In hate we trust

the collectivization and habitualization of hatred

Thomas Szanto

pp. 453-480

In the face of longstanding philosophical debates on the nature of hatred and an ever-growing interest in the underlying social-psychological function of group-directed or genocidal hatred, the peculiar affective intentionality of hatred is still very little understood. By drawing on resources from classical phenomenology, recent social-scientific research and analytic philosophy of emotions, I shall argue that the affective intentionality of hatred is distinctive in three interrelated ways: (1) it has an overgeneralizing, indeterminate affective focus, which typically leads to a form of collectivization of the target; (2) short of a determinate affective focus, haters derive the indeed extreme affective powers of the attitude not in reaction to any specific features or actions of the targets or from some phenomenological properties of the attitude but, rather, from the commitment to the attitude itself; (3) finally, in sharing this commitment to hate with others, hatred involves a certain negative social dialectics, robustly reinforces itself and becomes entrenched as a shared habitus.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11097-018-9604-9

Full citation:

Szanto, T. (2020). In hate we trust: the collectivization and habitualization of hatred. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (3), pp. 453-480.

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