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''Homo narrans'' ('storytelling human') is one of a number of binomial
names for the human species The common name of the Human, human species in English is historically ''Man (word), man'' (from :wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/mann-, Germanic), often replaced by the Latinate '':wikt:human, human'' (since the 16th century). In addition to t ...
modelled on the commonly used term ''
Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and large, complex brains. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, culture, and language. Humans are highl ...

Homo sapiens
'' ('wise human'). The term posits the primacy of storytelling over, for example, language or reasoning, in differentiating ''Homo sapiens'' from other species of the genus ''
Homo ''Homo'' () is the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), cir ...

Homo
''.


History

Scholarly use of the term may originate with the German ethnologist
Kurt Ranke Kurt Ranke (14 April 1908 – 6 June 1985) was a German ethnologist who specialized in the study of fairy tales. Biography Kurt Ranke was born in Blankenburg (Harz), Blankenburg, Germany on 14 April 1908. His father was a postal inspector. Growing ...
in a paper published in 1967. Another prominent coining of the term, apparently independent of Ranke's, was by the communications theorist Walter R. Fisher, who is often credited with originating the term. Fisher wrote that 'many different root metaphors have been put forth to represent the essential nature of human beings: ''
homo faber Homo Faber may refer to: * Homo faber ''Homo faber'' (Latin for "Human being, Man the Maker") is the concept that human beings are able to control their fate and their environment as a result of the use of tools. Original phrase In Latin litera ...
'', '' homo economicous'', ''
homo politicus ''Homo'' () is the genus that emerged in the (otherwise extinct) genus ''Australopithecus'' that encompasses the extant species ''Homo sapiens'' (Anatomically modern human, modern humans), plus several extinct species classified as either ancest ...
'', ''
homo sociologicus The term ''homo economicus'', or economic man, is the portrayal of humans as Agency (philosophy), agents who are consistently Rationality, rational and narrowly Rational egoism, self-interested, and who pursue their subjectively-defined ends Opti ...
'', "psychological man", "ecclesiastical man", ''homo sapiens'', and, of course, "rational man". I now propose ''homo narrans'' to be added to the list.'


Appearances in popular culture

The fantasy book '' The Science of Discworld II: The Globe'' concludes with the words 'plenty of creatures are intelligent but only one tells stories. That's us: ''
Pan Pan may refer to: Prefix *''Pan-'', a prefix A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it to the beginning of one word changes it into another word. For example, when the prefix ''un-'' is added to the word ''happy ...
narrans''. And what about ''Homo sapiens''? Yes, we think that would be a very good idea.'
Terry Pratchett Sir Terence David John Pratchett (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) was an English humorist A humorist (American English, American) or humourist (British English, British spelling) is an intellectual who uses humor, or wit, in writing or pu ...
, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen 2002.
(The last sentence is a call back to a quote attributed to
Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, Quote: "... marks Gandhi as a hybrid cosmopolitan figure who transformed ... anti-colonial nationalist politics in the t ...

Gandhi
, included in a footnote earlier in the book, when asked what he thought of civilisation on a visit to London.)


References

Humans Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are a species of hominid and the only surviving species of the genus ''Homo (genus), Homo''. There is only one extant subspecies, ''H. sapiens sapiens''. Humans are notable for their Intelligence (trait), intelligence, l ...
Latin philosophical phrases {{Latin-vocab-stub