        class."

        Best,

        Bill B

        http://www.onfictio n.ca/2010/ 02/fiction- and-human- rights.html

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