Through Conversations

Dehumanization And How to Resist it

Episode Summary

Welcome to this edition of Through Conversations Podcast. This episode featured Deep Thinker, David Livingstone Smith. We had a great conversation, and a deep one indeed.

Episode Notes

Welcome to this edition of Through Conversations Podcast. This episode featured David Livingstone Smith. He is a philosopher who investigates the dark side of human nature.

David is a professor of philosophy at the University of New England. He has published many books, including Freud's Philosophy of the Unconscious, Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind, The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War, and Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others.

We had a great conversation, and a deep one indeed. We talked about what’s philosophy, about how cultures influence our perceptions of others, the role of an individual in an authoritarian state, his book Less Than Human and much more. David also mentioned that he was working on a new book which will be published on June 2020 but you can preorder it now using the link in the bio. I cannot wait to read it, the book is called On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It.

If you find this conversation insightful, consider subscribing to the podcast at any podcast feed you use and share it with a friend, we truly appreciate your support.

With you, David Livingstone Smith

Pre-Order now: On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It.

Twitter: @DLSmith1665




(1:02) What is philosophy for David?

(2:19) First time philosophizing

(4:02) What college does to curiosity

(6:52) David's trajectory

(9:01) Freud's influence on David

(11:08) Less Than Human and Freud

(11:40) Are we responsible for our misconceptions?

(14:54) “…dehumanization is a joint creation of biology, culture and the architecture of the human mind.” WOW

(15:13) Does culture affect the circuitry of our branis?

(16:45) Philosophy as an interdisciplinary approach to solve big questions

(17:48) Evolution's role in dehumanizing others

(21:50) The Power of Propaganda

(25:50) Dehumanization throughout human history & the psychology involved

(29:00) Trumpian Propaganda

(30:20) McCarthy and propaganda

(34:00) Is Steven Pinker's argument in favor of progress sustained?

(39:07) The dangers of rationalizing oppression... "it's never the same until it is the same and then it's too late" WOW

(39:24) Hate Speech's role in dehumanizing others

(39:57) Racism in the USA - Permission granted by POTUS

(41:18) I had to ask this question: Does this interfere with the first amendment?

(42:19) Should we limit free speech?

(43:50) Fear / love as the main motivators for dehumanizing, not hate

(44:50) Is nationalism a good thing?

(45:33) Racism precedes dehumanization - - always

(47:27) "Dehumanization is racism in steroids "- WOW

(48:25) *This episode was recorded on July the 2nd*

(48:40) Is there symmetry between American Values and American Citizens?

(51:32) David's outlook for the future

(54:00) Role of an individual in an authoritarian state

(55:05) Through Conversations, through getting to know the other; seeing that theres an essence in the other, its good"

(55:31) "There is always a reason people have the views that they have" WOW

(56:52) The power of "I don't know"

(57:25) Books that David's reading and writing

(57:59) The Darkening Age

(58:00) Closing remarks


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