Why Do We Need Misanthropology in Anthropology? An Exploratory Essay in Deliberating the Research Subfield
Keywords:misanthropology, humanitas, virtue, atrocity, society and culture
Building up on Morson’s idea of misanthropology as the study of the cussedness of human nature I limit that notion to human social and cultural life, suggesting that misanthropology should be considered as misery inflicted upon humans by humans through mediation of society and culture. It is a plea for anthropological investigations into whatever is opposed either to our cultural notion of humanitas, or to what is considered as a virtue in any given social or cultural context. I argue that such context could be crucial in understanding of what is locally thought of as morally, good, or positive, as well of what is opposed to these, but also that any such particular conception should not prevent anthropologists from considering human suffering as an objective and not just contextually dependable fact.
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