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Towards a unified model of a human being

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Taken to its logical conclusion, what Husserl called ‘historicity’ entails that all aspects of human being, including all perceptual processes, at once evince a person’s collective-cum-personal history and function to structure what the world can be for him or her. This observation throws into question the model of human being that currently informs the human sciences: that the unity of humankind is given by human biology and that what differentiates us is culture. This idea of ‘one unifying nature and many differentiating cultures’ blinds us to historicity – our own as well as others’ – and to understanding its consequences for what it is to be human. This paper suggests the necessity for re-thinking this model, discusses in some detail what an alternative, unified model of human being might look like, and raises the question of what might be its methodological implications for the human sciences.

This talk is part of the CamPoS (Cambridge Philosophy of Science) seminar series.

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