chapter  4
13 Pages

Human Failings

WithDavid E. Cooper

Essential to each of the misanthrope’s strategies – comparison and attention to the treatment of animals – is the exposure of the range and depth of human failings and vices. In this chapter, after some brief reminders of earlier points, the misanthrope draws up a relatively systematic ‘charge list’ of failings. These are divided into ‘clusters’ of closely related failings; for example, the ‘bad faith’ cluster includes self-deceit, wilful ignorance and hypocrisy. The clusters themselves are shown to be mutually reinforcing. The charge list reveals the scale, at once impressive and depressing, of our failings, and a final section argues that many of these are deeply entrenched, at any rate in modern forms of human life.