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Type: Conference paper
Title: Good, healthy hate: frontier of negative emotions
Author: Corcoran, P.
Citation: Proceedings of the Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, 29 September-1 October, 2003: 27p.
Publisher: Australasian Political Studies Association
Publisher Place:
Issue Date: 2003
Conference Name: Australasian Political Studies Association Conference (2003 : Hobart, Tasmania)
Editor: Jones, D.
Abstract: We are so well-equipped with an emotional capacity to hate that this element of the emotional repertoire is entrenched in common parlance. We may hate persons we have known and loved, those we know only by reputation and entire groups whose members we do not know at all. We are even capable of hating abstractions and general ideas. Such a robust capacity for expression across the full range of human relationships suggests that hate is not obviously perverse or pathological. Nevertheless there is a reluctance to acknowledge hate as a normal, much less universal, element of human experience. In recent years the meaning of hate has been broadened by way of denial into an ambiguous adjective to characterise odious or illegal behaviour (e. g. hate speech and hate crimes). Hate is, of course, a strong emotion, potentially yielding a disposition to forceful action. But numerous other emotions are also powerful and may lead to aggressive and violent action. Love, for example, or patriotism, fear, envy and greed may in extreme instances incline us to danger, violence and self-destruction. This paper will explore the proposition that, like many of these emotions, hate has a range of expression that is 'developmental' in the sense of normal biological, psychological and perhaps even social formation. Although the human emotions are powerful and potentially dangerous forces, without them we would surely not be the sentient and social creatures we imagine ourselves to be. The discussion will focus on the sparse philosophical discussion of hate, beginning with Aristotle, and proceed to the cautious and decidedly reluctant examination of hate within the province of theoretical and clinical psychology
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