A philosopher’s keynote speech on the subject of reading delivered at the annual meeting of the Writers’ Union of Canada in May and republished in the August issue of Harper’s Magazine contains startling figures that connect a rise in society-wide online activity with a drop in empathy and a rise in “narcissistic-personality disorder” in younger generations.
Is American exceptionalism just a euphemism for nationalized narcissism? Are narcissists to blame for the cataclysm on Wall Street? Stephen Colbert takes a read on the national zeitgeist and brings in Slate columnist Emily Yoffe to declare that certain public figures might suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. Let the armchair diagnosing commence!