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Module UNIQUE ANIMALS? ANTHROPOLOGICAL CONCEPTS IN PHILOSOPHY

Module code: PH205
Credits: 5
Semester: 2
Department: PHILOSOPHY
International: Yes
Overview Overview
 

This module will examine some major philosophical responses to the question ‘What does it mean to be human?’ with special focus on the 20th century and some important developments in the 21st first century. We will approach the topic under three different headings, using thinkers as ‘case studies’: 1) humans in the context of life and other animals (Max Scheler and Ernst Cassirer), 2) the impact of society, gender perceptions and racism on human self-understanding (Simone de Beauvoir, bell hooks, and Achille Mbembe), 3) humans and technology ( with focus on the transhumanist movement and some implications of AI). Our focus will be on the questions as to whether there is anything unique about the human way of existing, our relation to other life forms and animals, the role of our ‘biological make-up’, if it still make sense to have a universalising approach in the face of diversity and on-going discrimination, and the potential for and challenges to human existence through technological development.

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