HMSB00011U Hatred: A Philosophical Exploration

Volume 2015/2016
Curriculum for the elective studies in Minority Studies, The 2007 Curriculum or

Curriculum for Elective Studies within a Master’s Programme in Minority Studies, The 2008 Curriculum

In a world of intractable conflicts, terror and ethnic violence, we often speak of hatred. At the same time, focused and explorative investigations of hatred are few and far between. What runs through modern responses to hatred is an assumption that hatred is something negative to be dealt with – the mark of the villain, the self-delusional bigot or the Nazi fanatic. Hatred (whatever it is) is something to be prevented, condemned, monitored, and possibly criminalized. This course offers a comprehensive philosophical exploration of hatred. It probes the premises of our modern understandings of hatred and challenges widespread but reductive assumptions that hatred is mad or bad and a manifestation of prejudice or intolerance.

- The course includes four parts. First, an examination of the place of hatred in the history of philosophy (including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, Sartre). Second, an introduction to the philosophy of emotion and an account of the nature and anatomy of hatred, including its relation to anger, love, prejudice, and vindictiveness. Third, a discussion of the main ethical and political issues surrounding hatred, asking e.g. what is so bad about hate? On what conditions, if any, can hatred be justified or permissible? Is fighting hatred a legitimate political and legal endeavor? Fourth, and finally, focus is turned to a cluster of modern discourses or fields in which references to hate and hatred abound: hate speech, hate crime, and genocide. Depending on time and interest, we might include a focus on the representation of hatred in works of literature and film.

Learning Outcome

BA elective 2007:
Specialised course A (HMSB10041E)
Specialised course B (HMSB10051E)

MA elective 2008:
Specialized topic A (HMSK03111E)
Specialized topic B (HMSK03121E)

Course readings can be downloaded from the Royal Library or will be made available on Absalon.

A background in Philosophy is neither required nor needed. But students should be interested in theoretical issues, conceptual clarification, normative questions, or textual and literary analysis.
Our weekly meetings will alternate systematically between ‘old school’ lectures and student-organized seminars. This is – to me at least – a new form, meant to secure a better relationship between teaching and research. More specifically, every second week I will introduce and lecture on a given topic (in fact, read a chapter from a book in the making). Every following week, you (in teams and under my supervision) will organize a ‘follow-up’ seminar, involving, for example, workshops, debates, the chewing on difficult texts, case analyses etc. In this way, the course should accommodate research based teaching as well as teaching based research.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 370,5
  • Total
  • 412,5
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment