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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
‘Why does life have to be so complicated?’ A school trip to the world of work
Philosophy of mind
Forget babbling and toddling – mindreading is babies’ most incredible skill
Water, salt and music form a mesmerising visualisation of sound waves
Sex and sexuality
What does the Dutch model of comprehensive, ‘shame-free’ sex-ed look like?
Film and visual culture
A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second