Compassion and the Economy of Self-Esteem
Beings able to feel are natural born egoists. No sentient being has ever sensed feelings different from its own. It is only through judging others by our own standards that we have access to alien feelings. This is why compassion seems to be an acquired, indirect and thus typically weak feeling. On the other hand, the feelings of others are the most powerful objects our feelings are concerned with. We cannot help to react to the feelings shown to us. We are punished by bad conscience when hurting the feelings of others. Nor is compassion just the opposite of self-love. The self-love we can afford heavily depends on the feelings of love and esteem we are shown. Hence, both conscience and conceit make us care of the feelings of others. The talk will be on this delicate mixture. Since feelings are value judgements, the feelings addressing other feelings cannot help to give rise to some kind of economy when assuming sophistication by way of networking into society. This economy harbours potentials of growth and hazard that only now, after having developed into a sophisticated economy of attention, can be appraised.
Georg Franck, studied philosophy, architecture and economics in Munich. Holding an economics doctorate, he was active as architect and town-planner from 1974. He also engaged in software development, producing a planning tool that has been marketed since 1991. Since 1994, he has chaired the department of computer-aided architecture and planning at the Vienna University of Technology.
Selected publications: Raumökonomie, Stadtentwicklung und Umweltpolitik, Stuttgart 1992; Medien – neu?, Stuttgart 1993; Ökonomie der Aufmerksamkeit, Munich 1998.