Against empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion

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New York Post Best Book of 2016

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--who to give money to, when to go to war, how to respond to climate change, and who 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; from medical care and education to parenting and marriage. Without empathy, Bloom insists, our decisions would be clearer, fairer, and--yes--ultimately more moral.

Brilliantly argued, urgent and humane, AGAINST EMPATHY shows us that, when it comes to both major policy decisions and the choices we make in our everyday lives, limiting our impulse toward empathy is often the most compassionate choice we can make.

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ISBN:
9780062339331
9780062571847
9780062339355
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Grouped Work ID 06ab95c3-441f-e02f-c868-4ccdc03aa04e
Grouping Title against empathy the case for rational compassion
Grouping Author bloom paul
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-24 09:09:35AM
Last Indexed 2018-09-24 09:11:24AM

Solr Details

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display_description "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 [this book], Bloom [posits that] empathy [is] 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"--Dust jacket flap.
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subject_facet Caring, Empathy
title_display Against empathy : the case for rational compassion
title_full Against Empathy The Case for Rational Compassion, Against empathy : the case for rational compassion / Paul Bloom
title_short Against empathy :
title_sub The Case for Rational Compassion
topic_facet Caring, Empathy, Nonfiction, Psychology, Sociology