Re: [OPE-L] Plekhanov on humans as tool making animals

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Sat Dec 30 2006 - 13:30:19 EST

Gerry wrote


Consider the implications of the above which are expressed below

as questions:


1.  If the "distinguishing characteristic" of humans is the state of

tool-making and "artificial organs",  then doesn't it necessarily follow

humans of our century are more "human" than humans in previous epochs

in our history?


I think that Plekhanov is just referring to Engles' argument in the Role
of Labour in the transition from Ape to Man.

It seems plausible that Australopithecus was less competent in tool
production than Homo Sapiens and that there existed evolutionary
pressure arising from tool use that improved manual dexterity.



2. If the most essential criteria for how human we are is the state of

development of the forces of production, then doesn't it necessarily

that humans in contemporary social formations in which there is a less 

advanced development of artificial organs are less human than humans who

access to and utilize more sophisticated artificial organs?



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