In detail

Misanthropy: a philosophy of life

Misanthropy: a philosophy of life

A look at the positive and negative aspects of misanthropy

Do you think that most people are good, honest and trustworthy or that they are selfish and a great evil for this planet? Do you consider humanity an error of evolution?


  • 1 The concept of misanthropy
  • 2 Advantages and disadvantages of being a misanthrope
  • 3 Conclusions

The concept of misanthropy

Misanthropy consists of distrust and rejection which can sometimes come to dislike, towards the collective that makes up the human race. They hate the characteristics of the human essence, which is why they tend to be in perpetual disagreement with many aspects of society, thus generating greater intolerance, frustration and with that, some accentuate their tendency to isolation, with all that implies. Ligotti, he called them "virtues of the devaluation of life." Many of them feel somewhat superior to their peers, whether intellectual, physical, professional, artistically, or otherwise.

It is not classified within the diagnostic criteria to be considered a disorder, misanthropy is rather, an attitude and a philosophy of life that has behavioral implications.

Human nature has always caught the attention of philosophers, the Greeks already spoke of the concept; Thomas Hobbes stressed that hostility and interest as the definition of the characteristics of human nature, suggesting that people live in a constant state of war against each other ... "Man is the wolf of man himself," he said.

Molière, represents him in his play "The Misanthrope", where the protagonist is honest and sincere, so that he strongly rejects the uses and customs of his time and the aristocracy, despite living in an irony. Another example: Beethoven, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, H.P. Lovecraft, who was described as: “a kind misanthrope and a visionary materialist. The world made him sick and he saw no reason to believe that looking at things with a better perspective might seem different. ”

Advantages and disadvantages of being a misanthrope

They are not so influenced by the dominant culture, they tend not to fit and tend to be discriminated, although later, they tend to enjoy loneliness; the degree of social isolation they experience leads them to have a nutritious inner life and of great growth in the areas that decide so, because they do not allow themselves to be influenced so much, many are not interested in exercising social control, because society seems like a both ridiculous, incongruous and devoid of common sense.

Many of their arguments are valid. For example, our system is based primarily on excessive consumption and the production of unnecessary goods, and our planet also has non-renewable natural resources.

If he isolates himself, he enters a vicious circle, where he affirms many of his beliefs, because he refuses to have positive experiences with people, sometimes he does it unconsciously, he shares characteristics of social phobia, sociopathy and psychopathy (however, many can establish sincere and emotional relationships with people they consider. Many of them can now feel more comfortable interacting socially through networks.

His philosophy of life, serves as intrinsic motivator of his avoidance behavior before certain social conventions who consider insulous or are simply on a different level from yours. Schopenhauer said in this regard: "Vulgar men invented the life of society, because it is easier for them to support others than to support themselves."

Some tend to criticize events, parties and even social organizations; The funny thing is that they are generally very good at criticism, many of them have an IQ (Intellectual Coefficient), are usually affected by reading and have a cultural level above the average. And although they become very uncomfortable, because they have almost no qualms about saying things, they can be very objective, realistic and perfectionist, many of them are highly proactive, so they tend to be valuable, for the qualities they cultivate due to their characteristics.

Transversal and longitudinal studies have shown that cynical distrust can be a predictor of negative physical health outcomes, including: obesity and insulin resistance, coronary heart disease, dementia, and increased mortality.

At the interpersonal level, cynical individuals provide and receive less social support, refer more conflict in the family and less marital satisfaction. Do the negative results of cynicism extend beyond poor health, unhappiness, and a poor social life and possibly extended to harmful economic outcomes?

Researchers observed that those who present paranoid features, due to their little or no confidence in others, are less likely to be economically disappointed, as a greater caution associated with cynical beliefs about human nature Could avoid financial losses due to cheating and fraud.

The negative aspect is that it has been seen that people who consider most other people as dishonest and unreliable, are very likely to Miss valuable opportunities to collaborate on large projects, thus giving up the economic benefits that joint efforts entail and help can receive.

They can be honest, to the point of discomfort and aggression. It is important to note that a truth told out of context represents a direct aggression; However, the misanthrope handles high levels of cynicism, so you generally don't mind if you offend with your comment.

This concept should not be confused with sexism, as Andrew Davidson put it: “… The truth is that I dislike most men, as much as I dislike women. I am an egalitarian misanthrope. ”The sexuality and gender of people had nothing to do with their disdain for them, illustrating in this way, that they often use a very acidic or black humor, they frequently use: sarcasm, syllogisms, analogies, among other literary resources.

Some consider not having children, what is called: anti-natalism, trying to ignore the demands of our biology, avoiding reproducing ... hugging in this way, the voluntary extinction.


It is said that many famous misanthropes exceeded the limits of the rights of others; misanthropy per se does not meet the criteria for being a disorder; However, many of these people, apart from being misanthropes, have other psychological conflicts and disorders, which, together with misanthropy and some triggers, led them to commit suicides or crimes. To prevent it from reaching dire consequences it is necessary that: Let's talk about suicide, without taboos, relying on adequate professional help, if necessary.

Due to their personality traits, they don't usually have very good life habits, which in the long term, generates a very negative effect on your health. As we move forward in its stages of development, it usually takes more work to modify our behavior, especially due to their personality traits. In fact, isolation and poor health care led many famous misanthropes to suffer from terrible diseases that further affirmed their position on life.


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