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Paul Bloom: Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 8:00 AM- 9:15 AM ET (UTC/GMT - 5 hours)

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Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion

We often think that empathy, our capacity to experience the suffering of others, is the ultimate source of goodness. Nothing could be farther from the truth, says Yale researcher Paul Bloom.

Based on groundbreaking scientific findings, Against Empathy argues that far from helping us to improve the lives of others, empathy is a capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to our narrow prejudices.

How does empathy lead to cruelty? What implications does this have for fighting climate change, going to war, or deciding who to imprison? What are some better strategies for compassionate decision-making?   

Paul Bloom is is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. Bloom is the author and editor of six books and his writing has appeared in Nature, Science, The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly.

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