against empathy the case for rational compassion

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Against Empathy

Author : Paul Bloom
ISBN : 9781473511385
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 54. 74 MB
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In a divided world, empathy is not the solution, it is the problem. We think of empathy – the ability to feel the suffering of others for ourselves – 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. As the latest research in psychology and neuroscience shows, we feel empathy most for those we find attractive and who seem similar to us and not at all for those who are different, distant or anonymous. Empathy therefore biases us in favour of individuals we know while numbing us to the plight of thousands. Guiding us expertly through the experiments, case studies and arguments on all sides, Paul Bloom ultimately shows that some of our worst decisions – in charity, child-raising, criminal justice, climate change and war – are motivated by this wolf in sheep's clothing. Brilliantly argued, urgent and humane, Against Empathy overturns widely held assumptions to reveal one of the most profound yet overlooked sources of human conflict.

Against Empathy

Author : Paul Bloom
ISBN : 1847923151
Genre :
File Size : 77. 40 MB
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In a divided world, empathy is not the solution, it is the problem; a source of prejudice, not kindness. We think of empathy - the ability to feel the suffering of others for ourselves - 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. As the latest research in psychology and neuroscience shows, we feel empathy most for those we find attractive and who seem similar to us and not at all for those who are different, distant or anonymous. Empathy therefore biases us in favour of individuals we know while numbing us to the plight of thousands. Guiding us expertly through the experiments, case studies and arguments on all sides, Paul Bloom ultimately shows that some of our worst decisions - in charity, child-raising, criminal justice, climate change and war - are motivated by this wolf in sheep's clothing. Brilliantly argued, urgent and humane, Against Empathy overturns widely held assumptions to reveal one of the most profound yet overlooked sources of human conflict. It demonstrates with absolute clarity that, when faced with moral decisions, we must choose reason and compassion, not empathy, as our guides.

Against Empathy

Author : Paul Bloom
ISBN : 9780062339355
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 70. 1 MB
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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.

The Empathy Instinct

Author : Peter Bazalgette
ISBN : 9781473637528
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 71. 62 MB
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'If we hope to meet the moral test of our times, then I think we're going to have to talk more about the "empathy deficit". The ability to put ourselves in somebody else's shoes, to see the world through somebody else's eyes . . .' Barack Obama Empathy is the power of understanding others, imaginatively entering into their feelings. It is a fundamental human attribute, without which mutually co-operative societies cannot function. In a revolutionary development, we now know who has it, who lacks it and why. Via the MRI scanner we are mapping the human brain. This is a new frontier that reveals a host of beneficial ideas for childcare, teens challenged by the internet, the justice system, decent healthcare, tackling racism and resolving conflicts. In this wide-ranging and accessible book full of entertaining stories that are underlined by the latest scientific research, Peter Bazalgette also mounts a passionate defence of arts and popular culture as a means of bridging the empathy gap. As the world's population expands, consuming the planet's finite resources, as people haunted by poverty and war are on the move and as digital communications infinitely complicate our social interactions, we find our patience and our sympathy constantly challenged. Here is the antidote. Culminating in a passionate manifesto on empathy, The Empathy Instinct is what makes us human and what can make us better humans.

Just Babies

Author : Paul Bloom
ISBN : 9781448192458
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 47. 2 MB
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Psychologists have long believed that we begin life as moral blank slates. Most of us take it for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society - and especially parents - to transform them from little sociopaths into civilised beings. Now, in Just Babies, Paul Bloom argue that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research, Bloom demonstrates that even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others' actions; act to soothe those in distress; and feel empathy, guilt, pride and righteous anger. Still, this innate morality is limited. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Drawing on insights from psychology, behavioural economics, evolutionary biology and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, criminals, religious extremists and Ivy League professors, and explores out often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion and race. Bloom rejects the fashionable view that adult morality is driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives.

How Pleasure Works

Author : Paul Bloom
ISBN : 9781446484241
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 84. 13 MB
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We are attracted, whether we know it or not, to the hidden aspects of things and people. Some teenagers enjoy cutting themselves with razors. Some men pay good money to be spanked by prostitutes. The average Briton spends over a day a week watching television. People slow their cars to look at gory accidents and go to sentimental movies that make them cry. In this revealing and witty account, Paul Bloom examines the science behind these curious desires, attractions and tastes, exploring one of the most fascinating and fundamental engines of human behaviour. Drawing on insights from child development, philosophy, neuroscience and behavioural economics, How Pleasure Works shows how certain universal habits of the human mind explain what we like and why we like it.

Politics Of Empathy

Author : Anthony M. Clohesy
ISBN : 9781134452293
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 28. 69 MB
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The Politics of Empathy argues that empathy is a necessary condition for ethical subjectivity and the emergence of a more compassionate world. One of the reasons empathy is important is because it gives us a sense of what it is like to be someone else. However, to understand its ethical significance we need to look elsewhere. This book claims that empathy is ethically significant because, uniquely, it allows us to reflect critically on the nature of our own lives and sense of identity. More specifically, it allows us to reflect critically on the contingency, finitude and violence that define existence. It is argued that, without this critical reflection, a more ethical and democratic world cannot come into being. Our challenge today therefore is to establish the social and political conditions in which empathy can flourish. This will be a difficult task because powerful political and cultural forces are reinforcing the divisions between us rather than encouraging us to come together in a cosmopolitan community of mutual recognition and solidarity. However, despite these limits, there is hope for a brighter future. The book argues that this can only come about if the Left accepts its responsibility to articulate the contours of a new politics of internationalism and establish the foundations of a sustainable ethical community in which strangers will be accepted unconditionally. This work will be of interest to students and scholars of political theory, multiculturalism and international relations.

Altruism In Humans

Author : Charles Daniel Batson
ISBN : 0195341066
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 29. 24 MB
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Authored by the world's leading scholar on altruism, and based on decades of research, this landmark work is an authoritative scholarly resource on the theory surrounding altruism and its potential contribution to better interpersonal relations and a greater society. --Book Jacket.

Descartes Baby

Author : Paul Bloom
ISBN : 9781446473627
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 27. 83 MB
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Why is a forgery worth so much less than an original work of art?What's so funny about someone slipping on a banana peel? Why, as Freud once asked, is a man willing to kiss a woman passionately, but not use her toothbrush? And how many times should you baptize a two-headed twin? Descartes' Baby answers such questions, questions we may have never thought to ask about such uniquely human traits as art, humour, faith, disgust, and morality. In this thought-provoking and fascinating account of human nature, psychologist Paul Bloom contends that we all see the world in terms of bodies and souls. Even babies have a rich understanding of both the physical and social worlds. They expect objects to obey principles of physics, and they're startled when things disappear or defy gravity. They can read the emotions of adults and respond with their own feelings of anger, sympathy and joy. This perspective remains with us throughout our lives. Using his own researches and new ideas from philosophy, evolutionary biology, aesthetics, theology, and neuroscience, Bloom shows how this way to making sense of reality can explain what makes us human. The myriad ways that our childhood views of the world undergo development throughout our lives and profoundly influences our thoughts, feelings, and actions is the subject of this richly rewarding book.

Evil Men

Author : James Dawes
ISBN : 9780674073999
Genre : History
File Size : 32. 22 MB
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A searching meditation on our all-too-human capacity for inhumanity, Evil Men confronts atrocity head-on—how it looks and feels, what motivates it, how it can be stopped. James Dawes’s unflinchingly honest account, drawing on firsthand interviews, is not just about the things Japanese war criminals did, but about what it means to befriend them.

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