James M. Calcagno is Professor of Anthropology and Fellowship Office Director at Loyola University Chicago. His research interests in biological anthropology have ranged from mechanisms of dental reduction to captive primate behavior. In 2009 and 2011, he co-organized Wiley-Blackwell AAPA symposia directly relating to the question “What Makes Us Human?”
What makes us human? Answers from evolutionary anthropology†
Article first published online: 16 OCT 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews
Volume 21, Issue 5, pages 182–194, September/October 2012
How to Cite
Calcagno, J. M. and Fuentes, A. (2012), What makes us human? Answers from evolutionary anthropology. Evol. Anthropol., 21: 182–194. doi: 10.1002/evan.21328
With contributions by: Matt Cartmill, Kaye Brown, Katherine S. Pollard, Robert Sussman, Robert M. Seyfarth, Dorothy L. Cheney, Benjamin Campbell, Sarah Hrdy, Kristen Hawkes, Karen R. Rosenberg, Mary C. Stiner, Steven L. Kuhn, and Ken Weiss
- Issue published online: 16 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 16 OCT 2012
Today, scholars from numerous and highly diverse fields are not only addressing the question of what makes us human, but also seeking input from other disciplines to inform their answers to this fundamental issue. However, for the most part, evolutionary anthropologists are not particularly prominent in this discussion, or at least not acknowledged to be. Why is this the case? One reason may be that although evolutionary anthropologists are uniquely positioned to provide valuable insight on this subject, the responses from any one of us are likely to be as different as the research specializations and intellectual experiences that we bring to the table. Indeed, one would anticipate that a paleoanthropologist would not only have different views than a primatologist, geneticist, or behavioral ecologist, but from other paleoanthropologists as well. Yet if asked by a theologian, psychologist, or political scientist, and perhaps most importantly, by any curious person outside the walls of academia, do we have a response that most evolutionary anthropologists could agree on as reflecting our contributions to the understanding of being and becoming human? Our introductory textbooks usually begin with this fundamental question, yet seldom produce a concise answer. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.