On Hatred and Dehumanization

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Thomas Brudholm and Johannes Lang explore the relationship between hatred and dehumanization. They ask: what are the hateful aspects of dehumanization and the dehumanizing elements of hate? Is it conceivable that one can exist without the other? They consider three possible constellations: dehumanizing hatred, dehumanization devoid of hatred, and hatred without dehumanization. The analysis draws on a diverse and interdisciplinary range of sources, from the psychology of mass violence and the philosophy of emotion to victim testimony and interviews with perpetrators of genocide. But, while the philosophical reflections stay close to concrete examples, the main purpose is conceptual: to engage with different ways of thinking about hatred, dehumanization, and how they might relate. The authors argue against recent scholarship that in problematic ways seems to reduce the complexity of hatred and dehumanization. They object to claims that hatred is inherently dehumanizing, as well as to arguments which imply that dehumanization and hatred are mutually exclusive. Such claims, the authors conclude, lead to truncated views of hatred and dehumanization that either exaggerate or obscure the importance of these phenomena in the history of violence. Ultimately, their critical engagement with the literature leads Brudholm and Lang beyond a strictly phenomenological and conceptual discussion, and the chapter ends with normative reflections on the moral character of hate with or without dehumanization. For, can hatred, despite its dangerous and dehumanizing potentials, ever be part of a morally permissible or even virtuous response to dehumanization?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Dehumanization
EditorsMaria Kronfeldner
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9781138588158
ISBN (Electronic)9780429492464
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ID: 252829048