The Practical Philosophy Group

Guest Speaker: Suzy Killmister (Monash)

Title: Making Human, Dehumanization, and Sub-Humanization.

Suzy Killmister
Suzy Killmister/Monash University

Main content

This chapter forms part of a book project exploring the idea that ‘human’ is a social kind, analogous to other more familiar social kinds such as race and gender. I’ll start by briefly outlining the metaphysical framework, and then turn to a key upshot: if human is a social kind, with membership conferred upon us, then it is a status that we can lose. I argue that this is a fruitful way to understand what dehumanization is, and how it operates. I then explore the relationship between dehumanization and sub-humanization, with the former understood as expulsion from the human community, and the latter as an inferior rank within the human community.