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Anthropomorphism

The Non-Human as Human
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Abstract

This chapter addresses the issue of anthropomorphism. For the purposes of my argument I will treat this as signifying the representation of animals as if they were human. From the perspective of reproduction this means that anthropomorphism, or narratives that are based on the anthropomorphic, occupy a very particular space. To portray nonhumans as if they were humans is to bring them into a discursive realm in which it is possible to give the illusion that their experience is being reproduced. This is achieved by the device of providing them with human characteristics and even human form, and by this means it becomes possible to speak of them as if they were human. The question thus arises as to whether or not anthropomorphic representation is always deeply penetrated by speciesism, as it could well be argued that however benevolent the intention of anthropomorphic narrative the result is always entirely to obliterate the Non–Human experience and to replace it entirely by the human. In this reading anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism become inevitably connected in a speciesist equation.

Keywords

Literary Representation False Representation Representational Strategy Representational Tool Modest Proposal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© John Simons 2002

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