List of alternative names for the human species  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
What Is Man?

In addition to the generally-accepted scientific classification Homo sapiens (Latin: "wise man" or "knowing man"), other Latin-based names for the human species have been created to refer to various aspects of the human character. Some of these are ironic of the self-ascribed nobility immanent in the choice of sapiens, others are serious suggestions as to what Human universals may be considered defining characteristics of the species.

The mixture of serious and tongue-in-cheek self-designation originates with Plato, who on one hand defined man as it were taxonomically as "featherless biped" and on the other as zōon politikon'', as "political" or "state-building animal" (Aristotle's term, based on Plato's Statesman).

Name Translation Notes
Homo amans "loving man", "loving people" man as a loving agent; Humberto Maturana 2008
Homo oeconomicus "economic man" man as a rational and self-interested agent.
Homo faber "toolmaker man"
"fabricator man"
"worker man"
Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx, Kenneth Oakley 1949, Max Frisch 1957, Hannah Arendt.
Homo generosus "generous man" suggested by popular science writer Tor Nørretranders in his book Generous Man on evolutionary theory and sociobiology.
Homo ludens "playing man" Friedrich Schiller 1795. Suggested by Dutch historian, cultural theorist and professor Johan Huizinga, in his book Homo Ludens. The characterization of human culture as essentially bearing the character of play.
Homo sociologicus "sociological man" parody term; the human as prone to sociology, Ralf Dahrendorf.
Homo loquens "talking man" man as the only animal capable of language, J. G. Herder 1772, J. F. Blumenbach 1779
Homo loquax "chattering man" parody variation of Homo loquens, used by Henri Bergson (1943), Tom Wolfe (2006), also in A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960).
Homo necans "killing man" Walter Burkert
Homo demens "mad man" man as the only being with irrational delusions. Edgar Morin 1975
Homo ridens "laughing man" G.B. Milner 1969
Homo sentimentalis "sentimental man" man born to a civilization of sentiment, who has raised feelings to a category of value; the human ability to empathize, but also to idealize emotions and make them servants of ideas. Milan Kundera in Immortality (1990), Eugene Halton in Bereft of Reason: On the Decline of Social Thought and Prospects for Its Renewal (1995).
Homo politicus "political man", "social man" zóon politikón, animal sociale, after Aristotle
Homo inermis "helpless man" man as defenseless, unprotected, devoid of animal instincts. J. F. Blumenbach 1779, J. G. Herder 1784-1791, Arnold Gehlen 1940
Homo creator "creator man" human creativity, Michael Landmann 1955, W.E. Mühlmann 1962
Homo pictor "depicting man", "man the artist" human sense of aesthetics, Hans Jonas 1961
Homo aestheticus "aesthetic man" human sense of aesthetics, tendency to create and enjoy art, Ellen Dissanayake 1992
Homo grammaticus "grammatical man" human use of grammar, language, Frank Palmer 1971
Homo imitans "imitating man" human capability of learning and adapting by imitation, Andrew N. Meltzoff 1988, Jürgen Lethmate 1992
Homo discens "learning man" human capability to learn and adapt, Heinrich Roth, Theodor Wilhelm
Homo educanus "to be educated" human need of education before reaching maturity, Heinrich Roth 1966
Homo investigans "investigating man" human curiosity and capability to learn by deduction, Werner Luck 1976
Homo excentricus "not self-centered" human capability for objectivity, human self-reflection, theory of mind, Helmuth Plessner 1928
Homo metaphysicus "metaphysical man" Arthur Schopenhauer 1819
Homo religiosus "religious man" Alister Hardy
Homo viator "pilgrim man" man as on his way towards finding God, Gabriel Marcel 1945
Homo patiens "suffering man" human capability for suffering, Victor Frankl 1988
Homo laborans "working man" human capability for division of labour, specialization and expertise in craftsmanship and, Theodor Litt 1948
animal laborans "laboring animal" Hannah Arendt
animal symbolicum "symbolizing animal" use of symbols, Ernst Cassirer 1944
animal rationabile "animal capable of rationality" Carl von Linné 1760, Immanuel Kant 1798
homo socius "social man" man as a social being. Inherent to humans as long as they have not lived entirely in isolation. Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann in The Social Construction of Reality (1966).
homo poetica "man the meaning maker" what separates man from other animals is his unrelenting search for meaning and significance. From Ernest Becker, in The Structure of Evil: "An Essay on the Unification of the Science of Man".
pan narrans "storytelling ape" man not only as an intelligent species, but also as the only one who tells stories. From "The Science of Discworld II: The Globe" by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen
pan sapiens or Homo troglodytes "man the ape" man as a member genus Pan.
homo technologicus "technological man" the consequence of the human ability to manipulate his or her environment.

See also

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