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Against Empathy - The Case for Rational Compassion

by Paul Bloom
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Some of our wisest politicians, advocates, researchers, and thinkers believe that empathy's biggest challenge is that we don't have enough of it. Yale professor Paul Bloom claims that it's not true. Bloom exposes empathy in AGAINST EMPATHY as one of society's main motivators of injustice and immorality. Empathy is a capricious and unfounded feeling that appeals to our narrow interests, far from improving the lives of others. It confuses our decision and also leads to cruelty, paradoxically. Based on pioneering research studies, Bloom concludes that some of the worst decisions…
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Some of our wisest politicians, advocates, researchers, and thinkers believe that empathy’s biggest challenge is that we don’t have enough of it. Yale professor Paul Bloom claims that it’s not true. Bloom exposes empathy in AGAINST EMPATHY as one of society’s main motivators of injustice and immorality. Empathy is a capricious and unfounded feeling that appeals to our narrow interests, far from improving the lives of others. It confuses our decision and also leads to cruelty, paradoxically. Based on pioneering research studies, Bloom concludes that some of the worst decisions taken by individuals and nations are far too frequently guided by sincere yet distorted emotions. He illustrates with clarity and insight that compassion distorts our decision from philanthropy and welfare to the justice system in every part of our lives; from health treatment and schooling to childcare and marriage. Bloom believes that our choices will be simpler, fairer, and therefore more rational without empathy. AGAINST EMPATHY, beautifully argued, urgent and rational, tells us that restricting our tendency to empathy is always the most moral option we can make when it comes to big policy decisions and the choices we make in our daily lives.


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Some of our wisest politicians, advocates, researchers, and thinkers believe that empathy’s biggest challenge is that we don’t have enough of it. Yale professor Paul Bloom claims that it’s not true. Bloom exposes empathy in AGAINST EMPATHY as one of society’s main motivators of injustice and immorality. Empathy is a capricious and unfounded feeling that appeals to our narrow interests, far from improving the lives of others. It confuses our decision and also leads to cruelty, paradoxically. Based on pioneering research studies, Bloom concludes that some of the worst decisions taken by individuals and nations are far too frequently guided by sincere yet distorted emotions. He illustrates with clarity and insight that compassion distorts our decision from philanthropy and welfare to the justice system in every part of our lives; from health treatment and schooling to childcare and marriage. Bloom believes that our choices will be simpler, fairer, and therefore more rational without empathy. AGAINST EMPATHY, beautifully argued, urgent and rational, tells us that restricting our tendency to empathy is always the most moral option we can make when it comes to big policy decisions and the choices we make in our daily lives.

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  • Decent overall
  • Decent content
  • Great writing