What Does It Mean? Essay

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Some may think it is because we can walk on two legs and communicate in full-length sentences; some think it is because we can love and miss; still others think it is simply because of the way our brains work. The question of what it means to be human is one that has been following all of us throughout our existence, from the day we spoke our first words to the day we discovered each of us has our own unique genetic code. We think about it, we speak about it, and we write about it; thus, those three forms of expression form the root of philosophy. And this question - what does it mean to be human - is inextricably linked with the practice, and has been since philosophy was first performed. Moreover, the question of “what does it mean to be human?” lends itself to a deeper insight - can we understand ourselves as being made human by a single feature? Philosophers Plato, Augustine, and Arendt all pontificate on the source of our humanity, and believe that one condition, whether inherent or enacted, that unites us all as people. For each thinker, there are multiple aspects to this condition; firstly, when humans are born, we are hurled into a set of circumstances that we cannot control. We come into a world full of certain relationships and certain desires. Every philosopher mentioned above believes that fulfilling our humanity is a matter of transcending either those uncontrollable desires or our initial position in the world. Escaping these circumstances depends on our

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