For example, if one person is being racist, sexist, or otherwise oppressive, the logical course of action is not to give both sides equal empathy or equal consideration. Does empathy affect our judgment too much? Her experience is the opposite of selfishness but just as extreme. To my knowledge, this has never been studied. Worse, his alternatives are a disorganized mish-mash. Though philosophers at least as far back as Adam Smith have held it up as a virtue, Mr Bloom says it is a dubious moral guide.
Many of our wisest policy-makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers agree that the only problem with empathy is that we don't have enough of it. From Huckleberry Fin to Pip to Jack Bauer, from Jesus to Gandi to Martin Luther King Jr. The book is a breezy and enjoyable read. Hannah sounds like a good therapist, and it seems as if she would also be a good mother to young children. Also the author failed to offer any explanation about why empathy came to be from evolutionary perspective.
Far from helping us to improve the lives of others, empathy is a capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to our narrow prejudices. We empathize more easily with people who are most like us--people whose situations we can realistically imagine ourselves being in. We are at our best when we are smart enough not to rely on it but to draw instead upon a more distanced compassion. This is neat and stuff, but like many arguments of this sort it sets up a weak version of the argument that is self-evidently true and hardly worth making, and a strong version that is ridiculous and overstated and impossible to maintain. He based this entire book on possible critique against his title, instead of just maki This was not a very clear, graspable, usable book.
You did it for me. I remember first reading a book called years ago after my freshman year in college. I mean, who could be opposed to empathy? The writing st This book offers a great argument against what we think of as empathy in psychology: the ability to feel what others feel. Bloom's view should be gently led to the abattoir. As Peter Singer's drowning child example does. Still, his general point—that empathy fucks us up in all sorts of insidious and unacknowledged ways—is well taken.
Bloom is worried that empathy will limit us - make us identify only with certain people and not others. Whether it's making feel-good donations rather than researching to see where our charitable contributions would do the most good, or torturing enemies in the hopes of helping the people we like, that particular type of empathy can be too insular. But when it comes to policy, empathy is too slippery a tool. Many of our wisest policy makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers agree that the only problem with empathy is that we don't have enough of it. Empathy is the ability for us to feel what others feel. It biases us in favour of individuals who remind us of ourselves, while numbing us to the plight of thousands.
It seems to offer us insight, so we know the right things to say and do. He certainly didn't need 300 pages to make the point. All of whom have quite thoroughly reasoned arguments, quite a lot of iq, and invested immense conscious deliberation, that lead them to conclude the exact opposite: that slavery was good, or Jews and Gypsy's and Slavs are not equal, or that omissions count quite a bit differently than commissions. But about a third of the book doesn't really fit this template. Indeed, they often have strong moral codes and are more likely to be victims of cruelty than perpetrators. Slaveholders didn't mind stating that they don't believe all humans are equal. As I began to read this book, I found it quite irritating.
We all felt sad for Sandy Hook because of the media coverage. It exhausts the spirit and can diminish the force of kindness and love. With precision and wit, he 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. They might be better that way, spaced out a bit. If you want to get happy, helping others is an excellent way to do so. But for all his championing of cost-benefit analysis, this feels more like a gut calculation, and one that he never fully commits to. Hence, when we think about morality, when we reason through moral dilemmas, when we are faced with such inconsistencies, we tend to become more utilitarian.
Something that we look good saying. Unlike emotions such as fear and disgust, which are often elicited by experiences and inanimate beings, empathy and anger are mainly geared toward other people. Still probably worth a read. There are lots of valid points here and he uses a flood of empirical data. It muddles our judgment and, ironically, often leads to cruelty. Religious and philosophical ethics are commonly out the window; empathy is here to save the day.