Review – The Science of Evil – A lack of empathy for one’s victims.

Baron-Cohen proceeds in this work to unfold scientific explanations of conscience-free cruelty, giving detailed accounts of a series of conditions, from Borderline Personality Disorder to Psychopathy, to Narcissism, Autism, and Asperger Syndrome, all of which give rise to a common condition that short-circuits the healthy aversion that most people have with regard to causing pain to their fellow human beings: a lack of empathy for one’s victims….


..the ethologist’s broad account of a general human propensity for aggression by offering detailed explanations of the neuroscience behind the lack of empathy, showing instead that particular anomalies in human brain anatomy short-circuit the “empathy circuit” that normally holds true within the human brain. Malfunctions in the empathetic circuitry of certain individuals, the author explains, permit them to break through the normal inhibitors and commit conscience-free cruelty toward others.