How Did We Get Here?: Empathy

In this first installment of our new “How Did We Get Here?” series, we considered the concept of empathy

  • Led by 2nd year student scholar fellow Julianna Breit, we started in the 16th century with David Hume and explored onward. By tracing the evolution of empathy, we learned how each thinker contributes to our understanding of the empathic experience as well as how they engage(d) with the neuroscientific approaches.

In the process — and inspired by their philosophical work — we also gained a deeper appreciation of our own mental capacities and encountered more tools for analyzing our interpersonal approaches. 

Finally, we reflected on the search for community (and the meaning found in “being in relation to/with,” more broadly), as well as the knowledge found in connection.



About Julianna

Julianna Breit is a second-year Student Scholar Fellow for Merlin. A senior at Carroll College, she is double-majoring in Biochemistry and Philosophy with minors in Ethics and Value Studies, Neuroscience, and Chemistry.  Valuing inquisition, creativity, integration, restoration, and understanding, Julianna strives to unite philosophy and neuroscience.  

Her current research interests include Phenomenology of Emotion, Trauma, and Empathy.  She is interested in pursuing a holistic perspective of body and mind that will help to inform her understanding of the human experience and her work in the field.

Her fellowship involves a combination of research, writing and philosophy in the community activities.  Learn more about Julianna here!

Thank You’s

Thank you to Julianna, David Nowakowski, the Carroll College Philosophy department, and the Helena community for helping to make this event such a success!  Thank you also to the Helena Area Community Foundation for grant funds helping to support activities like these in our community…as well as our sustaining donors!!

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