2 min read

Other kinds of -anthropy

You've heard of misanthropy, but what other kinds are there?

First I think it helps to specify how I'm thinking of misanthropy, because that defines what other kinds look like. I think of misanthropy as a stance, or as an aspect of sullenness. I could say more about what it's all about, but that's out of scope for now—let's talk about other kinds.

What do you call it when you regularly switch between misanthropy and some other friendlier stance? I propose the term cyclomisanthropy because it sounds ridiculous.

Obviously, there should be some opposing kind of -anthropy to misanthropy. I've never heard of proanthropy, unless that's what you'd call philanthropy. Etymologically, that checks out. But philanthropy doesn't require liking people on a moment to moment, felt level. Is there another word? Maybe one that's not opposite in construction?

I haven't found an existing word that quite lines up as the antonym of misanthropy in the way that I mean. An online thesaurus suggests belief, certainty, confidence, and trust, none of which is quite what I mean, though confidence is the closest and seems like a byproduct.

What I mean is roughly: The stance of liking people while remaining aware that some people are out to get you.

From reading, it seems like this stance partially describes the goal stance of Aro gTer-style vajrayana. That's what a lot of Ngakpa Chögyam's writing seems to get at, anyway, sometimes indirectly. I think this is the sense in which he uses tantrika or vajrayanist or vajra practitioner aspirationally or 'fruitionally.' In E-Mailing the Lamas from Afar, there's an e-mail exchange "appreciate what is beautiful in each other" where he writes that:

Because tantrikas override pomposity and resentment—Dzogchen is known as the imperial vehicle... We should therefore all aspire to appreciate what is beautiful in each other—whatever the clothing or absence thereof.

I get the sense from Evolving Ground that some people there intend on something like this, too.

It also seems roughly like what Dale Carnegie is peddling, when he isn't drifting into Amazing Tales of Benefit in one breath while otherwise asserting that the Benefit Isn't The Point. To the extent that it's practiced sincerely rather than manipulatively, it seems like a similar thing. I remain suspicious of that, though, given the abundant breathless Amazing Tales of Benefit. And it is after all named How to Win Friends And Influence People—the manipulativeness is in the title despite itself.

So, there's two other kinds. Surely there are others. What other -anthropies are out there?