Anthropomorphism is when non-human
creatures or nonliving objects and concepts
are described with human shapes or qualities.
An example would be "the sun is smiling." In
science, the term has relevance in the study of
whether non-human animals can form
intentions and experience emotional states as
humans do. Traditionally, it was considered
taboo for scientists to describe non-humans in
human terms presumably based on the belief
that such concepts are not necessary to
explain their behaviors.
However, an underlying motivation could be to continuously promote manís superiority
the reverse was true when the apes refused to believe that man was capable of
possessing ape-like qualities such as speech. In stating that only behavioral observation
should be relied upon when studying non-human animals, scientists who promoted this
view limited the inferences that could be made from those behaviors. For example, two
chimpanzees could be described as grooming each other in a tree but not doing this out
of love. The problem, however, is that non-human animals have no other way to show
any human-like intentions or emotions other than by observing them.
Originally, anthropomorphism only referred to the attribution of human forms to non-humans creatures and
the term anthropopathy was used to refer to attributing human feelings to non-humans (e.g., "the Gods are
angry.Ē). In modern time, anthropomorphism now refers to both. Anthropomorphism comes from the Greek
word "anthropo" meaning "human," and the Greek word "morphe" meaning "form." Put the words together
and you have "human form."