Re: 'Human' and its inclusivity

Kim Stout (kls12@IMAP1.ASU.EDU)
Fri, 7 Apr 1995 17:25:26 -0700

A few well-known thoughts on "man", juxtaposed here for the sake of
pointing out how very truly inclusive the phrase man is.

Man is the measure of all things.

All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is a mortal.

All men are mortal
Ellen is a {um...???}

I believe this exercise in thought is attributable to Ruth Bleier; I
apologize to the author for being unable to make certain attribution.

Regarding Protagoras' statement: it is obvious that *man*, and not
*human* is meant by the phrase. The majority of anatomy books use male
models and refer to females only when they have to refer to that
troublesome female reproductive system. Psychologists refer to the male
as the norm, and the female as the somehow less, Other. And I won't even
bring the focus of this argument back to our own field. But the examples
go on.

BTW, I am not attempting to open the debate as to whether humans are
indeed the measure of all things; I merely used the first quotation as an
example of this subject.

Thanks for your consideration.

Kim Stout
Department of Anthropology
Arizona State University
Tempe AZ 85287-2402 USA