November 29, 2016. Public Discourse Project seminar, Paul Bloom

Paul Bloom (Psychology and Cognitive Science, Yale)

Location: UCHI, Babbidge Library, 4th Floor, Room 4/209
Title: Against Empathy

Many psychologists, philosophers, and laypeople believe that empathy is necessary for moral judgment and moral action-the only problem with empathyis that we sometimes don’t have enough of it. Drawing on research into psychopathy, criminal behavior, charitable giving, infant cognition, cognitive neuroscience, and Buddhist meditation practices, I’ll argue that this is mistaken. Empathy is a poor moral guide. It is biased, short-sighted, and innumerate-we should try to do without it. We are much better off, in both public policy and intimate relationships, drawing upon a combination of reason and distanced compassion.

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