1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Dehumanization

Edited By Maria Kronfeldner Copyright 2021
    424 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    424 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A striking feature of atrocities, as seen in genocides, civil wars, or violence against certain racial and ethnic groups, is the attempt to dehumanize — to deny and strip human beings of their humanity. Yet the very nature of dehumanization remains relatively poorly understood.

    The Routledge Handbook of Dehumanization is the first comprehensive and multidisciplinary reference source on the subject and an outstanding survey of the key concepts, issues, and debates within dehumanization studies. Organized into four parts, the Handbook covers the following topics:

    • The history of dehumanization from Greek Antiquity to the 20th century, contextualizing the oscillating boundaries, dimensions, and hierarchies of humanity in the history of the ‘West’;
    • How dehumanization is contemporarily studied with respect to special contexts: as part of social psychology, as part of legal studies or literary studies, and how it connects to the idea of human rights, disability and eugenics, the question of animals, and the issue of moral standing;
    • How to tackle its complex facets, with respect to the perpetrator’s and the target’s perspective, metadehumanization and selfdehumanization, rehumanization, social death, status and interdependence, as well as the fear we show toward robots that become too human for us;
    • Conceptual and epistemological questions on how to distinguish different forms of dehumanization and neighboring phenomena, on why dehumanization appears so paradoxical, and on its connection to hatred, essentialism, and perception.

    Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy, history, psychology, and anthropology, this Handbook will also be of interest to those in related disciplines, such as politics, international relations, criminology, legal studies, literary studies, gender studies, disability studies, or race and ethnic studies, as well as readers from social work, political activism, and public policy.

    1. Introduction: Mapping dehumanization studies Maria Kronfeldner

    Part 1: Oscillating boundaries, dimensions, and hierarchies of humanity in historical contexts

    2. Dehumanization Before the Columbian exchange Siep Stuurman

    3. "Humanity" and its Limits in Early Modern European Thought László Kontler

    4. Enlightenment Humanization and Dehumanization, and the Orangutan Silvia Sebastiani

    5. Dehumanizing the Exotic in Living Human Exhibitions Guido Abbattista

    6. Dehumanizing Strategies in Nazi Ideology and their Anthropological Context Johannes Steizinger

    7. Theorizing the Inhumanity of Human Nature, 1955-1985 Erika Lorraine Milam

    Part 2: Further special contexts of dehumanization

    8. The Social Psychology of Dehumanization Nick Haslam

    9. Dehumanization and the Loss of Moral Standing Edouard Machery

    10. Dehumanization and the Question of Animals Alice Crary

    11. Dehumanization, Disability, and Eugenics Robert A. Wilson

    12. Dehumanization and Human Rights Marie-Luisa Frick

    13. Dehumanization by Law Luigi Corrias

    14. Dehumanisation in Literature and the Figure of the Perpetrator Andrea Timár

    Part 3: The complex facets of dehumanization

    15. Dehumanization and Social Death as Fundamentals of Racism Wulf D. Hund

    16. How Status and Interdependence Explain Different Forms of Dehumanization Susan T. Fiske

    17. Exploring Metadehumanization and Self-dehumanization from a Target Perspective Stéphanie Demoulin, Pierre Maurage, and Florence Stinglhamber

    18. The Dehumanization and Rehumanization of Refugees Victoria M. Esses, Stelian Medianu, and Alina Sutter

    19. Motivational and Cognitive Underpinnings of Fear of Social Robots that become "Too Human for Us" Maria Paola Paladino, Jeroen Vaes, and Jolanda Jetten

    Part 4: Conceptual and epistemological questions regarding dehumanization

    20. Objectification, Inferiorization, and Projection in Phenomenological Research on Dehumanization Sara Heinämaa and James Jardine

    21. Why Dehumanization is Distinct from Objectification Mari Mikkola

    22. On Hatred and Dehumanization Thomas Brudholm and Johannes Lang

    23. Dehumanization, the Problem of Humanity and the Problem of Monstrosity David Livingstone Smith

    24. Psychological Essentialism and Dehumanization Maria Kronfeldner

    25. Could Dehumanization Be Perceptual? Somogy Varga



    Maria Kronfeldner is Professor of Philosophy at Central European University (New York - Vienna - Budapest). She is the author of What’s Left of Human Nature (2018), and Darwinian Creativity and Memetics (Routledge, 2011). She currently directs 'The Epistemology of the In/Human' project.

    "Dehumanization as practiced is an all too tragically familiar feature of human history; dehumanization as analyzed and critically theorized is, sadly, far less explored. In this invaluable contribution to the literature, editor Maria Kronfeldner has brought together an impressive international team of experts to examine the dismayingly diverse ways and realms of human interaction in which dehumanization can and continues to take place. One can only hope that this major work in theory will help in the reduction and—one day—the ultimate elimination of the practice." - Charles W. Mills, The Graduate Center CUNY, USA