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Hi, and welcome back to this series devoted to anthropology! Today, I wanted to continue the chat we began last time, and talk a little bit more about humanity, and human species…

Ideas of humanity

This may seem a given notion, a natural definition; but like everything in anthropology there is no such thing as nature, and human species is no exception! Humanity is a complex notion, that implies two main debates:

  1. what are the peculiar traits that distinguish human species from the other animal species and living creatures?
  2. Do these traits are equally distributed among human beings, or are there some groups that possess them to the highest degree, and others that barely have them?

As you can see, these are very complex questions, that require a careful analysis of the history of the interactions between different human groups (at least from the Ancient Greeks on, just to remain in the western-culture area…), and they also call in to action the dynamic between similarities and diversity, and how these two worked for the inclusion (or exclusion) in the human species.

It is a very intense and dense topic, and it is extremely complicate to analyze it thoroughly in just one video, but I hope you may get at least a brief picture of the framework. However, I really hope I will have the time and chance to deepen the debate, to further analyze the topic and to bring you more examples about the way humanity is expressed in the different cultural contexts.

To have a bit of an update about anthropology and what I discussed previously about the importance of this field, you can have a quick look at my previous video here.

Enjoy the video, and let me know what you think, in the comment section below!