What makes us human
We are drawn to some types of information over others, our past experiences shape our present-day judgements and our emotional and physical states affect the choices we make.
People have been wondering what stuff is made of since the beginning of time. Antelopes, by contrast, haven’t, writes John Lloyd.
Our ability to harness flames has shaped who we are.
The planetary scientist Collin Pillinger has died aged 70 following a brain haemorrhage. In a piece for the NS in February, he argued that it’s our thirst for discovery that makes us human.
To live with this paradox of history, being on the one hand “gone” yet at the same time being “with us at all times”, is what it is to be human.
Human artistic creativity marks us out from the animal kingdom. You look at a painting by Michelangelo or Raphael and you know what it means to be human, with all the capacity to express in stone or paint what it is to be alive.
Sometimes the best things that make us human emerge from the worst things that we have to endure.
Artist Alison Lapper was born without arms and was denied the affection she needed as a child. Here, as part of our "What Makes Us Human" series, she reflects on her experiences, and what they can tell us about humanity.
The ability to ask the question "What makes us human?" is what makes us human, argues P D James.
Continuing our What Makes Us Human series, Alain de Botton attacks the notion only skills, not wisdom, can be taught. This is a mistake, he argues. Philosophy, literature, history, art and film can prepare us for life's most difficult challenges.