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Against Empathy
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About the Author

Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. An internationally recognized expert on the psychology of child development, social reasoning, and morality, he has won numerous awards for his research, writing, and teaching. His previous books include Just Babies and How Pleasure Works, and he has written for Science, Nature, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut.

Reviews

"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
"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

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