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Human beings know how to make machines. But what kind of machine is a human being? and could we ever make one? in order to answer these questions, other questions get in the way: what is it like to be a human being? what is it like to be some other kind of animal? what is reality? what is consciousness? is there a god? what is love? why live? the questions proliferate. But all these questions can be viewed as facets of a single question: what is science? in 'how to make a human being' christopher potter shows how, at every scale of description, human beings escape the net of scientific reductionism. What it is to be human can be glimpsed in the details: in the opening of a window, in a shared joke. But cannot be caught by any reductive scientific description.