In this episode, we sit down with psychologist Julia Shaw, an expert in memory and criminal psychology, to discuss her new book – Evil.
In the book, she makes a case for something she calls “evil empathy,” seeing people who do heinous things as fellow human beings instead of as monsters.
According to Shaw, othering criminals by categorizing them as a separate kind of human allows us to put them out of our minds and disappear them to institutions or prisons. The result is we become less-able to prevent the sort of behavior the harms others from happening again and again.
In fact, she says “there’s no such thing as evil,” and sees the term as an antiquated, magical label that dehumanizes others, preventing us from accumulating the sort of scientific evidence that could lead to a better society.
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