The aim of this seminar is to reconsider the relationships of care and the notion of “compassion”, drawing on philosophy, especially that of care, but also on medicine, psychology and politics. We developed this seminar as doctoral students in the Philosophy Department of the École Normale Supérieure de Paris, ED540, with the aim of generating new research at the crossroads between fields and thus giving interdisciplinarity a central role.
This study of the relationship between care and compassion makes it possible to re-examine the way in which the State and society view the human being and conceive of citizenship. By seeking to redefine the relationship between politics and ethics, we will ask ourselves how each of us can take care of ourselves, others and the rule of law.
The first year helped to frame our efforts to never disentangle the subjective, institutional and political issues of care. It was based on our desire to reinvent our relationship to care, to illness, to life and to others, and to “rehumanise” politics by creating spaces for sharing, teaching and exchange and by thinking about compassion.
This second year of this seminar aims to continue to reflect on the relationship between politics and ethics through the notions of “compassion” and “care”. We wish to continue this exploration of the connections between different approaches to critical thinking that we believe are moving towards a reflection on issues that are vital to life in a democratic society. How can we work to hone the capacity of each person to understand the experience of the other, to uphold just institutions and life in society?