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Beschreibung des Verlags
A groundbreaking and challenging examination of the social, cognitive, neurological, and biological roots of psychopathy, cruelty, and evil
Borderline personality disorder, autism, narcissism, psychosis: All of these syndromes have one thing in common--lack of empathy. In some cases, this absence can be dangerous, but in others it can simply mean a different way of seeing the world.In The Science of Evil Simon Baron-Cohen, an award-winning British researcher who has investigated psychology and autism for decades, develops a new brain-based theory of human cruelty. A true psychologist, however, he examines social and environmental factors that can erode empathy, including neglect and abuse.
Based largely on Baron-Cohen's own research, The Science of Evil will change the way we understand and treat human cruelty.
A leading British researcher of psychology and autism at Cambridge University, Baron-Cohen (Mindblindness) brings a fresh perspective to deciphering the enigma known as "evil." His jarring depiction of literal human objectification in Nazi Germany (when he was seven " father told the Nazis had turned Jews into lampshades"), followed by numerous examples of single-minded, unempathic acts across the globe, sets the stage for a thorough examination that replaces the term "evil" with a concept he finds more useful: empathy, and its erosion. He examines how empathy is measured empirically, on both social and neurological scales. Personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, and medical conditions like autism spectrum disorders (which unlike borderline disorder, do not lead people to harm others) are both dissected and humanized as Baron-Cohen analyzes the complex interplay of genetics and early environmental determinants of empathy. The author pulls no punches in the last chapter; he argues for a new psychiatric category called "empathy disorder" and underscores empathy's tremendous power from a social perspective as "a universal solvent." Baron-Cohen's professorial background shines through in the book's tone and in step-by-step, engaging prose urging both academic and lay reader alike to journey with him in scientific inquiry.