Not of the World

Anna L. Peterson

in Being Human

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780520226548
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926059 | DOI:
Not of the World

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  • Theory and Practice of Anthropology


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This chapter examines the principle of human exceptionalism and the established Christian and modernist narratives of human uniqueness. It explains that these worldviews usually posit a definitive and unbridgeable gap between humans and all other species, justified most often by the possession of a soul or rational thought. It suggests that these traditions have legitimized and expanded not only instrumental attitudes toward nature but also hierarchies among humans.

Keywords: human exceptionalism; human uniqueness; humans; rational thought; nature; instrumental attitudes

Chapter.  9530 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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