Against Empathy

Against Empathy

The Case for Rational Compassion

Book - 2016
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"We often think of our capacity to experience the suffering of others as the ultimate source of goodness. Many of our wisest policy-makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers agree that the only problem with empathy is that we don't have enough of it. Nothing could be farther from the truth, argues Yale researcher Paul Bloom. In Against Empathy, Bloom reveals empathy to be one of the leading motivators of inequality and immorality in society. Far from helping us to improve the lives of others, empathy is a capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to our narrow prejudices. It muddles our judgment and, ironically, often leads to cruelty. We are at our best when we are smart enough not to rely on it, but to draw instead upon a more distanced compassion. Basing his argument on groundbreaking scientific findings, Bloom makes the case that some of the worst decisions made by individuals and nations--whom to give money to, when to go to war, how to respond to climate change, and whom to imprison--are too often motivated by honest, yet misplaced, emotions. With precision and wit, he demonstrates how empathy distorts our judgment in every aspect of our lives, from philanthropy and charity to the justice system and from medical care and education to parenting and marriage. Without empathy, Bloom insists, our decisions would be clearer, fairer, and--yes--ultimately more moral."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780062339331
0062339338
Branch Call Number: 152.41 B6555a 2016
Characteristics: 285 pages ; 22 cm

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StarGladiator
Dec 12, 2016

Whenever one reads a book where the author has invoked Adam Smith, I would heartily recommend first reading Donald Gibson's outstanding book:
Wealth, Power and the Crisis in Laissez-Faire Capitalism. Prof. Gibson really understood Smith, whereas few Ivy League scholars appear to.

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