Re: What Constitutes Humanity?

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From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Thu May 17 2001 - 21:33:49 PDT

Russell Turpin wrote:

> wrote:
> > The one thing that indisputedly defines us as human is
> > the set of bi-directional relationships we have with
> > other humans. If you have no relational exchange
> > with others, you are not human.
> Because this definition has had a lot of historical practice,
> it's easy to recognize the downside. It divides humanity
> into equivalence classes that don't always view
> the others as entirely human. Consider, for example,
> the Tasmanian aborigines.

This is a minor flaw. You can get to something really
philosophically compelling if you replace the notion of "having no
relational exchange" with "having no possibility of relational
exchange." Card nailed this in the Ender books with the whole
framlings / ramen / varelse concept. The novel concept here is the
possibility that a fetus is, until some point in development,


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