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Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by [Bloom, Paul]
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Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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Length: 266 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews Review

An Amazon Best Book of December 2016: Raise your hand if you're against empathy. No one…? Paul Bloom freely admits that taking a stance against empathy is a position that most people will shun. But as Bloom lays out his argument for why rational analysis, morality, and compassion are better compass points to follow for making the world a better place, indeed, empathy begins to sound like a miserable basis for decision-making. Parenting, charity, psychotherapy, and war all come under Bloom's scrutiny, and with a wry voice and lots of examples, he knocks down one by one the arguments for why empathy would create better outcomes. Careful to draw the line between compassion and empathy, Bloom can sometimes sound like he's retreading the same argument's path, but his tongue-in-cheek asides keep the book entertaining and drew me to the end long after I'd come to agree with his premise. For those who want to understand better how the heart and head battle for supremacy and which organ should be a better guide, this is a counterintuitive approach that's as entertaining to read as it is informative. --Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review


“Refreshing.” (Library Journal)

“Provocative… and powerful.” (Publishers Weekly)

“An intriguing counterattack to modern psychological cynicism.” (Kirkus)

“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.” (Carl Zimmer, author of Evolution: Making Sense of Life)

“Bloom’s analysis is penetrating, comprehensive, and timely. Against Empathy is destined to become a classic in psychology.” (Michael Shermer, Publisher Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist Scientific American, and author of The Moral Arc and The Science of Good and Evil)

“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.” (Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers The End of Faith, The Moral Landscape, and Waking Up)

“I couldn’t put this brilliantly argued book down.” (Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and The Triple Package)

“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.”- (Larissa MacFarquhar, author of Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help)

“Brilliant, powerful, and provocative, Against Empathy is sure to be one of the most controversial books of our time.” (Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness)

“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.” (Maria Konnivkova, author of The Confidence Game)

“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.” (Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature)

“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.” (Emily Yoffe, author of What the Dog Did)

Product details

  • File Size: 809 KB
  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (December 6, 2016)
  • Publication Date: December 6, 2016
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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118 customer reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

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January 27, 2017
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December 10, 2016
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December 21, 2016
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