Giacomo Marramao

Humanity

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The essay analyzes the word "Humanity" starting from its polysemic character, whose meaning may change according to historical periods and cultural contexts. The author shows how the terms "humanity" and "human" have always offered a battlefield for philosophy, while the concepts of "inhumanity" and "dis-humanity" have been understood as constituting factors of the same symbolic dimension of the human being. To this first conceptual overlapping, the author adds also the difference between human and "posthuman": this difference, in fact, characterizes the contemporary philosophical debate. Finally, the author focuses on the ideas of humanity faced with the concept of "human nature" after the new perspectives opened by genetics and a criticism involving both humanistic historicism and philosophical anthropology.

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