Against Empathy by Paul Bloom audiobook

Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion

By Paul Bloom
Read by Karen Cass  

HarperCollins, HarperAudio 9780062339331
7.49 Hours 1
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A controversial call to arms, Against Empathy argues that the natural impulse to share the feelings of others can lead to immoral choices in both public policy and in our intimate relationships with friends and family. Most people, including many policy makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers, have encouraged us to be more empathetic—to feel the pain and pleasure of others. Yale researcher and author Paul Bloom argues that this is a mistake. Far from leading 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 often leads to cruelty. We are at our best when we are smart enough not to rely on it, and draw upon a more distanced compassion.  Based on groundbreaking scientific findings, Against Empathy makes the case that some of the worst decisions that individuals and nations make—from who to give money to, when to go to war, how to respond to climate change, and who to put in prison—are too often motivated by honest, yet misplaced, emotions. With clear and witty prose, Bloom demonstrates how empathy distorts our judgment in every aspect of our lives, from philanthropy and charity to the justice system; from culture and education to foreign policy and war. Without empathy, Bloom insists, our decisions would be clearer, fairer, and ultimately more moral. Bound to be controversial, Against Empathy shows us that, when it comes to major policy decisions and the choices we make in our everyday lives, limiting our empathetic emotions is often the most compassionate choice we can make.

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Summary

Summary

On New York Post’s “Required Reading” List for 2016

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

A controversial call to arms, Against Empathy argues that the natural impulse to share the feelings of others can lead to immoral choices in both public policy and in our intimate relationships with friends and family.

Most people, including many policy makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers, have encouraged us to be more empathetic—to feel the pain and pleasure of others. Yale researcher and author Paul Bloom argues that this is a mistake. Far from leading 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 often leads to cruelty. We are at our best when we are smart enough not to rely on it, and draw upon a more distanced compassion. 

Based on groundbreaking scientific findings, Against Empathy makes the case that some of the worst decisions that individuals and nations make—from who to give money to, when to go to war, how to respond to climate change, and who to put in prison—are too often motivated by honest, yet misplaced, emotions. With clear and witty prose, Bloom demonstrates how empathy distorts our judgment in every aspect of our lives, from philanthropy and charity to the justice system; from culture and education to foreign policy and war. Without empathy, Bloom insists, our decisions would be clearer, fairer, and ultimately more moral.

Bound to be controversial, Against Empathy shows us that, when it comes to major policy decisions and the choices we make in our everyday lives, limiting our empathetic emotions is often the most compassionate choice we can make.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Bloom’s analysis is penetrating, comprehensive, and timely…destined to become a classic in psychology.” Michael Shermer, New York Times bestselling author
“Bloom shows that empathy is often just the warm embrace of prejudice—and, like anger, a reliable source of moral confusion…A thrilling book.” Sam Harris, New York Times bestselling author
“Provocative…In a time of post-truth politics, his book offers a much-needed call for facts.” Economist (London)
“An invigorating, relevant, and often very funny re-evaluation of empathy, one of our culture’s most ubiquitous sacred cows.” New York Times
“Psychologist Bloom makes the provocative argument that empathy is not the vital catalyst for human morality it is thought to be.” Publishers Weekly
“Refreshing.” Library Journal
“An intriguing counterattack to modern psychological cynicism.” Kirkus Reviews
“Narrator Karen Cass’ affecting narration adds the dramatic flair needed to keep the action moving—even when the author’s distinctions and arguments are challenging. Her confidence and appealing British diction provide the elegance needed to make Bloom’s ruthless clarity digestible.” AudioFile
“I couldn’t put this brilliantly argued book down.” Amy Chua, Yale law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
“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
“With elegance and humor, Bloom…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
“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

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Paul Bloom

Author Bio: Paul Bloom

Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the acclaimed How Pleasure Works. He has won several awards for his research and teaching, and his scientific and popular articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Nature, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Science, Slate, and many other publications.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Psychology
Runtime: 7.49
Audience: Adult
Language: English