By Susan Lanzoni,

Book cover of Empathy: A History

Book description

A surprising, sweeping, and deeply researched history of empathy-from late-nineteenth-century German aesthetics to mirror neurons

Empathy: A History tells the fascinating and largely unknown story of the first appearance of empathy in 1908 and tracks its shifting meanings over the following century. Despite the word's ubiquity today, few realize that…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Empathy as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I was desperately waiting for Lanzoni’s book to come out, being certain that it would be the key to displacing an all-too-easy tendency, among scientists, scholars and the general public alike, to make empathy the hardwired mechanism that defines humanity.

It frankly amazes me how quickly the fortunes of empathy rose in the second of half of the twentieth century when, fundamentally, nobody has been able to say precisely what it is, where it is, how it works or what its limits might be.

I loved Lanzoni’s book for laying it all out. Down with empathy!

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