Empathy: for better, for worse

Are we hard-wired to feel other people’s pain? And if so, is it necessarily a good thing? Andrew Scull has reviewed three new books on empathy and joins us to tell us more; Charles Dickens's love of all things theatrical – in life as in art – is no secret. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst considers fifty years' worth of Dickens adaptations for the stage (and film)


Books

The Empathy Instinct by Peter Bazalgette

Against Empathy: The case for rational compassion by Paul Bloom

The Invention of Humanity: Equality and cultural difference in world history by Siep Stuurman  

Dickensian Dramas: Plays from Charles Dickens (Volume One, edited by Jacky Bratton; Volume Two, edited by Jim Davis 

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