I’ve written here in the past about the National Humanities Center’s On the Human Forum–a site meant to foster discussion about what “the human” has or is coming to mean in the context of contemporary social and technoscientific developments. The topic of this summer’s issue of Daedalus is “On Being Human” and it is specifically framed as a “sampling of the scholarship inspired by the [National Humanities] Center’s effort” to examine “how advances in science are enlarging the terms through which human life is discussed, and continuing to disturb traditional understandings of what it means to be human,” (Introduction, p.5).
The contributions come from an impressive interdisciplinary group of scholars, and they include some thoughts on humanness from Charles Darwin–an excerpt from The Descent of Man, published here to commemorate the bicentennial of his birth.
These are all essays which have no abstracts, so I reproduce the TOC below. Unfortunately, access to all of these articles requires a subscription.
The changing face of human nature
Hilary Rose, Steven Rose
Humans: the party animal
Michael S. Gazzaniga
Natural & normative
Robert B. Pippin
Humans, aliens & autism
Humans & humanists
How do we know what we are? The science of language & human self-understanding
Geoffrey Galt Harpham
Experimental moral psychology
Kwame Anthony Appiah