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 Twentieth 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 towards 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.
Table of Contents
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 Orang-utan 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.