Revisiting “What it Means to be Human”


“What it means to me human” is, essentially, a question into the meaning of being. It is a question that is fundamentally situating in how meaning is made about “the human” and how “the human” lends itself to a rigorous questioning into its meaning. Even still, the manner in which “what it means to be human” opens itself up into a clearing for inquiry is by supposing that what w know about “the human” is not all that can be known about it, especially situating “the human” at the center of any inquiry taints, limits, and narrows the question itself. This question, like Heidegger’s in Being and Time, must adequately work out as an Analytic, which is grounded in first confronting then delinking from the history of ontology about human being. On one hand, this confrontation is with the anthropocene and the extent to which what has been traditionally known about humanity as human being is tied to what can be called an “anthropologocentrism,” or a human-centered logic, from which all other epistemologies are defined and stratified.

Humanism is this anthropologocentrism, particularly with Plato as the beginning point. It is at this point, on the other hand, after a confrontation with the anthopocene and an undergirding anthropologocentrism, where “what it means to be human” must delink itself, so that the question of the meaning of human being is not already-always answered, in part, by the history of ontology about humanity.

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