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The Uniqueness of the Human Species - Essay Example

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The Uniqueness of the Human Species

This writing will focus on two features that make human beings unique when compared to their nonhuman primates. Two main factors and characteristics that draw a fine line between humans and nonhuman primates include communication and cognition. The ability of human beings to use language in its completely evolved state is the most significant difference between the groups of human beings and nonhuman primates. Cognition as well as ability to communicate is two important elements of language and these two elements add heavily to the uniqueness of human beings. Mammals that are not human even have a very complicated system of perception which is very nearly similar to the system of perception of human beings but they lack the ability to identify the mental state of their fellow mammals. The skill of knowing another person or knowing about the intention of another person is available in nonhuman mammals but in very limited amount. For example: Cheney and Seyfarth identified that children who are young along with apes have the ability to identify another individuals motivation and even have the ability to identify their next course of action that may be taken by another individual (Cheney and Seyfarth 3)....
own emotions and they even fail in the introspection of “what if” and due to this lack of knowledge they fail to plan and analyze different options. On the other hand, a child who is only one year old is quite aware about their own emotions and have an urge to share their emotions with their loved ones. The lack of these abilities is a distinguishing feature between human beings and their nonhuman primates. Human beings and apes are not only different in the area of perception and sharing of information; they are even quite unique to each other in the area of communication. In case of apes, there is higher level of constrain in their verbal production of sound and usage of words, on the other end humans has an ability of producing vast range of words and sounds. Similarly, nonhuman mammals even have a limited number of calls that they can only use in a limited number of social scenarios. In case of nonhuman primates, the calls that are acoustic in nature are mainly fixed through genetics and only restricted amount of changes take place as they develop. According to Hammerschmidt and Fischer, humans have quite flexible acoustic vocal ability and their ability to speak and make calls can be easily modified through learning as they pass through different developmental stages (Hammerschmidt and Fischer 100). According to linguistics, the inability of the apes of not being able to use a wide range of calls and their inability to modify and develop calls can be overcome through the process recognized as pragmatics. This means that apes have an ability of learning the pairing of sound as well as its meanings, differentiate between different voices, as well as use information regarding the social position of a particular individual. According to Seyfarth and Cheney, apes ...Show more
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Summary

Tomasello and Carpenter state that nonhuman mammals even have the ability to get involved in the act of identifying another individual’s emotions before action and paying attention at one particular object at the same time…
Author : hammespercival
The Uniqueness of the Human Species
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