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 [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.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062339331
Branch Call Number: 152.41 Bloom 12/2016
Characteristics: 285 pages :,illustration ;,22 cm


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Jun 17, 2018

recommend everyone to read it.

Huge difference between cognitive empathy and emotional empathy. The author is against emotional empathy. Emotional empathy let us to feel what other people feels, which could be so distraught to paralyze us to take effective action and narrow focus of bias could make us to make unwise actions. Cognitive empathy make us understand other people's feeling without experiencing it, lead us positive compassion, kindness , reasoning, more effective way to help people.

Statistical data and reasoning seem always cold, hard to stir people to act, and ever worse when data and reasoning against our intuition and our bias, like "identifiable victim effect". But we should fight our emotion and sensation, use our brain and heart to make wise choices. : check effectiveness of charity)

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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Jun 17, 2018

K8149 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Jun 17, 2018

If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart; if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain -- attributes to Winston Churchill.

Jonathan Haidt argues, we are not judges; we are lawyers, making up explanations after the deeds have been done. Reason is impotent. "We celebrate rationality," agrees de Waal, "but when push comes to shove we assign it little weight."


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