Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty
Penguin Books Limited, Dec 21, 2011 - Science - 190 pages
HOW CAN WE EVER EXPLAIN HUMAN CRUELTY?
Putting empathy under the microscope, he explores four new ideas- first, that we all lie somewhere on an empathy spectrum, from six degrees at one end, down to zero degrees at the other. At six degrees we meet highly empathic people, while at zero degrees we meet the psychopath. Secondly, that deep within the brain lies the 'empathy circuit'. How this circuit functions determines where we each lie on the empathy spectrum. Thirdly, that empathy is both the result of experiencing parental love, and the result of genes. And fourthly, he asks an almost unthinkable question- while a lack of empathy leads to mostly negative results, is it always negative?
Full of original research and radical ideas, Zero Degrees of Empathypresents a new way of understanding what it is that leads individuals to treat others inhumanely, and challenges all of us to reconsider entirely the idea of evil.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - kk1 - LibraryThing
This book is like a catch 22 on empathy and I say that after mulling it over for a few weeks. I wasn't keen to read it, because I am not keen on the phrase - "extreme male brain theory of autism". I ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - themythbookshelf - LibraryThing
Baron-Cohen begins with a couple of grappling chapters on the concept of evil, calling for the more appropriate and less abstract phrase "empathy erosion". He admits that though we are all capable of ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty and Kindness
No preview available - 2012