Why Homo Sentiens

          In 1758, the Swedish naturalist Carlos Linnaeus –in his work on classifying species- denominated us Homo Sapiens. In latin, sapiens means <<able to know>>, and with it Linnaeus referred to human beings as those animals which, thanks to their rationality, are different from the rest of the kingdom.

          There is no room for doubt that our zoological rarity is extraordinary regarding our abilities to conceptualize, treat information and reason in hipercomplex ways. But, is that actually the unique feature that leads us to be the way we are, to behave the way we do and to achieve what we have accomplished?

          As if it had been a joke to the fate of research on our nature (although it was really wise and deep), when the time came to describe our species Linnaeus just wrote <<Nosce te ipsum>>. Know thyself.

          In the current science revolution, seeking knowing ourselves has shed new light over our configuration. Cognitive psychology, affective neuroscience and evolutionary psychology are revealing that we are as rational as emotional.

          None of our reasoning or decisions is exempt from the emotional processes we carry within, which integrate not only the mind (brain) but also the body. Emotions have evolved in tandem with our brain and, in fact, we are the most emotional animal on earth.

          This blog intends –resorting to such disciplines mentioned above- to explore how our day-to-day is sustained in the emotional design we bear inside. This design which has us interacting in the typical manner of our species, no matter how subtle it may seem. I hope this encourages the interest in unraveling what the deep basics of our emotions and human relationships are about.

          Contemporary biology has recently even dared to denominate us Homo sapiens sapiens. I strongly believe we have reached the time to admit we truly are Homo sapiens Sentiens.

 

 

 

Refs.:

  • Damasio, Antonio R. (1996), El error de Descartes; Crítica; Barcelona, 2008.
  • Tooby, J. and DeVore, I. (1987), <<The reconstruction of hominid behavioral evolution through strategic modeling>>; in W.G. Kinzey (Ed.), The evolution of human behaviour: Primate models; Albany, SUNY Press; New York, 1987.
  • Panskepp, Jaak (1998), Affective Neuroscience: The Foundation of Human and Animal Emotions; Oxford University Press; New York; 2005.
  • Papavero, Nelson and Llorente Bousquets, Jorge (2001), Historia de la Biología comparada, desde el génesis hasta el siglo de las luces, Volumen VII. El Siglo de las Luces (Parte III); Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México; (p.1)

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