CM 169: David Livingstone Smith On Resisting Inhumanity
Play • 43 min
What happens in our minds when we dehumanize others, and how can we resist it? These are the kinds of questions David Livingstone Smith, author of the book, On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It, has found himself asking throughout his career.  Most of us are familiar with events of mass violence in recent history, such as the Holocaust, slavery in America, and the Rwandan genocide. David wants to know what motivates us to commit these atrocities. By studying dehumanization, he's learned what a powerful tool it is. He explains, "If people can convince others that those whom they wish to harm are not really human beings at all, but are, in fact, dangerous animals, then this makes it acceptable to harm them." David helps us unpack dehumanization's building blocks, including the dangerous myths of race science and biological hierarchies. And he shares how each of us can resist the urge to dehumanize. To begin, he urges us to recognize that no one is immune: "If politicians scare us or flatter us into thinking of others as, essentially, less than human, we're all capable of doing terrible things.  David Livingstone Smith is Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. He has written or edited eight books, including Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others, which won the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf award for nonfiction. Curious Minds Team Learn more about Host and Creator, Gayle Allen, and Producer and Editor, Rob Mancabelli, here. Episode Links Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi Kwame Anthony Appiah The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson Caste by Isabel Wilkerson Roger Money-Kyrle The Wall by John Lanchester Cornel West Ways to Support the Podcast If you're a fan of the show, there are three simple things you can do to support our work: Rate and review the podcast on iTunes or wherever you subscribe. In the next week, tell one person about the show. Subscribe so you never miss an episode. Where to Find Curious Minds Spotify iTunes Tunein Stitcher Google Play Overcast
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