The Objectification Spectrum: Understanding and Transcending Our Diminishment and Dehumanization of…

Hardcover | July 4, 2014

byJohn Rector

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What lies at the heart of humanity's capacity for evil? Any tenable answer to this age-old question must include an explanation of our penchant for objectifying and dehumanizing our fellow human beings. The Objectification Spectrum: Understanding and Transcending Our Diminishment andDehumanization of Others draws upon timeless wisdom to propose a new model of objectification. Rather than offering a narrow definition of the term, the author explores objectification as a spectrum of misapprehension running from its mildest form, casual indifference, to its most extrememanifestation, dehumanization. Using vivid examples to clearly demarcate three primary levels of objectification, the author engages in a thoughtful exploration of various dispositional and situational factors contributing to this uniquely human phenomenon. These include narcissism, the ego, death denial, toxic situations, andour perceived boundaries of self, among others. Rector then gives us reason to hope by orienting his model of objectification into a broader continuum of human capability - one that includes a countervailing enlightenment spectrum. Gleaning insights from classic philosophy, the world's five mostprominent religious traditions, and current social science research, he examines the best antidotes humankind has devised thus far to move us from casual concern for our fellow human beings toward interconnectedness and, ultimately, unity consciousness. Broad in scope and deeply penetrating, TheObjectification Spectrum advances the conversation about the nature of human evil into personally relevant, potentially transformative territory.

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What lies at the heart of humanity's capacity for evil? Any tenable answer to this age-old question must include an explanation of our penchant for objectifying and dehumanizing our fellow human beings. The Objectification Spectrum: Understanding and Transcending Our Diminishment andDehumanization of Others draws upon timeless wisdom t...

John Rector, Ph.D., is Counseling Psychologist at the Brigham Young University-Idaho Counseling Center.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:July 4, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019935541X

ISBN - 13:9780199355419

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Leaving Plato's Cave - Our Only HopeSECTION I-SHADOWS ON THE CAVE WALL: THE MANY FACES OF OBJECTIFICATION1. Preliminaries2. Objectification: A Slippery, Multiple Concept3. Objectification Revisited: A Spectrum of MisapprehensionSECTION II-THE HUMAN SITUATION: LIMITATIONS AND POSSIBILITIES4. Three Observations from Antiquity: "Philosophia Perennis"5. Unity Consciousness: Reality at its Deepest LevelSECTION III-WHAT WE ARE: DISPOSITIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO OBJECTIFICATION6. The Paradoxical Nature of Boundaries7. Boundaries of Self8. Narcissism9. The Ego (Part One): Its Nature and Manifestations10. The Ego (Part Two): Having Versus Being11. Problems Stemming from Death DenialSECTION IV-WHO WE ARE: SITUATIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO OBJECTIFICATION12. Rising Awareness of Situational Power13. Situationally-Induced Objectification: Three Relevant Classic Examples14. What is the Heroic Individual? Momentary Transcendence of ObjectificationSECTION V-PATHWAYS TOWARD TRANSFORMATION: TRAILS LEADING OUT OF PLATO'S CAVE15. The Problem of Enlightenment16. Theistic and Nontheistic Approaches to Transcending Objectification17. Objectification's Antidote: The Enlightenment Spectrum