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How wonder – the linchpin of inspiration and inquiry – makes humans unique

Theories of a unique humanity have evolved enormously throughout history, with a significant tendency in recent times to diminish our claim to be truly distinctive. Still, most scientists and philosophers do believe that we are, in some sense, different from any other lifeform on the planet. But what sets us apart? According to Jesse Prinz, distinguished professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), our unique position among animals is rooted in a particular emotion that has long been overlooked: the emotion of wonder.

Interviewer: Nigel Warburton

Producer: Kellen Quinn

Editor: Adam D’Arpino

10 August 2015

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