Are We Anthropodenial?

October 30, 2017 History

Are We in Anthropodenial? Through studies and observations by de Waal, the two terms anthromorphism and anthropodenial are said to be opposite from each other. Anthromorphism is the understanding and acceptance to inner life in other animals that are related to human characteristics. Anthropodenial is the denial or acceptance to the understanding of animal inner life that admits to other animals having any human characteristics.

What de Waal means by these two terms is that back from when the ancients looked at animals, they never considered looking at them with any kind of physical or emotional appearances that could be similar to those of humans. Rene Descartes is one who believed and lived an anthropodenial lifestyle, but once Charles Darwin made his opinion and studies known from an anthropomorphism view, all that that was believed of differentiates between animals and humans became an apparent controversy. Anthropomorphic’s positive perspectives are that it is a realization to the animal kingdom that doesn’t separate humans and animals on higher or lower scales.

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Although to interoperate anthropomorphism, it needs to be done within a larger view as one’s species’ social behavior within their own communities and as a “natural history. ” A negative perspective to anthropomorphism is that some people take it to a different level as in propaganda where cartoon characters are dressed and speak like humans but look like the animal they are, i. e. Micky Mouse and Donald Duck. Anthropodenial’s positive perspective is that it does keep the separation of animals and humans on an educated level, since humans are knowingly much wiser than any other species and have the capabilities that they do not have.

Even so, anthropodenial is mostly a negative perspective to compare humans and animals and claim that animals do not have feelings, negative or positive intents, or abilities as humans. It is a pure denial state of mind which is unhealthy and unrealistic. Being in denial of what other living things are capable of or have the same understandings as humans is very blinding way of living. Other primates have ways of greeting each other by grunting or yelling at each other from misinterpretations.

It is so similar to how humans interact that people who live in anthropodenial experience these similarities as “a nervous reaction caused by an uncomfortable resemblance. ” Based on class lectures, readings, discussions, and personal experiences, there is not a doubt in my mind that primate and even other animals possess the ability to feel and express intention. From reading about primates and even more clearly seeing how they really interact with each other in the films, there is no way to deny that they do not have feelings or intentions.

The nurturing of Flo and Flint and with FeeFee’s undeniable interest in him is very much like an older sister to baby brother. Also how they chimps would trick the baboons by acting crazy and waving branches to scare them away is a way of bluffing just like humans do. I train horses for a living and I even see human characteristics in them by how they intentionally do things to make me mad and also during trainings, they too get frustrated when they can’t figure something out. I believe that all animals, not just primates have human characteristics that visibly draw us all together as one.


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