In this piece (also for the New York Times) author Lawrence Berger talks about the conversation between the sciences and existentialists over what it truly means to be human. Many in the hard sciences believe we should seek to analyze the human person solely in terms of their physical selves and reduce the focus on human experience as a key to what it means to be a person. Berger argues otherwise.
“The thought is that our worldly presence matters for how things actually unfold, well beyond any physical or physiological processes that would purport to be the ultimate basis for human activity. So, for example, when we feel that someone is really listening to us, we feel more alive, we feel our true selves coming to the surface — this is the sense in which worldly presence matters.”