UNE's David Livingstone Smith honored by The Royal Institute of Philosophy

A photo of the prize finalists standing behind a table bearing the Royal Institute of Philosophy's name and logo
David Livingstone Smith (second from left) with the other prize finalists.

David Livingstone Smith, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and 2023-24 Ludcke Chair of Arts and Sciences, was recently named a finalist for the Nayef Al-Rodhan International Book Prize in Transdisciplinary Philosophy for his book “Making Monsters: the Uncanny Power of Dehumanization.”

Established in 2023, the prize is awarded by The Royal Institute of Philosophy and celebrates the most original philosophical research that transcends academic disciplines.

“It is a wonderful experience having my work celebrated by The Royal Institute of Philosophy,” Smith remarked.

“Making Monsters” offers a poignant meditation on the philosophical and psychological roots of dehumanization. Turning to an abundance of historical examples, Smith explores the relationship between dehumanization and racism, the psychology of hierarchy, what it means to regard others as human beings, and why dehumanizing others transforms them into something so terrifying that they must be destroyed.

In addition to “Making Monsters,” Smith, recognized as an interdisciplinary scholar, has written or edited ten books, including “On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It” and the award-winning “Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others.”

Smith has been featured in prime-time television documentaries, is often interviewed and cited in the national and international media, and was a guest at the 2012 G20 economic summit. His expertise in philosophy addresses the inextricable links between racism, dehumanization, and brutality. Most recently, he has been featured in The Atlantic, The Institute for Philosophy in Public Life, CBC Listen, and the Sacred Tension podcast.

Headshot of David Livingstone Smith

David Livingstone Smith, Ph.D.