Piotr LenartowiczCorresponding author and Jolanta KoszteynCorresponding author

Fossil Hominids - an Empirical Premise of the Descriptive Definition of homo sapiens

5 – 2000, pages 141-176
Date of online publication: 30 November 2020
Date of publication: 30 November 2000


Since the discovery of the Neandertal bones 1856 (cfr Toussaint, 1996), the extremely old, fragmentary fossil remains of hundreds of man-like bodies have been discovered in Europe, Asia, and Africa (cfr Bonjean, 1996). Even the oldest ones - usually the most incomplete - look man-like and „un-apish", even to a layman, if compared with a modem apish and human correlate. Sometimes, in the vicinity of these remains, primitive stone tools or the evidence of their production have been found. At present, it seems absolutely certain — within the limits of our present physical and biological knowledge - that at least four million years ago, in Africa, some creatures resembling modern man were living, and that at least two and half million years ago, in Africa, stone
tools were produced. In contrast with the firm, scientifically-arguable belief that all modem human tribes - however different they are - belong to a single species (cfr Littlefield et al., 1982; Marks, 1995), in
paleoanthropology an equally firm scientific belief is maintained that the extinct man-like forms belong to several different, „presapient", „prehuman'', more ape-like species (cfr Wood, 1996).

Cite this article

Koszteyn, Jolanta, Lenartowicz, Piotr. "Fossil Hominids - an Empirical Premise of the Descriptive Definition of homo sapiens." Forum Philosophicum 5 (2000): 141–76. doi:10.35765/forphil.2000.0501.7.