16 color plates

Poetry and the Psychology of Compassion

By Patrick C Pietroni



In this fifth volume of his series of poems on compassion, Professor Patrick Pietroni outlines how the more modern study of the brain using MRI scanning and neuroimagining has enhanced our understanding of the psychology of compassion. He begins with a historical review of how our predecessors—including Aristotle, Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, Descartes, and Newton—described the relationship between the brain, the mind, consciousness, and emotions. However, as he proceeds to demonstrate, it was not until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that further steps were taken to understand the workings of the mind. Between Freud and Jung, new territories of the mind were discovered. Others followed, including psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and evolutionists, whose studies shed additional light on the concept of compassion.

Today, as we are living through the worst pandemic any of us has witnessed, many scientists believe that being compassionate can improve health and well-being—indeed, that compassion may even be vital to the survival of our species.

Subjects: PoetryPhilosophy

Contributor Bios
Professor Patrick C Pietroni, DSc (Hon), FRCP, FRCGP, MFPH, lives in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK—the birthplace of Charles Darwin—as well as in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he is currently the director of the Centre for the Study of Compassion at the University of New Mexico. Pietroni has published several books and numerous academic articles. He founded and was editor of the Journal of Interprofessional Care, the International Journal of Cuban Studies, and the Journal of Psychological Therapies in Primary Care.