Manage episode 231686166 series 2502413
Some of the West biggest moral disputes, such as abortion, life support, and euthanasia, centre on defining life and death. Anthropology shows us that while the definition of “alive” is culturally specific, one commonality many cultures appear to share is two concepts. Biological life consists in breathing, heart beating and so on. What we could call civil life consists in having ritual status or personhood. In other words, ‘being alive’ is not simply breathing. Nor is it simply having ‘civil life’.
Copyright 2013 Nicholas Herriman / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Please contact for permissions.