Skip to content Skip to navigation

Stanford Course

Faculty involved in the Boundaries of Humanity project have taught multiple related courses over the past several years, for both graduate and undergraduate students. Below are some examples of topics and speakers.

Course Topic


Historical perspectives on human distinction and human flourishing

Jessica Riskin, Professor of History, and James Sheehan, Professor Emeritus of History, Stanford University

Course overview and Transcendent Man screening


Evolution and the emergence of the human

William H. Durham, Professor in Anthropology & Human Biology, Stanford University

Homo sapiens, the symbolic species

Terrence Deacon, Professor in Biological Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Human evolutionary ecology

Kim Hill, Professor of Anthropology, Arizona State University

Human Universals and Variations

William H. Durham, Professor in Anthropology & Human Biology, Stanford University

Embodied cognition: the conceptual groundings of symbolic and aesthetic capacities

William Hurlbut, Consulting Professor in Neurobiology, Stanford University

Distinguishing aspects of human social psychology

Jeanne Tsai, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

Common and distinctive patterns in genetics and human developmental neurobiology

David Kingsley, Professor of Developmental Biology, Stanford University

The inevitability of human intelligence

Simon Conway Morris, Professor of Palaeobiology, University of Cambridge

Clones, Chimeras, and Human Hybrids

Stuart Newman, Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, New York Medical College

Humans and machines: current and future cyborg possibilities

Paul Nuyujukian, Postdoctoral scholar, Neurosurgery, Stanford University

Distinguishing characteristics of human cognition

Andrew Meltzoff, Professor in Psychology, University of Washington

Distinguishing characteristics of human emotions

David Lyons, Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

Unique Characteristics of Human Social Psychology

Jamil Zaki, Assistant Professor, Psychology, Stanford University

Neuroaesthetics: the elevation of uniquely human abilities

Blakey Vermeule, Professor of English, Stanford University

Humans, Computers, and Robots

Trevor Blackwell, Researcher at Y Combinator

Transcendent Man: the Vision of Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil, Chief Engineer and Renowned Futurist, Google

Course Reflection:  What are the boundaries we have found?  How will they shape the human future?