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Or, putting the point a bit more precisely, what are we saying about others when we describe them as human? Answering this question is not as straightforward as it might appear.
Some paleoanthropologists identify the category of the human with the species Homo sapiens, others equate it with the whole genus Homo, some restrict it to the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, and a few take it to encompass the entire hominin lineage.
These differences of opinion are not due to a scarcity of evidence. Some folk-categories correspond more or less precisely to scientific categories. In the philosophical jargon, water is said to be reducible to H2O, which means that H2O is nothing over and above water, and therefore any statement that is true of water is also true of H2O.
But not every folk category is even approximately reducible to a scientific one. In fact, one could know everything there is to know biologically about a plant, but still not know that it is a weed. So, at least in this respect, being human is more like being a weed than it is like being water.
In deciding that all and only Homo sapiens are humans, one is expressing a preference about where the boundary separating humans from non-humans should be drawn, rather than discovering where such a boundary lays.
Unfortunately, this strategy multiplies the problem rather than resolving it. Another example is provided by the seemingly interminable debate about the moral permissibility of abortion, which almost always turns on the question of whether the embryo is a human being.
At this point, it looks like the concept of the human is hopelessly confused. But if we think of it as an indexical expression — a term that gets its content from the context in which it is uttered—a very different picture emerges.
When we describe others as human, we are saying that they are members of our own kind or, more precisely, members of our own natural kind. Our concepts of natural are concepts that purport to correspond to the structural-fault-lines of a mind-independent world.
Philosophers distinguish the linguistic meaning of indexical expressions from their content. The content of an indexical is whatever it names.Definition of essay in the benjaminpohle.com Dictionary. Meaning of essay. What does essay mean? Proper usage and pronunciation (in phonetic transcription) of the word essay.
Information about essay in the benjaminpohle.com dictionary, synonyms and . I have been thinking over the meaning of being human as part of a essay I have to write for school.
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What Does It Mean To Be Human? According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, “Part of what it means to be human is how we became human. “When in this way man has deprived himself on the dimension of depth and the symbols expressing it, he then becomes a part of the horizontal plane.
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