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

4.0 out of 5 stars 215 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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)

“Provocative . . . In a time of post-truth politics, his book offers a much-needed call for facts.” (The Economist)

“Cleverly contrarian…” (New York Post)

“A lucidly argued tract about the hazards of good intentions.” (Vox)

“Like a tough-to-crack case against an idea that most of us have long known is key to repairing the world… will legitimately change how you think about the world and your own sense of morality.” (New York Magazine)

“Mr. Bloom is undoubtedly right that empathy alone makes for bad policy: While it can motivate us to care, we need reason to help us design and implement policies aimed at reducing suffering.” (Wall Street Journal)

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

“Refreshing.” (Library Journal)

“Provocative… and powerful.” (Publishers Weekly)

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

From the Inside Flap

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.

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

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4.0 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5
215 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2017
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165 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2019
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Top international reviews

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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Female Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 17, 2018
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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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Sky
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitly recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 15, 2017
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SRattan
4.0 out of 5 stars Catchy title for a controversial topic - but a bit ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 24, 2017
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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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Judith Milner
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 18, 2020
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars and like all ideas that really matter it is one that ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 29, 2018
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Rturn
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 9, 2017
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Sarim
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and detailed analyses of how empathy or absence ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 4, 2018
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3.0 out of 5 stars His arguments are well-rounded and researched. However I did ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 28, 2018
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Gruthan
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 19, 2019
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PRZEMYSLAW GRALEWICZ
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes sense
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2019
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GC
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written thoughful book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2019
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Michael Wolff
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 13, 2018
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