Pathological Altruism

Pathological Altruism The benefits of altruism and empathy are obvious These qualities are so highly regarded and embedded in both secular and religious societies that it seems almost heretical to suggest they can cause ha

  • Title: Pathological Altruism
  • Author: Barbara Oakley Ariel Knafo Guruprasad Madhavan
  • ISBN: 9780199738571
  • Page: 374
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The benefits of altruism and empathy are obvious These qualities are so highly regarded and embedded in both secular and religious societies that it seems almost heretical to suggest they can cause harm Like most good things, however, altruism can be distorted or taken to an unhealthy extreme Pathological Altruism presents a number of new, thought provoking theses thatThe benefits of altruism and empathy are obvious These qualities are so highly regarded and embedded in both secular and religious societies that it seems almost heretical to suggest they can cause harm Like most good things, however, altruism can be distorted or taken to an unhealthy extreme Pathological Altruism presents a number of new, thought provoking theses that explore a range of hurtful effects of altruism and empathy.Pathologies of empathy, for example, may trigger depression as well as the burnout seen in healthcare professionals The selflessness of patients with eating abnormalities forms an important aspect of those disorders Hyperempathy an excess of concern for what others think and how they feel helps explain popular but poorly defined concepts such as codependency In fact, pathological altruism, in the form of an unhealthy focus on others to the detriment of one s own needs, may underpin some personality disorders.Pathologies of altruism and empathy not only underlie health issues, but also a disparate slew of humankind s most troubled features, including genocide, suicide bombing, self righteous political partisanship, and ineffective philanthropic and social programs that ultimately worsen the situations they are meant to aid Pathological Altruism is a groundbreaking new book the first to explore the negative aspects of altruism and empathy, seemingly uniformly positive traits The contributing authors provide a scientific, social, and cultural foundation for the subject of pathological altruism, creating a new field of inquiry Each author s approach points to one disturbing truth what we value so much, the altruistic good side of human nature, can also have a dark side that we ignore at our peril.

    One thought on “Pathological Altruism”

    1. An encyclopaedic yet entirely readable collection of scientific articles exploring the concept and origins of altruism gone wrong. While the idea of altruistic behaviours sitting on a spectrum from a healthy to pathological qualities may sit uncomfortably with some, it is by no means a new concept. Buddhist studies also distinguish between 'mindless/idiot' and 'mindful/helpful' compassion, and the concept in psychodynamic/psychological theories is hinted at in constructs of 'rescue transferences [...]

    2. This is not the kind of book I would normally read (collection of scientific studies), but the topic is conceptually fascinating and I'm a big fan of the editor, Barbara Oakley and her MOOC "Learning How to Learn." There are many ways that altruism can be harmful, and as someone who likes to try to be altruistic, it was good food for thought to consider the shadow side of doing good.

    3. Excellent! I do not suggest that everyone read it from cover to cover as I did ( challenge), but by flipping through you are highly likely to come across something fascinating that you have not read about before (unless you study altruism for a living).

    4. This is basically a collection of articles or papers on how otherwise positive social traits can go wrong in some circumstances, or when taken to extremes.It covers a range of topics, from psychology to things like game theory.I found several of the papers very interesting.

    5. not as good as Evil Genes, but still very strong on theory and argument. Good illustrations of her points as usual too.

    6. Another great well-researched book by Barbara Oakley. She definitely came to this planet to write books on pathology.

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