This category is about dehumanization as a social phenomenon of regarding or treating other humans as not or less human. Some people have been denied membership in the human species, which is a kind of dehumanization that is known since antiquity and that had some late reverberations in the 19th century. When people are regarded as less human rather than categorically as not human, dehumanization appears in its graded form, which is prevalent even in contemporary society. It can be explicit (blatant) or implicit. Often it utilizes the animal-human divide (animalistic dehumanization) or the machine-human divide (mechanistic dehumanization). Some researchers also connect dehumanization to objectification, de-individualization or depersonalization. Obviously, what dehumanization refers to depends on what ‘human’ means since it is the human (i.e. what it means to be human) that is attributed more or less in dehumanization. Further keywords that target specific forms or aspects of dehumanization are, for instance, animalization, commodification, sexism, racism and speciesism.
Remark on other uses: Often the term ‘dehumanization’ shows up in philosophy not as what is studied, but simply in order to stress a negative evaluation of a phenomenon under study. For instance, physicalism, capitalist society or abortion have been taken as dehumanizing in that negative-qualifer sense. Works that use dehumanization only in that sense are not included in this category since it would broaden the category too much. There are also papers on art or natural sciences not as dehumanizing but as dehumanized: these papers refer to various forms of ‘leaving out the human’ in arts or sciences. Since these studies also do not refer (or at least not directly) to the social phenomenon of people regarding and treating other people as not or less human, they are also not included in this category.
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Darrell P. Rowbottom
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