Describes the biological capacity for culture and the humanities.
- 1.Humans and Humanities The Biological Dimension
2. The Human in Humanities
- However we define humanities, the central figure is the human,Homo sapiens
- According to the Greek philosopher Protagoras,
- Man is the measure of all things
- What about, might we ask, about woman? Is she not the measure of all things, too?
- There is much about humans that go into the field of humanities
- Sex is one: but there is much else that we will elaborate on.
3. What Did Protagoras Mean?
- Man is the measure of all things has been interpreted in various ways.
- Most humanists see the quote that the only perceiver of reality are humans themselves
- In this view, there are no gods or eternal truths.
- What is true is relative to the perceiver: an example is is it hot or cold in this room? So tell me. Is it hot or cold? Or are you Goldilocks and the temperature is just right?
- Protagoras also advocated agnosticism; he didnt know whether there were gods or not.
- A sophist whom Plato (and Socrates) despised, he was an easy target
- Plato saw all phenomena as subject to an ideal that the gods had designed themselves, so he had no love for Protagoras, a relativist and an agnostic.
4. Meaning ofHomo sapiens
- Wise enough, I suppose, to make nukesbut I digress
- It is worth noting that traditionally,androcentrismhas dominated the humanities
- Homo sapiensgoes back to our ability to think, communicate, make tools
- And our human form begins with bipedalityour ability to stand and walk on two feet
- Defining who we are and how we got here is the first order of business.
5. So What Are We As Humans?
- We havelanguage:no language, no culture, nothing for the humanities to study
- We havesymbols:we can represent ideas and events by something else, such as music, visual arts, literatureand language itself
- We havetool making and usingabilities: how else could we make or play an instrument, paint a picture, write a play or philosophical treatise?
- We arebipedal , and whatever else we may portray humankind as, she and he always can stand and walk on two feet.
6. Trends in Human Anatomy: Cultural Capacities
- Brain : Lower Motor Cortex, Brocas Area, Wernickes Area, Angular Gyrus
- Speech Tract : Lungs, Oral and Nasal Cavity
- Brain: Upper Motor Cortex
- Other Areas: Hand, Fingers, and Arm
7. We Start with the Human Skull
- These bones protect the center of our behaviorour brain
- And our culture, in both senses of the word:
- Who we are as Americans, or Greeks, or Romans
- And the arts and literature that make up the humanities.
8. Language and Related Centers in Brain
- 1. Brocas Area:Center of Speech
- 2. Occipital Lobe:Center of Vision
- 3. Wernickes Area : Center of speech reception
- 4. Motor Cortex : Language and tool making and use
- 5. Frontal Lobe : Center of thinking
- 6. Auditory Cortex:Center of hearing
- 7 .Angular Gyrus:Center of sensory coordination
9. Brain Structure: Language
- Brocas Area: Speech Processing
- Wernickes Area: Speech Reception
- Arcuate Fasciculus: Nerves Connecting Brocas with Wernickes Area
- Angular Gyrus: Interconnection among the five senses; so we can translate all senses into the sound we call language.
- So language begins with the brain
10. Vocal Tract and Language: Repiratory System
- Lungs provide the airstream
- Intercostal muscles expand and contract the lungs
- Diaphragm does the same thing
- Pharynx: The space between the oral cavity and the larynx
- Epiglottis: flap of muscle that prevents food from entering the trachea
- Every singer knows this anatomy
11. Vocal Tract and Language: Oral Cavity
- The oral cavity is where language is articulated
- The tongue is the most important part of speech articulation
- Language is derived from the Latin meaning tongue
- Consonants: sounds that stop or constrict the airstream.
- Vowels: the sounds that resonate.
12. Motor Cortex and Function
- Notice how much space is taken up by the facial muscles (lower), reflecting the ability to speak
- Notice how much space of the motor cortex is taken up by the hands and fingers, reflecting the importance of hand and finger manipulation
13. Hand Bone Structure
- That allows for making fine manipulations.
- Below Left: The power grip for using hammer and axes
- Below Right: the precision grip (using thumb and forefingers) for finer work like using a pen or screwdrivers
14. What Are the Products of Language and Tool Use?
- Upper left: Writing requires a precision grip
- It also requires the ability to translate speech into visual form
- Lower Left: Music itself is a language of sorts
- It involves combining pitch in an aesthetic pattern
- And you need an ability to manipulate to play a violin
- You need tool-making abilitiesto make a violin, and its bow
15. Bipedalism: The Human Skeleton
- Vertical backbone or vertebrae
- Hands freed from locomotion
- Short, bowl-shaped pelvis
- Inward-angling thighbone (femur)
16. Compare This Fine Fellow to Zeus, Boss of the Greek Gods:
- As you will see in the arts, gods are often made in the image of men (Oh, yes, and women too; I think we call them goddesses, but I could be wrong. )
17. Of Course, This Biped Gets Religion
- Here we see a bare-bones version of a prayer position
- This image actually comes from Hawaii
- It could just as well come from Europeor North America
- Seriously, folksreligion too is part of the humanities
18. What Comprises Bipedalism: What Congress Lacks
- First, you have an S-shaped backbone orvertebrae
- The top part is nearest the neck, thecervical vertebrae
- The middle part is back of the ribs, thethoracic vertebrae
- The lowest part bears most of the upper body weight, thelumbar vertebrae
- Thesacrumand thecoccyxcomprise the lowest part
- That keeps us upright when standing or walking
19. What Comprises Bipedalism: The Pelvis
- The overall pelvis is bowl shaped.
- Theiliumsupports the body and is an important area of thigh muscle attachments
- Thepubisforms the front part of the pelvis
- TheIschiumform the back base and provides more attachments for thigh muscles.
20. What Comprises Bipedalism: The Femur
- Notice how the femur angles inward from the pelvis
- It provides more support for the body
- It enables us to walk more comfortably
21. What Comprises Bipedalism: Oh Yes, The Feet
- The longitudinal arch extends from the first metatarsal (Inmost foot bone)
- And goes to the heelbone (calcaneus)
- The transverse arch goes from the instep to the outer bone.
- This gives us absolute stability when we stand and walk
22. Attributes We Share with Other Species
- Therefore, we come in two gendersthe cultural interpretations of the sexes.
- Like other animals, we compete and fight.(Here are Aphrodite and Mars [not] getting along)
- Like other animals, we bear offspring
- Like other animals, we grow and develop
- And like other animals, we die (below; a modern motif of an old symbol)
- All these are addressed in literature, history, even religion
23. What Does All This Have to Do with the Humanities?
- First, dance, Greek, medieval, or modern emphasizes the human form
- Second, the brushes we use, the musical instruments we play, all involve the dexterity that comes with the ability to make and use tools.
- Third, the literature we compose, the laws we pass (or endure), the religions we be