Honors | Why People Hate (HON)
H204 | 27428 | Lawrence Friedman
The course concerns perhaps the most pressing and disturbing
questions of our time. Why is it that deep-seated hatreds and
accompanying violent assaults and other degredations have come to
characterize so much of humankindís experience? What is there in the
human condition as well as in specific social-political
circumstances that may help us to thwart such hatred?
To respond to these fundamental questions, our seminar shall review
several classic studies of hatred that have been written over
roughly the past century. We constantly dialogue with these classics
as we seek to understand the recurrence of human hatred. They
include Sigmund Freud, CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS, Hannah
Arendt, EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM, Richard Wright, NATIVE SON, Erich
Fromm, THE HEART OF MAN, and Debra Niehoff, THE BIOLOGY OF VIOLENCE.
We shall also draw on figures like Gandhi and Martin Luher King as
case studies of how hatred and violence have sometimes been averted.
As we discuss a specific classic and compare it with others in terms
of their strengths and weaknesses, we shall each gradually seek to
build our own individual perspecitve on hatred and ways to alleviate
While our seminar focuses on discussion of some very profound
writing, each of us (including the instructor) shall gradually
prepare a paper setting forth our own unique positions. This
position paper takes the place of exams. It shall derive not only
from our agreements and disagreements with the classics on hatred.
It shall also derive from a consciousness of our own experiences,
ethics, memories, and values as human beings living in a very
troubling world. The paper shall be written and revised again as we
take in new materials and thoughts in the course of the semester. A
preliminary draft of this manuscript shall be submitted monthly for
criticism, comment, and suggested revisions in a meeting with the