Humanity has become its own environment. The conquest of the planet has been an effect of sheer numbers. Now we respond not only to the vicissitudes of nature but also to the increasing intricacies of the human landscape. Natural selection takes place in a milieu that is no longer natural, so that it blends with sexual selection and cultural selection, as well as with conscious political choice. While the organism lives in nature, the human subject lives primarily in the human world. This means first of all in the subjective domain; secondly, in the social environment of others facilitated by language; and finally, in the constructed environment of artifacts. All of these constitute the human world, as opposed to nature; mind, as opposed to body; city and mechanism, as opposed to wilderness. While Man’s first home away from the home of nature is the inner subjective space, this would never have developed had he not been a highly social, language-using creature. Right from the start, mankind’s primary environment was composed of other people and their communications.
RELATED TAGS: [human environment/world/landscape, conquest of the planet, natural/sexual/cultural selection, language in prehistory, language-using creature/animal]
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