Thought Curfew : Empathy’s Endgame

August 19, 2019
A chapter reflecting on the development of Thought Curfew and the wider questions the production raised.


A chapter contributed to The Routledge Handbook of the Medical Humanities, an authoritative handbook offering an overview of the state of the medical humanities globally, showing how clinically oriented medical humanities, the critical study of medicine as a global historical and cultural phenomenon, and medicine as a force for cultural change can inform each other.



A PDF version of the print-ready chapter

1/1 Routledge publication cover image

This chapter is written from the subjective first-person view of the artist. It may appear idiosyncratic and tangential. But if the subject of the chapter is ‘empathy,’ and empathy is defined as “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another” (OED), perhaps it seems reasonable to request both the reader and the writer to attempt to meet through a confessional moment of solidarity. 

The narrative may appear to be framed within the development of a play, but it is actually focused on a question and therefore offers a philosophical inquiry. The question offers a choice: is empathy an advantage in all forms of contemporary society; or is this most cherished of human skills actually a hindrance to the effective delivery of progress within a technologically enhanced environment?


Author: David Cotterrell; Photographer: Prauda Buwaneka.


Alan Bleakley




468 pages