After a historical and systematic introduction, we will start with parts from Ernst Cassirer’s “An essay on man” and Marshal Sahlins (2008) challenging book “The Western Illusion of human nature” and related material on how different cultures conceptualize being human. We will then diversify our perspectives with selected scientific and philosophical papers from the recent collection “Arguing about human nature” (2013), ed. by Stephen M. Downes and Edouard Machery, and read further material pertinent to issues such as essentialism, genealogy, innateness, nature-nurture, dehumanization, normalcy, enhancement, pluralism versus unity of science.