Does A Society Make Us Human?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Through years of searching and pondering can no one man figure out a way to make each person come to the same conclusion on each and every subject. The age-old question of "does a society make us human" can be answered in either two ways: yes or no. A simple answer can rule the verdict of whether a person disagrees or agrees. However, a "simple answer" would never satisfy the society's insatiable appetite for knowledge of self and mysteries of the universe. This sensitive subject demands the careful venture into the various ideas of what causes a person to wake up one morning and realize he is human.

Firstly, society and human must be broken down into a definition. A system of patterned interactions among organized groups of human beings is one way to define society. A human can be defined as belonging to, or having the qualities of, man or mankind.

Society expects different qualities that go beyond the basic qualities of what a human is. On an anatomical level, an animal must have the physical and biological make up belonging to that of Homo sapiens to be called a human. At this point, this information would conclusively prove our genetics, not society, make us human. Unfortunately, the question may not call for the scientific definition of humans, but the interpretation to which centuries of scholars have come to.

Moreover, one must examine characteristics such as physical, intellectual, and skills. Physically, there has been proof that without social norms, humans would not walk or talk. For example, Kingsley Davis studied a small, American girl named Anna. Anna, age six at the time, was kept in isolation of human contact by her grandfather her whole life. She could not walk, talk, or feed herself and Anna showed paucity in responses...