Anthropomorphism

Anthropomorphism

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Anthropomorphism is any attribution of human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities. The term was coined in the mid 1700s. Examples include animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s and plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

s and forces of nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 such as winds
WINDS
WINDS , is a Japanese communication satellite. Launch was originally scheduled for 2007. The launch date was eventually set for 15 February 2008, however a problem detected in a second stage manoeuvring thruster delayed it to 23 February...

, rain
Rain
Rain is liquid precipitation, as opposed to non-liquid kinds of precipitation such as snow, hail and sleet. Rain requires the presence of a thick layer of the atmosphere to have temperatures above the melting point of water near and above the Earth's surface...

 or the sun
Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

 depicted as creatures with human motivations, and/or the abilities to reason
Reason
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

 and converse. The term derives from the combination of the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

  (), "human" and (), "shape" or "form".

As a literary device, anthropomorphism is strongly associated with art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 and storytelling where it has ancient roots. Most cultures possess a long-standing fable
Fable
A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized , and that illustrates a moral lesson , which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.A fable differs from...

 tradition with anthropomorphised animals as characters that can stand as commonly recognised types of human behavior. In contrast to this, such religious doctrines as the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 Great Chain of Being propound the opposite, anthropocentric belief that animals, plants and non-living things, unlike humans, lack spiritual
Spiritual
Spiritual may refer to:*Spirituality, a concern with matters of the spirit*Spiritual , an African American song, usually with a Christian religious text...

 and mental attributes, immortal soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

s, and anything other than relatively limited awareness.

Pre-history


From the beginnings of human behavioural modernity in the Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity and before the advent of...

, about 40,000 years ago, examples of zoomorphic (animal-shaped) works of art occur that may represent the earliest evidence we have of anthropomorphism. One of the oldest known is an ivory
Ivory
Ivory is a term for dentine, which constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals, when used as a material for art or manufacturing. Ivory has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes, joint tubes, piano keys and...

 sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, the Lion man of the Hohlenstein Stadel, Germany, a human-shaped figurine
Figurine
A figurine is a statuette that represents a human, deity or animal. Figurines may be realistic or iconic, depending on the skill and intention of the creator. The earliest were made of stone or clay...

 with a lion's head, determined to be about 32,000 years old.

It is not possible to say what exactly these prehistoric artworks represent. A more recent example is The Sorcerer
The Sorcerer (cave art)
The Sorcerer is one name for an enigmatic cave painting found in the cavern known as 'The Sanctuary' at Trois-Frères, Ariège, France, made around 13,000 BC. The figure's significance is unknown, but it is usually interpreted as some kind of great spirit or master of the animals...

, an enigmatic cave painting from the Trois-Frères Cave, Ariège
Ariège
Ariège is a department in southwestern France named after the Ariège River.- History :Ariège is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from the counties of Foix and Couserans....

, France: the figure's significance is unknown, but it is usually interpreted as some kind of great spirit or master of the animals. In either case there is an element of anthropomorphism.

This anthropomorphic art has been linked by archaeologist Steven Mithen
Steven Mithen
Steve Mithen is a Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading. He has written a number of books including The Singing Neanderthals and The Prehistory of the Mind: The Cognitive Origins of Art, Religion and Science.-See also:...

 with the emergence of more systematic hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 practices in the Upper Palaeolithic (Mithen 1998). He proposes that these are the product of a change in the architecture of the human mind
Modularity of mind
Modularity of mind is the notion that a mind may, at least in part, be composed of separate innate structures which have established evolutionarily developed functional purposes...

, an increasing fluidity
Cognitive fluidity
Cognitive fluidity is a term first popularly applied by Steven Mithen in his book The Prehistory of the Mind, a search for the origins of Art, Religion and Science....

 between the natural history
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

 and social intelligences, where anthropomorphism allowed hunters to empathetically
Empathy
Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B...

 identify with hunted animals and better predict their movements.

In religion and mythology



In religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 and mythology
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

, anthropomorphism refers to the perception of a divine being or beings in human form, or the recognition of human qualities in these beings. Many mythologies are concerned with anthropomorphic deities
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

 who express human characteristics such as jealousy
Jealousy
Jealousy is a second emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of presenting emotions...

, hatred
Hatred
Hatred is a deep and emotional extreme dislike, directed against a certain object or class of objects. The objects of such hatred can vary widely, from inanimate objects to animals, oneself or other people, entire groups of people, people in general, existence, or the whole world...

, or love
Love
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

. The Greek gods
Family tree of the Greek gods
Key: The essential Olympians' names are given in bold font.Key: The Names marked in green are the titans...

, such as Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 and Apollo, were often depicted in human form exhibiting human traits. Anthropomorphism in this case is referred to as anthropotheism
Anthropotheism
Anthropotheism is ascribing human form and nature to gods, or the belief that gods are only deified human beings. Associated with classical Greek and Roman beliefs, a type of anthropotheism finds a modern expression in the Mormon world-view of eternal progression. Vestiges of Hebrew...

.

Numerous sect
Sect
A sect is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs. Although in past it was mostly used to refer to religious groups, it has since expanded and in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and...

s throughout history have been called anthropomorphites attributing such things as hands and eyes to their god, including a sect
Sect
A sect is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs. Although in past it was mostly used to refer to religious groups, it has since expanded and in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and...

 in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in the 4th century, and a 10th-century sect, who literally interpreted Genesis 1:27: "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them".

From the perspective of adherents to religions in which humans were created in the form of the divine, the phenomenon
Phenomenon
A phenomenon , plural phenomena, is any observable occurrence. Phenomena are often, but not always, understood as 'appearances' or 'experiences'...

 may be considered theomorphism
Theomorphism
Theomorphism, from Greek θεος, theos and μορφη, morphē , refers to the bestowal of divine attributes on humanity. The term literally means "God-shaped", corresponding to the Hebrew name Michael. Islam, Christianity and Judaism teach that "God created man in his own image"...

, or the giving of divine qualities to humans.

Criticism


Some religions, scholars, and philosophers found objections to anthropomorphic deities. The Greek philosopher Xenophanes
Xenophanes
of Colophon was a Greek philosopher, theologian, poet, and social and religious critic. Xenophanes life was one of travel, having left Ionia at the age of 25 he continued to travel throughout the Greek world for another 67 years. Some scholars say he lived in exile in Siciliy...

 (570–480 BC) said that "the greatest god" resembles man "neither in form nor in mind". Anthropomorphism of God is rejected by Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, which both believe that God is beyond human limits of physical comprehension. Judaism's rejection grew during the Hasmonean
Hasmonean
The Hasmonean dynasty , was the ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE, the dynasty ruled semi-autonomously from the Seleucids in the region of Judea...

 period (circa 300 BC) due to Greek philosophy becoming incorporated in Jewish belief. Judaism's rejection grew further following the Muslim Renaissance (10 century AD) later codified in 13 principles of Jewish faith authored by Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

 in the 12th century.

Hindus do not reject the concept
Concept
The word concept is used in ordinary language as well as in almost all academic disciplines. Particularly in philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences the term is much used and much discussed. WordNet defines concept: "conception, construct ". However, the meaning of the term concept is much...

 of God in the abstract
Abstract art
Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an...

 unmanifested but note problems; Lord Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
The ' , also more simply known as Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, but is frequently treated as a freestanding text, and in particular, as an Upanishad in its own right, one of the several books that constitute general Vedic tradition...

, Chapter 12, Verse 5, that it is much more difficult to focus on God as the unmanifested than God with form, i.e., using anthropomorphic icons (murtis), due to human beings having the need to perceive via the senses.

In his book Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion, Stewart Guthrie theorizes that all religions are anthropomorphisms that originate due to the brain's tendency to detect the presence or vestiges of other humans in natural phenomena.

Fables



Anthropomorphism, sometimes referred to as personification, is a well established literary device from ancient times. It extends back to before Aesop's Fables
Aesop's Fables
Aesop's Fables or the Aesopica are a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. The fables remain a popular choice for moral education of children today...

 in 6th century BC Greece and the collections of linked fables from India, the Jataka Tales and Panchatantra
Panchatantra
The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian inter-related collection of animal fables in verse and prose, in a frame story format. The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sharma...

, which employ anthropomorphised animals to illustrate principles of life. Many of the stereotypes of animals
Stereotypes of animals
When anthropomorphising a animal there are stereotypical traits which commonly tend to be associated with particular species. Often these are simply exaggerations of real aspects or behaviours of the creature in question, while other times the stereotype is taken from mythology and the true...

 that are recognised today, such as the wiley fox
Fox
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids , characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail .Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to...

 and the proud lion
Lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

, can be found in these collections. Aesop's anthropomorphisms were so familiar by the 1st century AD that they coloured the thinking of at least one philosopher:
Apollonius noted that the fable was created to teach wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

 through fiction
Fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

s that are meant to be taken as fictions, contrasting them favourably with the poets' stories of the gods
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 that are sometimes taken literally. Aesop, "by announcing a story which everyone knows not to be true, told the truth by the very fact that he did not claim to be relating real events". The same consciousness of the fable as fiction is to be found in other examples across the world, one example being a traditional Ashanti way of beginning tales of the anthropomorphic trickster
Trickster
In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior. It is suggested by Hansen that the term "Trickster" was probably first used in this...

-spider
Spider
Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms...

 Anansi
Anansi
Anansi the trickster is a spider, and is one of the most important characters of West African and Caribbean folklore.He is also known as Ananse, Kwaku Ananse, and Anancy; and in the Southern United States he has evolved into Aunt Nancy. He is a spider, but often acts and appears as a man...

: "We do not really mean, we do not really mean that what we are about to say is true. A story, a story; let it come, let it go."

Fairy tales


Anthropomorphic motifs have been common in fairy tales from the earliest ancient examples set in a mythological context to the great collections of the Brothers Grimm
Grimm's Fairy Tales
Children's and Household Tales is a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. The collection is commonly known today as Grimms' Fairy Tales .-Composition:...

 and Perrault
Charles Perrault
Charles Perrault was a French author who laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from pre-existing folk tales. The best known include Le Petit Chaperon rouge , Cendrillon , Le Chat Botté and La Barbe bleue...

. The Tale of Two Brothers
Tale of Two Brothers
The Tale of Two Brothers is an ancient Egyptian story that dates from the reign of Seti II, who ruled from 1200 to 1194 BC during the 19th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. The story is preserved on the Papyrus D'Orbiney, which is currently preserved in the British Museum. The British Museum dates the...

(Egypt, 13th century BC) features several talking cows and in Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche , is a legend that first appeared as a digressionary story told by an old woman in Lucius Apuleius' novel, The Golden Ass, written in the 2nd century CE. Apuleius likely used an earlier tale as the basis for his story, modifying it to suit the thematic needs of his novel.It has...

(Rome, 2nd century AD) Zephyrus, the west wind, carries Psyche
Psyche
- Psychology :* Psyche , a concept of intangible self* Psyche , a periodical on the study of consciousness* Soul in the Bible, or psyche , spirit or soul in philosophy and theology- Art :...

 away. Later an ant
Ant
Ants are social insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than...

 feels sorry for her and helps her in her quest.

Modern literature



Building on the popularity of fables and fairy tales, specifically children's literature
Children's literature
Children's literature is for readers and listeners up to about age twelve; it is often defined in four different ways: books written by children, books written for children, books chosen by children, or books chosen for children. It is often illustrated. The term is used in senses which sometimes...

 began to emerge in the 19th century with works such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures...

(1865
1865 in literature
The year 1865 in literature involved some significant new books.-Events:* June 9 - Charles Dickens is involved in the Staplehurst rail crash....

) by Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll , was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the...

, The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883
1883 in literature
The year 1883 in literature involved some significant new books.-New books:*Mary Elizabeth Braddon - Phantom Fortune*Rhoda Broughton - Belinda*Wilkie Collins - Heart and Science*Jonas Lie - Familien paa Gilje ...

) by Carlo Collodi
Carlo Collodi
Carlo Lorenzini , better known by the pen name Carlo Collodi, was an Italian children's writer known for the world-renowned fairy tale novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio.-Biography:...

 and The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book is a collection of stories by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling. The stories were first published in magazines in 1893–4. The original publications contain illustrations, some by Rudyard's father, John Lockwood Kipling. Kipling was born in India and spent the first six...

(1894
1894 in literature
The year 1894 in literature involved some significant new books.-Events:*Robert Frost sells his first poem, "My Butterfly", to The New York Independent for fifteen dollars.*Hermann Hesse begins his apprenticeship at a factory in Calw....

) by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

, all employing anthropomorphic elements. This continued in the 20th century with many of the most popular titles having anthropomorphic characters, examples being The Tales of Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter
Helen Beatrix Potter was an English author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist best known for her imaginative children’s books featuring animals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit which celebrated the British landscape and country life.Born into a privileged Unitarian...

(1901 onwards
1901 in literature
The year 1901 in literature involved some significant new books.-Events:* First Nobel Prize for Literature awarded, to French poet Sully Prudhomme; many are outraged when Leo Tolstoy does not win...

), The Wind in the Willows
The Wind in the Willows
The Wind in the Willows is a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England...

(1908
1908 in literature
The year 1908 in literature involved some significant new books.-New books:*Afawarq Gabra Iyasus - Libb Wolled Tārīk , the first novel in Amharic*Leonid Andreyev - The Seven Who Were Hanged...

) by Kenneth Grahame
Kenneth Grahame
Kenneth Grahame was a Scottish writer, most famous for The Wind in the Willows , one of the classics of children's literature. He also wrote The Reluctant Dragon; both books were later adapted into Disney films....

, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis. Published in 1950 and set circa 1940, it is the first-published book of The Chronicles of Narnia and is the best known book of the series. Although it was written and published first, it is second in the series'...

by C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

 and Winnie-the-Pooh
Winnie-the-Pooh (book)
Winnie-the-Pooh is the first volume of stories about Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne. It is followed by The House at Pooh Corner. The book focuses on the adventures of a teddy bear called Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends Piglet, a small toy pig; Eeyore, a toy donkey; Owl, a live owl; and Rabbit, a...

(1926
1926 in literature
The year 1926 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Bread Loaf Writers' Conference is founded in Middlebury, Vermont....

) by A. A. Milne
A. A. Milne
Alan Alexander Milne was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work.-Biography:A. A...

.
In many of these stories the animals can be seen as representing facets of human personality and character. As John Rowe Townsend
John Rowe Townsend
John Rowe Townsend is a British children's author and academic. His best-known children's novel is The Intruder, which won a 1971 Edgar Award and the best-known academic work is Written for Children: An Outline of English Language Children's Literature , the definitive work of its time on the...

 remarks, discussing The Jungle Book in which the boy Mowgli
Mowgli
Mowgli is a fictional character from India who originally appeared in Rudyard Kipling's short story "In the Rukh" and then went on to become the most prominent and memorable character in his fantasies, The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book , which also featured stories about other...

 must rely on his new friends the bear Baloo
Baloo
Baloo is the fictional bear featured in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book from 1894 and The Second Jungle Book from 1895.-Name and species:He is described in Kipling's work as "the sleepy brown bear"...

 and the black panther Bagheera
Bagheera
Bagheera the black-toned Indian Leopard is an animal fictional character in Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli stories in The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book...

, "The world of the jungle is in fact both itself and our world as well". Another notable work is George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

's Animal Farm
Animal Farm
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II...

.

The fantasy
Juvenile fantasy
Juvenile fantasy is children's literature with fantasy elements: fantasy intended for readers not yet adult.The protagonists are usually children or teens who have unique abilities, gifts, possessions or even allies that allow them to face powerful adversaries...

 genre developed from mythological, fairy tale and Romance
Romance (genre)
As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a style of heroic prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight errant portrayed as...

 motifs and characters, sometimes with anthropomorphic animals. The best-selling examples of the genre are The Hobbit
The Hobbit
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, better known by its abbreviated title The Hobbit, is a fantasy novel and children's book by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald...

' (1937) and The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy epic written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit , but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in...

(1954–1955), both by J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

, books peopled with talking creatures such as ravens, spiders and the dragon Smaug
Smaug
Smaug is a fictional character in the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. He is a dragon, and the main antagonist within the story.-The Hobbit:...

 and a multitude of anthropomorphic goblins and elves. John D. Rateliff calls this the "Doctor Dolittle
Doctor Dolittle
Doctor John Dolittle is the central character of a series of children's books by Hugh Lofting starting with the 1920 The Story of Doctor Dolittle. He is a doctor who shuns human patients in favour of animals, with whom he can speak in their own languages...

 Theme" in his book The History of the Hobbit and Tolkien saw this anthropomorphism as closely linked to the emergence of human language and myth: "...The first men to talk of 'trees and stars' saw things very differently. To them, the world was alive with mythological beings... To them the whole of creation was "myth-woven and elf-patterned".'

In the 20th century, the children's picture book
Picture book
A picture book combines visual and verbal narratives in a book format, most often aimed at young children. The images in picture books use a range of media such as oil paints, acrylics, watercolor and pencil.Two of the earliest books with something like the format picture books still retain now...

 market expanded massively. Perhaps a majority of picture books have some kind of anthropomorphism, with popular examples being The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a children's picture book designed, illustrated and written by Eric Carle, first published by the World Publishing Company in 1969, later published by Penguin Putnam. The book follows a caterpillar as it eats its way through a wide variety of foodstuffs before...

(1969) by Eric Carle
Eric Carle
Eric Carle is a children's book author and illustrator who is most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 50 languages...

 and The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo is a children's book by writer and playwright Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, that tells the story of a mouse's walk in the woods...

(1999) by Julia Donaldson
Julia Donaldson
Julia Catherine Donaldson MBE is an English writer and playwright, best known as author of The Gruffalo and other children's books, many illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Of her 157 published works, 56 are widely available in bookshops...

.

Anthropomorphism in literature and other media led to a sub-culture known as Furry fandom
Furry fandom
Furry fandom is a fandom for fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, the ability to speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothes...

, which promotes and creates stories and artwork involving anthropomorphic animals, and the examination and interpretation of humanity through anthropomorphism.

Film and television


Some of the most notable examples are the Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

 characters, Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

, Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Donald Fauntleroy Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor suit with a cap and a black or red bow tie. Donald is most...

, Goofy
Goofy
Goofy is a cartoon character created in 1932 at Walt Disney Productions. Goofy is a tall, anthropomorphic dog, and typically wears a turtle neck and vest, with pants, shoes, white gloves, and a tall hat originally designed as a rumpled fedora. Goofy is a close friend of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck...

, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is an anthropomorphic rabbit and animated cartoon character created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney for films distributed by Universal Pictures in the 1920s and 1930s...

; the Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes is a Warner Bros. animated cartoon series. It preceded the Merrie Melodies series and was Warner Bros.'s first animated theatrical series. Since its first official release, 1930's Sinkin' in the Bathtub, the series has become a worldwide media franchise, spawning several television...

 characters, Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny is a animated character created in 1938 at Leon Schlesinger Productions, later Warner Bros. Cartoons. Bugs is an anthropomorphic gray rabbit and is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality and his portrayal as a trickster. He has primarily appeared in animated cartoons, most...

, Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons, often running the gamut between being the best friend and sometimes arch-rival of Bugs Bunny...

, Porky Pig
Porky Pig
Porky Pig is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. He was the first character created by the studio to draw audiences based on his star power, and the animators created many critically acclaimed shorts using the fat little pig...

; and an array of others from the 1920s to present day.

Since the 1960s, anthropomorphism has also been represented in various animated
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

 TV shows such as Biker Mice From Mars
Biker Mice from Mars
Biker Mice from Mars is a science fiction animated series created by Rick Ungar that began airing in 1993 in the United States and lasted for three seasons before it was cancelled...

(1993–1996) and SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is an animated series for television created by Christian and Yvon Tremblay and produced by Hanna-Barbera and Turner Program Services. Every episode of the series was directed by Robert Alvarez. The bulk of the series was written by either Glenn Leopold or Lance Falk...

(1993–1995). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a fictional team of four teenage anthropomorphic turtles, who were trained by their anthropomorphic rat sensei in the art of ninjutsu and named after four Renaissance artists...

, first aired in 1987, features four pizza-loving anthropomorphic turtles with a great knowledge of ninjutsu, led by their anthropomorphic rat sensei, Master Splinter.

TUGS
TUGS
TUGS is a British children's television series, first broadcast in 1988. It was created by the producers of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, Robert D. Cardona and David Mitton. The series dealt with the adventures of two anthropomorphized tugboat fleets, the Star Fleet and the Z-Stacks, who...

(1988) is a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 children's series, set in the 1920s, featuring anthropomorphic tugboat
Tugboat
A tugboat is a boat that maneuvers vessels by pushing or towing them. Tugs move vessels that either should not move themselves, such as ships in a crowded harbor or a narrow canal,or those that cannot move by themselves, such as barges, disabled ships, or oil platforms. Tugboats are powerful for...

s. They moved like real boats but would sometimes perform certain actions without the aid of humans although not seen. Like real boats they obeyed maritime laws but would sometimes perform actions of their own will.

Sonic the Hedgehog, a game released in 1991, features a speedy blue hedgehog as the protagonist. This series' characters are almost all anthropomorphic animals such as foxes, cats, and other hedgehogs who are able to speak and walk on their hind legs like normal humans. As with most anthropomorphisms of animals, clothing is of little or no importance, where some characters may be fully clothed while some only wear shoes and gloves.

A Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

-New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

-American animated TV show called Turbo Dogs
Turbo Dogs
Turbo Dogs is a television show that airs on Qubo and Kids' CBC. The show is based on the book Racer Dogs by Bob Kolar. The show premiered on October 3, 2008.-Premise:...

(2008) starred anthro dog characters.
In 2010
2010 in television
2010 in television may refer to:*2010 in American television*2010 in Australian television*2010 in British television*2010 in Canadian television*2010 in Japanese television...

, a French-American
French American
French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

 animated TV show The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog
The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog
The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog, a.k.a. Les Mystères d'Alfred, is an animated French-Canadian co-production made by Gaumont-Alphanim with distribution by Muse Entertainment Enterprises that airs on several broadcast and cable networks around the world. The show's characters consist of mainly...

was mostly consisted of woodland
Woodland
Ecologically, a woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of...

 anthropomorphic characters.

The films Cars
Cars (film)
Cars is a 2006 American animated family film produced by Pixar and directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by Joe Ranft. It is the seventh Disney·Pixar feature film, and Pixar's final, independently-produced motion picture before its purchase by Disney...

(2006) and Cars 2
Cars 2
Cars 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated action film produced by Pixar, and it is the sequel to the 2006 film, Cars. In the film, race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck Mater head to Japan and Europe to compete in the World Grand Prix, but Mater becomes sidetracked with international espionage...

(2011), all the characters are anthropomorphized vehicles.

A British TV show, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (now named Thomas and Friends) features anthropomorphised trains, planes, helicopters and cars.

In the motion picture Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fantastic Mr. Fox (film)
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a 2009 American stop-motion animated film based on the Roald Dahl children's novel of the same name. This story is about a fox who steals food each night from three mean and wealthy farmers. The farmers are fed up with Mr Fox's theft and try to kill him, so they dig their way...

(2010), most of the characters are anthropomorphic animals very similar to the style of Furry Fandom
Furry fandom
Furry fandom is a fandom for fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, the ability to speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothes...

. They are given especially human characteristics such as the same body shape, hands, clothing, among other things.

Koochie Koochie Hota Hai
Koochie Koochie Hota Hai
Koochie Koochie Hota Hai is an upcoming Computer-animated Bollywood film directed by Tarun Mansukhani and Vishal Sonawane. The voice-over for the lead anthropomorphic characters has been given by Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Sanjay Dutt, Riteish Deshmukh, Anupam Kher, Uday Chopra and Simi...

(2012), an animated Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 remake of the film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is a Hindi romantic comedy film, released in India and the United Kingdom on 16 October 1998. The film was written and directed by the debuting Karan Johar and stars the popular on-screen pair of Shahrukh Khan and Kajol in their fourth movie together...

(1998), will feature three anthropomorphic dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

s (one female and two males) and a supporting cast of anthro farm
Farm
A farm is an area of land, or, for aquaculture, lake, river or sea, including various structures, devoted primarily to the practice of producing and managing food , fibres and, increasingly, fuel. It is the basic production facility in food production. Farms may be owned and operated by a single...

 animals.

Claes Oldenburg


Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg is a Swedish sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring very large replicas of everyday objects...

's soft sculptures are commonly described as anthropomorphic. Depicting common household objects, Oldenburg's sculptures were considered Pop Art
Pop art
Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop art challenged tradition by asserting that an artist's use of the mass-produced visual commodities of popular culture is contiguous with the perspective of fine art...

. Reproducing these objects, often at a greater size than the original, Oldenburg created his sculptures out of soft materials. The anthropomorphic qualities of the sculptures were mainly in their sagging and malleable exterior which mirrored the not so idealistic forms of the human body. In "Soft Light Switches" Oldenburg creates a household light switch out of Vinyl. The two identical switches, in a dulled orange, insinuate nipples. The soft vinyl references the aging process as the sculpture wrinkles and sinks with time.

Minimalism


In the essay "Art and Objecthood", Michael Fried makes the case that "Literalist art" (Minimalism
Minimalism
Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is set out to expose the essence, essentials or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts...

) becomes theatrical by means of anthropomorphism. The viewer engages the minimalist work, not as a autonomous art object, but as a theatrical interaction. Fried references a conversation in which Tony Smith answers questions about his "six-foot cube, Die."

Q: Why didn't you make it larger so that it would loom over the observer?
A: I was not making a monument.
Q: then why didn't you make it smaller so that the observer could see over the top?
A: I was not making an object.

Fried implies an anthropomorphic connection by means of "a surrogate person-that is, a kind of statue."

The minimalist decision of "hollowness" in much of their work, was also considered by Fried, to be "blatantly anthropomorphic." This "hollowness" contributes to the idea of a separate inside; an idea mirrored in the human form. Fried considers the Literalist art's "hollowness" to be "biomorphic" as it references a living organism.

Post Minimalism


Curator Lucy Lippard's Eccentric Abstraction show, in 1966, sets up Briony Fer's writing of a post minimalist anthropomorphism. Reacting to Fried's interpretation of minimalist art's "looming presence of objects which appear as actors might on a stage", Fer interprets the artists in Eccentric Abstraction to a new form of anthropomorphism. She puts forth the thoughts of Surrealist writer Roger Caillous, who speaks of the "spacial lure of the subject, the way in which the subject could inhabit their surroundings." Caillous uses the example of an insect who "through camouflage does so in order to become invisible... and loses its distinctness." For Fer, the anthropomorphic qualities of imitation found in the erotic, organic sculptures of artists Eva Hesse
Eva Hesse
Eva Hesse , was a German-born American sculptor, known for her pioneering work in materials such as latex, fiberglass, and plastics. -Early life:Hesse was born into a family of observant Jews in Hamburg, Germany...

 and Louise Bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois
Louise Joséphine Bourgeois , was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, best known for her contributions to both modern and contemporary art, and for her spider structures, titled Maman, which resulted in her being nicknamed the Spiderwoman...

, are not necessarily for strictly "mimetic" purposes. Instead, like the insect, the work must come into being in the "scopic field... which we cannot view from outside."

Ideas about objectivity


In the scientific community, using anthropomorphic language that suggests animals have intentions and emotions has been deprecated as indicating a lack of objectivity
Objectivity (science)
Objectivity in science is a value that informs how science is practiced and how scientific truths are created. It is the idea that scientists, in attempting to uncover truths about the natural world, must aspire to eliminate personal biases, a priori commitments, emotional involvement, etc...

. Biologists
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 have avoided the assumption that animals share any of the same mental, social, and emotional capacities of humans, relying instead on the strictly observable evidence. Animals should be considered, as Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a famous Russian physiologist. Although he made significant contributions to psychology, he was not in fact a psychologist himself but was a mathematician and actually had strong distaste for the field....

 wrote in 1927, "without any need to resort to fantastic speculations as to the existence of any possible subjective states". More recently, The Oxford companion to animal behaviour (1987) advises "one is well advised to study the behaviour rather than attempting to get at any underlying emotion".

Scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 involves observation
Observation
Observation is either an activity of a living being, such as a human, consisting of receiving knowledge of the outside world through the senses, or the recording of data using scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during this activity...

, definition
Definition
A definition is a passage that explains the meaning of a term , or a type of thing. The term to be defined is the definiendum. A term may have many different senses or meanings...

, and measurement
Measurement
Measurement is the process or the result of determining the ratio of a physical quantity, such as a length, time, temperature etc., to a unit of measurement, such as the metre, second or degree Celsius...

 of the subject
Subject
-Philosophy:*Hypokeimenon or subiectum, in metaphysics, the essential being of a thing**Subject , a being that has subjective experiences, subjective consciousness, or a relationship with another entity...

 of inquiry; empathy
Empathy
Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B...

 is not generally seen as a useful tool. While it is not unknown for scientists to lapse into anthropomorphism to make the objects of their study more humanly comprehensible or memorable, they often do it with an apology
Apology
Apology or Apologize may refer to:* Apologetics, the systematic defense of a position** Christian apologetics, the defense of Christianity* Apology , Plato's recording of Socrates' defense at trial...

.

Despite the impact of Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

's ideas in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals is a book by Charles Darwin, published in 1872, concerning genetically determined aspects of behaviour. It was published thirteen years after On The Origin of Species and is, along with his 1871 book The Descent of Man, Darwin's main consideration...

(Konrad Lorenz
Konrad Lorenz
Konrad Zacharias Lorenz was an Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch...

 in 1965 called him a "patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

" of ethology
Ethology
Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a sub-topic of zoology....

) ethology has generally focused on behaviour, not on emotion in animals
Emotion in animals
There is no scientific consensus on emotion in animals, that is, what emotions certain species of animals, including humans, feel. The debate concerns primarily mammals and birds, although emotions have also been postulated for other vertebrates and even for some invertebrates.Animal lovers,...

. Though in other ways Darwin was and is the epitome of science, his acceptance of anecdote and naive
Naïve
Naivety , is the state of being naive—having or showing a lack of experience, understanding or sophistication. One who is naive may be called a naif.- Etymology :...

 anthropomorphism stands out in sharp contrast to the lengths to which later scientists would go to overlook apparent mindedness, selfhood, individuality and agency
Agency
Agency may refer to:* Agency * Agency , refers to a person who acts on behalf of another person.* Agency * Agency , the ability of social actors to make independent choices....

:

Use of anthropomorphism


The study of great apes
Great Apes
Great Apes may refer to*Great apes, species in the biological family Hominidae, including humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans*Great Apes , a 1997 novel by Will Self...

 in their own environment has changed attitudes to anthropomorphism. In the 1960s the three so-called "Leakey's Angels
Leakey's Angels
Leakey's Angels is a relatively recent name given to three women sent by archaeologist Louis Leakey to study primates in their natural environments. The three are Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birutė Galdikas...

", Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall
Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE , is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National...

 studying chimpanzee
Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:...

s, Dian Fossey
Dian Fossey
Dian Fossey was an American zoologist who undertook an extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years. She studied them daily in the mountain forests of Rwanda, initially encouraged to work there by famous anthropologist Louis Leakey...

 studying gorilla
Gorilla
Gorillas are the largest extant species of primates. They are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and either four or five subspecies...

s and Biruté Galdikas
Birute Galdikas
Birutė Marija Filomena Galdikas, OC , is a primatologist, conservationist, ethologist, and author of several books relating to the endangered orangutan, particularly the Bornean orangutan. Well known in the field of modern primatology, Galdikas is recognized as a leading authority on orangutans...

 studying orangutang
Orangutang
Orangutang was a rock band from Boston.The members were Christian Dyas on vocals and guitar, Joe Klompus on bass, David Steele on guitar, and Todd Perlmutter on drums...

s, were all accused of "that worst of ethological sins — anthropomorphism". The change was brought about by their descriptions of the great apes in the field; it is now more widely accepted that empathy has an important part to play in research. As Frans de Waal
Frans de Waal
Fransiscus Bernardus Maria de Waal, PhD , is a Dutch primatologist and ethologist. He is the Charles Howard Candler professor of Primate Behavior in the Emory University psychology department in Atlanta, Georgia, and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research...

 writes: "To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo
Taboo
A taboo is a strong social prohibition relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs and or scientific consensus. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society...

. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental, about both animals and us." Alongside this has come increasing awareness of the linguistic abilities
Great Ape language
Research into non-human great ape language has involved teaching chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans to communicate with human beings and with each other using sign language, physical tokens, and lexigrams; see Yerkish...

 of the great apes and the recognition that they are tool-makers and have individuality and .

In sports


Anthropomorphic animals are often used as mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

s for sports teams or sporting events, often represented by humans in costume
Costume
The term costume can refer to wardrobe and dress in general, or to the distinctive style of dress of a particular people, class, or period. Costume may also refer to the artistic arrangement of accessories in a picture, statue, poem, or play, appropriate to the time, place, or other circumstances...

s.

See also



  • Aniconism
    Aniconism
    Aniconism is the practice or belief in avoiding or shunning images of divine beings, prophets or other respected religious figures, or in different manifestations, any human beings or living creatures. The term aniconic may be used to describe the absence of graphic representations in a particular...

    : antithetic concept
  • Animism
    Animism
    Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

  • Anthropomorphic modeling language
    Modeling language
    A modeling language is any artificial language that can be used to express information or knowledge or systems in a structure that is defined by a consistent set of rules...

     Service-oriented modeling framework
  • Anthropic principle
    Anthropic principle
    In astrophysics and cosmology, the anthropic principle is the philosophical argument that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it. Some proponents of the argument reason that it explains why the Universe has the age and the fundamental...

  • Anthropocentrism
    Anthropocentrism
    Anthropocentrism describes the tendency for human beings to regard themselves as the central and most significant entities in the universe, or the assessment of reality through an exclusively human perspective....

  • Anthropology
    Anthropology
    Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

  • Great Chain of Being
    Great chain of being
    The great chain of being , is a Christian concept detailing a strict, religious hierarchical structure of all matter and life, believed to have been decreed by the Christian God.-Divisions:...

  • Humanoid
    Humanoid
    A humanoid is something that has an appearance resembling a human being. The term first appeared in 1912 to refer to fossils which were morphologically similar to, but not identical with, those of the human skeleton. Although this usage was common in the sciences for much of the 20th century, it...

  • Kemono
    Kemono
    is a genre of Japanese art and character design that prominently features anthropomorphic animal characters. It is used widely in visual arts, especially drawing and painting, and can be found in manga, anime, and video game works...

  • List of anthropomorphic personifications
  • Moe anthropomorphism
    Moé anthropomorphism
    is a form of anthropomorphism where moe qualities are given to non-human beings, objects, concepts, or phenomena. In addition to moe features, moe anthropomorphisms are also characterized by their accessories, which serve to emphasize their original forms before anthropomorphosis...

  • National personification
    National personification
    A national personification is an anthropomorphization of a nation or its people; it can appear in both editorial cartoons and propaganda.Some early personifications in the Western world tended to be national manifestations of the majestic wisdom and war goddess Minerva/Athena, and often took the...

  • Pathetic Fallacy
    Pathetic fallacy
    The pathetic fallacy, anthropomorphic fallacy or sentimental fallacy is the treatment of inanimate objects as if they had human feelings, thought, or sensations. The pathetic fallacy is a special case of the fallacy of reification...

  • Talking animals in fiction
    Talking animals in fiction
    Talking creatures are a common theme in mythology and folk tales, as well as children's literature. Fictional talking creatures often are anthropomorphic, possessing human-like qualities but appearing as a creature...

  • Zoomorphism
    Zoomorphism
    Zoomorphism is the shaping of something in animal form or terms. Examples include:*Art that imagines humans as animals*Art that portrays one species of animal like another species of animal*Art that creates patterns using animal imagery, or animal style...



External links