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On Inhumanity – Dehumanization and How to Resist It - Oxford Scholarship Online
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On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It

David Livingstone Smith


The Rwandan genocide, the Holocaust, the lynching of African Americans, the colonial slave trade: these are horrific episodes of mass violence spawned from racism and hatred. We like to think that we could never see such evils again—that we would stand up and fight. But something deep in the human psyche—deeper than prejudice itself—leads people to persecute the other: dehumanization, or the human propensity to think of others as less than human. This book looks at the mechanisms of the mind that encourage us to see someone as less than human. There is something peculiar and horrifying in huma ... More

Keywords: Rwandan genocide, African Americans, slave trade, racism, dehumanization, prejudice, hatred, violence

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190923006
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190923006.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Livingstone Smith, author
Professor of Philosophy, University of New England