From printing to Internet: technologies and evolution of human subjectivity

People in pre-literate societies show a low capacity for introspection. The invention of the printing press, which allows reading alone, heightens introspective capacity; the appearance of the romantic novel was a powerful stimulus for the reader to empathize with the main characters. The steam engine and the Industrial Revolution stimulated secular, rational values. More recently, electronic societies reduce the concern for physical survival and the so-called values of self-expression are emphasized, whereby the intersubjective connection («I sense that you sense that I sense») is of great importance. This evolution of values has an enormous repercussion on psychotherapeutic practice.

Keywords:
empathy, introspection, new technology, subjectivity, values.

Ramon Riera
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