MOD.Cast: What does it mean to be human?

Posted 14 May

MOD. at UniSA
feeling human

What does it mean to be human? We have historically tried to reconcile the question through religion, science, art, or\ philosophy, but none have given us the answers we hope for.

Philosophically speaking, Aristotle thought that which makes us human was our power of speech and sense of right and wrong, while Descartes thought that it could be summarised in the sentence ‘I think, therefore I am.’ But maybe what makes us human might be smaller and more easily measured, like the way we feel love, empathy, and pain

Tasha Stanton, Professor of Neuroscience at UniSA, interprets pain messages and sheds light on the way humans perceive their own bodies and pain. Through using virtual reality, she has been able to alter the way that people experience pain and see their own bodies.

Simon Biggs, Professor of Art at UniSA, has been exploring the creative and interactive relationship between humans and robots. For Simon, the divide between us and them may not exist at all.

“What about if what we think makes us different is not actually real, it’s just an illusion?”

Simon’s work suggests that humans fit the definition of cyborg, learning and constructing meaning from the environment around us. Maybe humanity doesn’t exist at all, it’s just a carefully constructed web of conventions and systems.

Visit MOD. to explore more about pain, and maybe discover your own superpowers.

MOD.Cast Season 1 was developed by University of South Australia journalism students Chloe Byrne, Brad Irvine-Thomas and Morgan Burley and supported by Dr Heather Anderson, Journalist and UniSA Media Scholar, along with Research Marketing Coordinator, Elke Kleinig.

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