Against Empathy (Empatie)

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en Limba Engleză Carte Hardback – 02 Feb 2017

We think of empathy as the ultimate source of all good behaviour. But while it inspires care and protection in personal relationships, it has the opposite effect in the wider world. The author demonstrates with experiments, and case studies, that when faced with moral decisions, we must choose reason and compassion, not empathy, as our guides.

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ISBN-13: 9781847923141
ISBN-10: 1847923143
Pagini: 285
Dimensiuni: 164 x 242 x 32 mm
Greutate: 0.58 kg
Editura: Random House
Colecția The Bodley Head
Seria Empatie

Textul de pe ultima copertă

A controversial call to arms by one of the world’s leading psychologists, Against Empathy reveals how the natural impulse to share the feelings  of others can do more harm than good both on the world stage and in our personal lives.
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 further 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.
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.


“An invigorating, relevant and often very funny re-evaluation of empathy, one of our culture’s most ubiquitous sacred cows, which in Mr. Bloom’s view should be gently led to the abattoir.”
“Provocative . . . In a time of post-truth politics, his book offers a much-needed call for facts.”
“Cleverly contrarian…”
“A lucidly argued tract about the hazards of good intentions.”
“Like a tough-to-crack case against an idea that most of us have long known is key to repairing the world… will legitimately change how you think about the world and your own sense of morality.”
“Mr. Bloom is undoubtedly right that empathy alone makes for bad policy: While it can motivate us to care, we need reason to help us design and implement policies aimed at reducing suffering.”
“A nuanced foray into some fraught grey areas.”
“Provocative… and powerful.”
“Bloom’s more positive view of the role of reason fits with what I take to be the correct understanding of ethics.”
“An intriguing counterattack to modern psychological cynicism.”
“Bloom challenges one of our most cherished assumptions about what it takes to be good. With elegance and humor, Bloom reveals just how flawed that assumption is, and offers a new vision of a moral life-one based on how our minds actually work.”
“Bloom’s analysis is penetrating, comprehensive, and timely. Against Empathy is destined to become a classic in psychology.”
“Despite a near consensus about its merits, Bloom shows that empathy is often just the warm embrace of prejudice-and, like anger, a reliable source of moral confusion. . . . a thrilling book, and reading it could well make you a better person.”
“I couldn’t put this brilliantly argued book down.”
“A brilliant, witty, and convincing defense of rational generosity against its pain-feeling detractors. Read this book and you will never think about empathy, goodness, or cold-blooded reason the same way again.”-
“Brilliant, powerful, and provocative, Against Empathy is sure to be one of the most controversial books of our time.”
“One of the most thought-provoking and convincing books I’ve read. Bloom’s logic is compelling, his prose fluid, and his deep humanity and compassion always evident. A must-read for those who want an alternative to a world where emotional gambits reign supreme--for better and often, for worse.”
“The title may shock, but this is a book of calm reason and expansive compassion. It’s also a pleasure to read: warm, lucid, and thought-provoking.”
“Bracing and provocative, Against Empathy takes a scalpel to empathy. This lucid and entertaining book argues there is a better way - that our capacity for reason, tempered with compassion, will make us better policy makers and better people.”