Craig White's Literature Courses

 

Terms / Themes

 


 

Humanity, Humanism, etc.

 

What makes us more or less human?

 

 

What makes us more human?

 

speech (>literature!); free exchange / trade of information, ideas, feelings, goods, services.(dialogue & dialectic)

 

rights; legal status and protection by law

 

curiosity <  humility, generosity

 

receptivity: compassion / sympathy / empathy

 

giving benefit of doubt / humility

 

tolerance of ambiguity, conflicting ideas

 

hybridity; evolving, or intersectional identities (contrast "absolute or essential identities" below)

 

belonging / identity / security / stability ("home"; "tribe")

 

work, labor (esp. toward shared goals?)

 

desire, yearning for more (progress?) + restraint?

 

family (though family takes many forms)

 

childhood, adolescence as time of wonder, possibility, insecurity, etc.

 

Humans are shaped and conditioned but not totally imprisoned by environment and history. (Talent may be universally distributed, but opportunity isn't.)

 

OR (AND?)

 

individuals freely choose who or what they will be, overcoming all limitations through willpower, talent, and luck.

 

In religious terms, "fate vs. free will" (another dialectic)

What makes us less human? (Really these traits are "all too human" but can frustrate or obstruct optimal human development?)

 

Dividing to us and them, victims & oppressors, good guys and bad guys, self and other, subject and object.

(Such classifications appear hard-wired in human brain but can be overcome by education and mixed environments.)

 

Treating someone else as less human makes me less human. (dehumanization)

 

"Absolute purity" or "essential identities" exclude communication and exchange with others.

 

Hardness, coldness, unresponsiveness, lack of receptivity, sympathy or empathy

 

Pride, vanity, arrogance (v. humility)

 

Despair, decline over progress (though, like us & them, common enough) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dialogue or dialectic

genetic spectrum of humanity
(millions of years of mixing)