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Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion Paperback – January 9, 2018

4.3 out of 5 stars 373 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

“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.” -- New York Times

“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

“Bloom’s more positive view of the role of reason fits with what I take to be the correct understanding of ethics.” -- Project Syndicate

“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

“A nuanced foray into some fraught grey areas.” -- Nature

“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

“Provocative… and powerful.” -- Publishers Weekly

From the Back Cover

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 leads to cruel and irrational behavior on both the world stage and at home. With precision and wit, Paul Bloom 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.


Product details

  • ASIN : 0062339346
  • Publisher : Ecco; Reprint edition (January 9, 2018)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780062339348
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062339348
  • Item Weight : 8.3 ounces
  • Dimensions : 0.9 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 373 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
373 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2017
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179 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2017
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19 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2016
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72 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

M. Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars as with books such as Robert I Simon's 'Bad Men Do What Good Men Think'
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2017
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41 people found this helpful
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Female Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 17, 2018
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18 people found this helpful
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Natasha Brown
2.0 out of 5 stars A tiresome read with no solid argument
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 1, 2020
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5 people found this helpful
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Ricky
4.0 out of 5 stars "Empathy is a gun that points both ways"
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 13, 2019
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4 people found this helpful
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Sky
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitly recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 15, 2017
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8 people found this helpful
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