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To Be or Not To Be Human

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To Be or Not To Be Human
title To Be or Not To Be Human
subtitle Rethinking Human Beings between Science and other Ways of Knowing
Publisher Raffaello Cortina Editore
Format
libro Book
Language Italian
Published on 02/2024
ISBN 9788832856095ENG
 
ONE OF THE GREATEST SWEDEN AUTHORS, TRANSLATED IN MORE THAN 15 LANGUAGES, THAT SOLD A MILLION COPIES ALL OVER THE WORLD

What makes us human? What distinguishes homo sapiens sapiens from other primates? In shaping our individual and collective existencem do we human beings have a margin of choice or are we wholly subordinate to the physical laws that govern micro- and macrocosms? In contrast to the more or less fatalistic sciences - the cognitive sciences, for example - that see human nature as an inevitable result of evolutionary adaptation, the author argues that the specificity of the human being depends largely on that great innovation that was symbolic representation, that is, on the idea that everything - a sound, a gesture, an object - can be used to represent anything else. It is precisely on this that the most specifically human qualities depend: imagination, language, conscoiusness, doubt, a certain degree of freedom, a sense of the future, understanding of self and others, beliefs, myths, and religious faiths.
If the nature of men is not deterministically reducible to biology, chemistry and physics, how can we conceive of a new science that accurately describes and explains what it means to be human? And, if so, what would it be good for? Could it really help make the world a better, more humane, fairer, freer place for all?
 

Author biography

Björn Larsson, professor of French Literature at Lund University, philologist, translator and novelist, is one of Sweden's best-known authors on the international scene. He has published around a dozen literary works sold in well over a million copies in more than fifteen languages. He has received several prestigious awards, among them le prix Médicis in France, il Premio Elsa Morante and il Premio Boccaccio in Italy.

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