Talk:Anthropomorphism/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


I feel that lolcatz are a huge pop phenom that should be included in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:18, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't think lolCats fall into this category considering the main disctinction as to what they are is an internet meme.PedanticSophist (talk) 14:21, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Neil Gaiman's Sandman series

I realise that a complete listing of all forms of anthropomorphism in literature, fiction etc would be problematic (to say the least), but I did add this reference as the pivotal concept of the entire storyline is the anthropomorphism of human states/emotions/feelings. I think it's a particularly relevant example. But am happy (and bracing myself :) for its removal if people think otherwise. Ozlucien (talk) 02:04, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

and then I deleted the whole bit I put in because I managed to miss it's reference in the literature section above (sheesh, n00b mistake). I admit I was surprised when I didn't see it in the first place. Ozlucien (talk) 02:07, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Religion and Myths section in bad shape

The Religion and Myths section (or whatever it's called) is so POV that it's almost unreadable, regardless of the fact that I happen largely to agree with the POV. It could only be worse if some rabid atheist re-edits it as an anti-religion screed. Someone who can take a neutral POV without giving into either God-hating cynicism or overt proselytizing ought to rewrite it.

I see what you mean, perhaps a good suggestion would be to truncate it by mentioning that there is an extensive list of examples in religion, and linking to a new page, "Anthropomorphism in religion" or something like that., 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Actually the discussion of Religions and Myths doesn't even belong here. It is intrinsically atheist because of the idea of "attribution" of human qualities to the gods, as opposed to "recognition" or "perception" of the same. It presupposes a world-view.
I don't think this section is extensive enough to warrant its own article. Maybe if it were further expanded... Anyhow, the comment you just replied to has been there for quite some time and (IMO) the section has improved a lot since then. Of course, it's not really NPOV yet, but feel free to go there and fix it! :) - Ekevu (talk) 13:16, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
As we say in the text based online role playing world: "*does this* *did this* *it is done*." Cernen Xanthine Katrena 01:34, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
It would be hard to not have a religion and myth section in this article though. The word anthropomorphism arose out of religion, myth, and fairy tales. Taking such an easily short section and quite easily neutral one is a dis-service to the word's history. PedanticSophist (talk) 05:41, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I think the idea was to rewrite it in a neutral way, and was never to remove the section entirely. Also this discussion is referring to the article as it was in early 2006. RP9 (talk) 07:49, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Older edits

What of animals and were thusly equivalent to misogyny and should be banned/changed/considered bad by society. But don't quote me on that, I can't remember where or when I saw it... PMC 00:17, 20 October 2004 (UTC)

what are you talking about
no comprende
Maybe some linkage would help >:-) --Ihope127 8 July 2005 19:29 (UTC) (That emoticon looks *much* cuter in monospace.)

Anthropomorphism in literature

A list of books in which animals represent humans might be interesting. For starters:

(Put here to start it off - and as there is a request to tidy the page up.)

Jackiespeel 21:29, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

I would suggest that we not do this. Firstly, I don't see what value it has. I could name probably about 20 examples of anthropomorphism on my own as could many others, I am sure. Secondly, if this is going to go forward, it should probably be put it its own article as it could quite quickly become quite long. Theshibboleth 09:34, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

I also have issues with this, even if we made it it's own page it would quickly grow and become hard to mantain. In such cases we might start getting original research that's masqueraded as fact. Deathawk 05:06, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

So just because some people are going to come on here and change stuff and you won't be able to control it, you think the extra info should not be included? Doesn't that go against the spirit of this site? Censorship for fear of false information? Kind of stupid if you ask me. There is tons of OR masqueraded as fact already! Just because it is hard to maintain does not mean it should not be included. People will find ways to fix it up sooner or later. Animal Farm definitely needs to be in this list, it's a very important piece of literature. Chewbacca1010 02:02, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm very surprised that Aesop's fables aren't mentioned at all. They're probably the first and most famous example of 'modern' anthropomorphism in the western world. (therealhazel not signed in)
I agree, and have added Aesop's Fables as one of the first examples of anthropomorphism in the literature section.Comme le Lapin 08:55, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Maybe it could be a list, instead of the paragraph structure as now? Kissmyapocalypse 02:30, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

"Dog dressed in human accessories for humorous effect"

The image with caption "Dog dressed in human accessories for humorous effect", whilst indeed humourous is not an example of anthropomophism, and would be expected to be used more on Uncyclopedia than on Wikipedia. Consider removal. - User:Sb2k4.

I believe it is indeed an example of anthropomorphism, because the non-human being (dog) has been given human characteristics (clothing). that's how anthropomorphism is defined in the first sentence of the article, and I think the picture fits the definition perfectly.--kotra 10:22, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Plus, the dog is cutesy and kind of silly looking. I'm going to change the caption to reflect a closer match to what the image is of as opposed to "dog dressed in human accessories for humorous effect." Also, I'm gonna go ahead and fix the POV issues re: the cleanup tag. Cernen Xanthine Katrena 09:54, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

On the other hand, while the dressed dog does fit the given definition, this kind of practice is not usually labeled as antropomorphism. Not only that, but clothes and acessories aren't really human characteristics (as in human nature), but human preferences, or even human commonsense. People don't feel a dressed dog is closer to human beings: that's actually the very nature of the humor! People feel that a fictional character who is an animal who walks over two legs and talks in perfect English is more human than a fictional character who doesn't. One of the Narnia books (The Silver Chair) has a terrific example on this: some animals talk, other don't... It's usual and pretty much okay to eat one who doesn't talk, it's nauseating and ultimately unacceptable to eat one who does (myself, I thought that was an horrible example of racism).

So, to summarize, while I agree the dog does fit the definition, I don't see it as anthromorphism anyway, because the definition may be (and, in my opinion, it is) incomplete and/or unclear.

Of course, I'm saying that as someone interested in the area, so this may be just a reflection on my favorite sub-areas. ≈ Ekevu talk contrib 14:04, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that anthropomorphism requires people to feel the subject is closer to humans, the only requirement in my mind is that it is given some aspects or characteristics of human-ness. Clothes aren't human nature but they are only worn by humans (I think), so I consider them to be human characteristics. Yes it is common sense because we have no fur, but elephants and naked mole-rats don't have fur either, so it would make sense for them to wear clothes also, but they don't because of climate or resourcefulness.
But I kind of agree, a dog dressed in clothes isn't usually what we think of as anthropomorphism. Perhaps a picture of Asimo or Death would be good to replace it with. Two pictures of animals (anthro' or otherwise) are enough. (yeah I changed my mind about the picture, now I think maybe it should go) -kotra 07:34, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
If it's still relevant, the dog was not a proper example of anthropomorphism. The dog has been simply dressed in human apparel, not ascribed human character traits, which is conceptually weak. The article includes a sufficient number of images: an illustration that immediately depicts the concept at the beginning of the article, an example from the ancient world, a lovely Beatrix Potter illustration between the literature and popular culture sections, and a nice robot in the artificial intelligence section.Comme le Lapin 09:04, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Anthropomorphism vs. Theomorphism

From the article as of 13:37, 12 January 2006 (UTC):

It should be noted that from the perspective of believers of a religion where the diety or dieties have human characteristics, it may be more accurate to describe the phenomenon as theomorphism, or the giving of divine qualities to humans, instead of anthropomorphism, the giving of human qualities to the divine. The reason for this being that according to their beliefs, the diety or dieties usually existed before humans, and therefore humans were created in the form of the divine, not vice versa. However, for those who do not subscribe to the beliefs of the religion, the phenomenon can be considered anthropomorphism.

I don't get it. Shouldn't it be the inverse?

  • For a believer, the god(s) precede(s) the humans. hence, the divine nature comes before the human nature. Then, god(s) create(s) men, and men try to understand god(s) making them look like humans, giving god(s) human attributes, hence, anthropomorphism.
  • For a non-believe, god(s) do(es)n't exist. Hence, god(s) is/are invented as a copy from men that actually are gods... Hence, men who are given god attributes, hence, teomorphism.

What did I get wrong? ≈ Ekevu talk contrib 13:37, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry for not explaining it very well.
  • For a believer, the god(s) precede(s) the humans. Then, the humans were created (to quote from the Bible) "in the image of God". For those who believe their religion's teachings, the god(s) aren't "invented", if anything the humans are "invented". And since the humans are given the attributes of the god(s), it is theomorphism.
  • For a non-believer, the god(s) still exist as an idea (although not as a real thing). A similar situation might be a toy. Humans create toys. Sometimes, humans create toys that look like people. They don't have to look like people, but sometimes they're made that way anyways. Therefore, humans are giving toys human qualities. The same is true for gods, according to a non-believer. To a non-believer, humans create gods, and sometimes they make them look like humans (although not always). That would be giving the gods human qualities, or anthropomorphism.
I didn't quite inderstand what you meant by "men that are actually gods", but I hope I've cleared up my side for you... theology confuses the crap out of me so I know how it is. If someone has a clearer way of writing the paragraph quoted above, that would be very helpful. kotra 06:58, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

"In literature" and "Modern occurences" overlap

Modern Occurrences is very long. It reads more like a list than a explanation, especially on the subject of animals as examples of anthropomorphism. While I was adding The Endless to it, in an attempt to balance the list, I realized it was already mentioned in the section "In literature". Then I realized that some of the "Modern occurences" examples were, in fact, literature. In which place do they belong? Why is there a "Modern occurences" section at all? Wouldn't it be simpler to divide "Modern Occurences" into the existing "In literature", and a new "In entertainment" or "In films" and "In television" section?

If for some reason we should keep the "Modern occurences" section, perhaps the modern examples in the "In literature" section could be moved to "Modern occurences".

Either way (or perhaps a third way I haven't thought of), something should be done to correct this overlap. My first instinct is to trim Modern occurences to a few short sentences with - at the most - 3 or 4 examples total, but I thought it should be discussed first. -kotra 02:57, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. The question that comes to mind is: What's the point of talking about "Modern occurences"? The answer that comes with it: To show how it's, in a way, current. But, apparently, while many good examples are aged, a good amount of them are relatively new as well, making that point somewhat redundant. Not only that, the term "modern" is ambiguous. Do we mean "modern" as in the last 50 years? Or 100? Or since the French Revolution? Or since the Middle Age ended? ≈ Ekevu talk contrib 17:22, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Maybe "Modern occurences" could be changed to "Recent developments" or something similar. That would discourage it developing into a list, but rather discussion of trends and aspects of anthropomorphism in modern times, like the furry fandom or the anthropomorphisation of robots. Then another section could be created called "In other media" (just after "In literature") where a selection of the examples given in "Modern occurences" would be moved. Thoughts? -kotra 04:45, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
My thoughts are that the overlap has been resolved.Comme le Lapin 09:06, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

The Anthropomorphic Cabinet

This is a wonderful work of art by Salvador Dali, and a beautiful example of anthropomorphism of an inanimate object. Any chance we could include a picture? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bueller 007 (talkcontribs).

I think permission from Dali's estate would be needed first. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 03:51, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Do you think stuff like "Transformers" or "Cars" should be anthropomorphic?

From your definition an anthromorph is "applying human or animal qualities to inanimate objects" so a giant humanoid robots that can turn into cars can be considered anthromorphic? How about cars which have human personality? or dare i say " The Brave Little Toaster". Then mabe it could be added to this list or broken up into to camps, the animal and the mechanical?

i think this must be brought up. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

All of that is addressed in the article. It's all anthropomorphic. What list are you talking about? There's no list in the article to break up. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 17:58, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I was talking about the article. It just slants too much with furry, It may confuse some readers, thinking anthropomorphics is strictly for furry(animals), which i think is not.

Maybe if we add more mechanical/(giving generaly non-living things human characteristic) examples, then the definition would make more sense.

Dont you think so?

I've seen examples of anthro with animal, plant, vehicle, planet, etc... Anthromorphism, defined is simply placing human traits to something. Being too specific would detract from the article's definition. Yes Transformers belongs, yes Brave Little Toaster belongs, I'd go as far as to say that R2D2 and C3PO belong on certain levels. --Ice 12:02, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

See also

Perhaps this guy can be included as an example of a succesful antropomorphist? (Read the third paragraph) --Nnp 19:48, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't think he would be, because thinking a rock was his brother doesn't necessarily mean he was anthropomorphizing it. He might have realized the rock wasn't a human, but still considered it his brother for some reason. Or, he may have been making a metaphorical statement that "everything, even rocks are our brothers", taking it to an extreme. Or he might've just been faking, for all we know. I don't know what was going on in his mind but it doesn't necessarily have to be anthropomorphism. -kotra 09:14, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Anthropomorphism or animism?

To the paragraph that states:

  • This form of anthropomorphism is common in other technical fields as well. For example, a chemist might casually explain an ionic bond between sodium and chlorine by asserting that the sodium atom "wants" to merge with the chlorine atom. Desire is, of course, a human emotion that atoms are incapable of. (...)

I added a qualifying paragraph:

  • However, such uses might better be described as animism, since the features falsly attributed to inanimate objects are those of sentient beings (animals) rather than just those of humans.

I also changed "Desire is (...) a human emotion..." to "Desire is (...) an emotion...".

That addition was reverted by Coyoty, with the explanation "rv non-neutral edits by Olivierd to last version by Nydas".

I have reverted it back.

If you want to assert that desire (and the other feelings those paragraphs mention) are uniquely human, and not felt by other animals, the burden of proof (or at least documentation and explanation) is on you. Descartes notwithstanding, it is certainly a minority opinion among humans today.

It would be much more logical to put many of the cases of "anthropomorphism" on a page about animism. Much would need to be rewritten in that sense on this page. For the moment, the simple qualifying paragraph I have added is the least that should be done. The wording may be a bit awkward and could be made better. But don't just delete it and make believe that the rampant Cartesianism that inspires those attributions of anthropomorphism are the mainstream opinion.

David Olivier 07:01, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but wiki policy is that the burden of proof is on the editor introducing the unsourced information. As I note in my revert, however, it is phrased in a way that looks like animal advocacy spin, which is not neutral. I'm all for animal equality, but articles need to be presented in a neutral voice, and not look like they're making a personal point. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 20:11, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Look, if you believe that only humans have desires, it is up to YOU to prove it. That is an unsourced information, OK?
In what sense does it look like "animal advocacy spin"? Just plainly stating common sense is animal advocacy spin?
Please stop just deleting and answer some of that. David Olivier 22:51, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Do not put beliefs in my head. I do not believe only humans have desires. This is an issue of neutral point of view, which is a Wikipedia policy. Articles must be written to avoid even the appearance of personal feelings, and your personal feelings are noticeable, and confirmed in your response here. It needs to be rewritten or removed. I will not violate Wikipedia's three-revert rule, so I will let an admin address this issue. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 00:53, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you do not believe that only humans have desires, you will agree with me that it is not correct to state that "'Desire is, of course, a human emotion that atoms are incapable of.'", and to call it anthropomorphism.
You might say that the issue is not what we believe. But on that matter, almost everyone believes that at least some non-human animals have desires. So saying that attribution of desire to atoms is "anthropomorphism" rather than calling it "animism" amounts to asserting as a fact what is actually the opinion of a small number of people, those who believe that only humans have desires and so on. It is not my edit that is POV, it is the text as it was.
David Olivier 07:32, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Animism is a term which has overtly religious connotations. I fail to see why it is a suitable alternative to anthropomorphism, which covers things like aesthetics and psychology as well.--Nydas 08:23, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
"Animism" might not be a perfect term, but it does describe the phenomenon correctly. "Anthropomorphism" doesn't. It smuggles in the assumption that the only sentient beings are human beings. To say that ascribing desire to atoms is anthropomorphism is to assume that only humans have desires. It is not part of common knowledge today that only humans have desires. To say the least. David Olivier 09:46, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
So there's not even a word for what you describe, and yet you think it's self-evidently the majority view.--Nydas 12:24, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Since I was the one who originally wrote the atom/desire example, the burden of proof is actually on me. When I wrote it I commented that a better example was needed. I understood then that it isn't an entirely accurate example of anthropomorphism. However, it's not an accurate example of animism either. Animism is a serious religious/spiritual philosophy, and giving atoms emotions as a time-saving device (in the way I was describing, anyways) is not serious or spiritual in any way.
If you believe (as I do) that other animals also possess the emotion of desire, then you find yourself on a slippery slope, trying to draw an impossible line where other animals and humans are different. Even animals walking on two legs and speaking could be considered giving animals parrot (not human) traits, because they walk on two legs and speak as well. Anthropomorphism is used to describe giving non-humans traits we usually ascribe to humans. Even desire might fall into that category.
Having said that, I still agree that the atom/desire example isn't a great one. If someone thinks it's unhelpful or misleading they're welcome to remove it, although it would be good to replace it with a better example. -kotra 22:21, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I think that the fact we have this tendency to ascribe feelings and intentions to inanimate objects is very noteworthy. It is just that it is not precisely anthropomorphism. The chemistry example you gave is a good one. There are many other examples in chemistry, such as speaking of hydrophilic/hydrophobic molecules.
The examples about computers are interesting too. With computers it seems to me we have a strong tendency towards real anthropomorphism. We program them to say "hello", or "sorry" when they deny us access because we have typed the wrong password. That really is mimicking humans, not animals in general.
I think that it is OK to leave the examples as they are, even if they are not all true anthropomorphism, with a qualifying remark such as the one I added.
The term "animism" seems OK to me. For instance, in the article one of the links on the page leads to, the term is used in a non-religious sense: "This is animism from the flip side; it implies that humans and computers and dolphins and rocks are all machines exhibiting a continuum of modes of ‘consciousness’ according to their information-processing capacity."
David Olivier 01:32, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

But perhaps it is good to have it here, but with the qualifying note I added to point out that it is not anthropomorphism proper.


Comme le Lapin 04:32, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

That picture isn't very good

It should be removed. It's mostly white space, the character isn't notable and it's been stuck there by someone using Wikipedia as an picture hosting site. -- Nydas 00:05, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

The reason the image is there is because the previous picture was copyrighted. I think it's a good illustration of anthropomorphism. A picture's purpose is to illustrate the article, not to be notable.
In response to your accusation that the artist was simply using Wikipedia as a picture hosting site, I believe that is incorrect. It seems to me that the artist generously provided the picture because there was a need for a GFDL image for this article. This is apparent when one finds that she added the picture to this article the same day she uploaded it to Wikipedia. That isn't the behavior of someone just looking for a free image host.
As for the white space, I agree that it should be cropped. I suggested this to the artist before, but she seems to have not been active on Wikipedia since then. So, I just did it myself. I hope it looks better now, although unfortunately I only was able to work from a JPG so there is a slight loss in quality. It's barely noticeable though. -kotra 00:07, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree the picture is excellent addition and I think it captures and illustrates Anthropomorpism elegantly. The accusation by Nydas seems spurious. Also, the cropping, really makes the pictures better. Thank you for being bold, kotra. Leontes 02:17, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Someone using Wikipedia as a picture host will obviously try to 'anchor' their image to an article to avoid it being deleted.
There must be thousands of better pictures illustrating anthropomorphism out there, seeing as it's something humans have been using since the dawn of history. Egyptian gods, for example. The article should probably have at least one non-animal anthropomorph as well. Old Father Time, or Death, or even Uncle Sam. And if you're determined to have a furry at the head of the article, why not use a more technically accomplished one?--Nydas 07:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
"Better" is subjective, and for the purpose of illustration, one picture isn't any better than another if it adequately does the job. This one just happens to be the one used, mainly because it's available. Illustrations and photos are the one type of original content Wikipedia allows, and encourages, because it provides GFDL content where the availability of non-original works are limited by copyright. Wikipedia could be said to be commissioning artwork and photos for illustrative purposes, but it would not be "hosting" images because no other uses or promotions are allowed. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 16:55, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't like the picture very much either. But I expect many of you don't see my feelings about it as so very important. I don't really grasp that thing about using WP for hosting, but then I haven't really thought about it much. So perhaps what I should say is that I don't have much to say on the issue of that picture. Thanks for your attention. David Olivier 17:41, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
"Adequate" is subjective, too. May I ask under what circumstances you'd consider replacing the image? As for it being available, there must be hundreds of anthropomorph pictures already hosted on wikipedia that are more notable and/or have a higher technical standard. Having this picture at the head of the article is like me putting a drawing of a plane I made up at the head of the aviation history article.--Nydas 18:11, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, perhaps that would be more relevant than the current picture (one of Icarus an Daedalus) (though that picture is cute). David Olivier 18:46, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
About the use of Wikipedia as an image host, especially when one must "anchor" the image to an article to avoid deletion: This is in my opinion unrealistic when you consider that there are many well-known free image hosting providers that are far superior to Wikipedia, like Photobucket. Why would someone use Wikipedia when these are available?
As for the quality of the image, I agree it isn't a perfect example of flawless art, but it very accurately illustrates anthropomorphism. It's a cat, standing upright, wearing a military uniform, and acting in a human way. Wouldn't that be anthropomorphism? I agree, though, that the article is too animal-centric. We discussed this earlier pertaining to the dog wearing clothes image. You're welcome to find an image that is better than the dog photograph, but we should keep the cat drawing, since it is GFDL and a good illustration of the subject. If you can find a picture that undisputedly better portrays the subject of anthropomorphism than the drawing though, you're welcome to move the drawing down to make room for your picture at the top. -kotra 23:12, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
When someone's only significant contribution to Wikipedia is to add a single, unremarkable image, one tends to suspect it might be vanity at work. Looking at her edit history, you can see she toyed with the idea of putting her e-mail address in the caption.
Some suggestions for a new picture (apologies if this looks like a mess on anybody's browser):
Easter Island Moai
An Olmec stone head
J. M. Flagg's Uncle Sam
Michelangelo's David
Statuette of Anubis
I do prefer it when articles that have a significant historical importance have interesting historical pictures. I suppose you could argue that the statues aren't really anthropomorphs, but I think they are. Hunks of rock that have been transformed to look more human - surely an example of anthropomorphism? For the record, I like the haunting gaze of the Moai best. It's a wonderful picture.--Nydas 11:56, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Interesting picture suggestions. Perhaps they would appropriate further down in the article, as I prefer the pre-existing picture to any of these as a clear example of anthropomorphism, that conveys effectively to the reader. I think it's fine you don't much like the picture but I find your assumptions distasteful regarding the creator of the image. Leontes 21:30, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the Easter Island statues look cool, but I don't think most people would think of statues as "anthropomorphized rock" (even though they are, technically). The Anubis picture, however, might be good somewhere, because it's a deity in the form of an anthropomorphic animal. However, there probably are too many images of anthropomorphic animals. Perhaps one of the images on Death (personification) or ASIMO as I suggested earlier, or Greek personifications like Helios, Eros, or even Face on Mars might be a good example of anthropomorphism. -kotra 09:40, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Added ASIMO and Helios/Apollo to the head of the article, moved the cat to modern occurences and shrunk it a bit.--Nydas 18:10, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Good work with ASIMO, although I think Apollo might be not the best example of anthropomorphism in religion because he is a god of so many things, of which the sun god is just one of his aspects. That's why I suggested Helios (who was incorporated into Apollo in later ancient Greek religion) because he's a personification of the sun and nothing else. Perhaps Image:Helios.jpg would be a better example. -kotra 11:50, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
The current images are appropriate, and in appropriate positions on the page.Comme le Lapin 09:13, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Having that picture at the top is like having a picture of someone's vegetable patch at the top of the agriculture article.--Nydas(Talk) 11:50, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it's a fine example. It's like having a rose at the top of the beauty article.leontes 16:37, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
The image at the top of the article is not at all "like having a picture of someone's vegetable patch at the top of the agriculture article." It literally depicts the concept of anthropomorphism with a simple drawing. It may not be the most artful depiction, but it serves its purpose appropriately and effectively.Comme le Lapin 21:09, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Wow, Nydas, you really have a problem with my image. I can understand someone having an aesthetic dislike for any artistic creation, but I'm not sure that is appropriate commentary for an encyclopedia entry. The issue isn't about whether you personally like or dislike an image, but whether the image illustrates the subject discussed in an article. I found your personal attacks on my character (ie - that I posted this image for purposes of vanity, that I am using a Wikipedia article simply to host my drawing, etc., that I "toyed with" the idea of putting my email address in the caption when I first posted it, etc.) to be immature and overly self-important. I suggest that if you do not know another person's motivations, intentions or character that you simply be quiet on the matter rather than to make up your own reality, and then present that reality in what is supposed to be an academic discourse. You do a disservice to people who are here to examine the issues of the article seriously and to users who wish to participate in the creation of Wikipedia equitably.

As for the image itself, it is true that it is a user's illustration rather than a copyrighted one. However, in terms of anthropomorphism, it is no different than your suggested use of the image of Anubis. Anubis is almost identical in the type of anthropomorphism presented, since he is depicted with a human body and an animal head. The only difference in anthropomorphic qualities is that my illustration also has a tail. In introducing the concept of Anthropomorphism, it is not necessary that the example image also have an historical background. It is enough that it illustrates the point clearly. However, the uses of anthropomorphism throughout history to express certain concepts, particularly in world religions, should definately be discussed within the article. This would be a good location to include examples of specific gods and religious iconography. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cberman (talkcontribs) 01:14, 8 January 2007.

The difference is that Anubis is an iconic character that has been around for thousands of years, appears in endless media representations and is known to millions of people. It may not be 'necessary' in your view to have some history to the leading image, but it certainly is better. Anubis represents an anthropomorphic depiction, the history of anthropomorphic depictions and the use of anthropomorphic depiction in religion. Anubis is popular among furries as well, so it even covers that aspect. In terms of explanatory power and encyclopedic value, there is no contest between a well-known ancient god and an anonymous character.--Nydas(Talk) 08:45, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't mind the image staying in the article, but I think it might be better if the first image in the article wasn't an animal - a lot of people on the internet seem to mistakenly believe that the term "anthropomorphic" refers solely or primarily to anthropomorphic animals, and it would be nice if there was some immediate visual demonstration of just how broad the term really is. I kind of miss the robot that used to be there. Kotengu 小天狗 01:50, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

The image of the robot is still included in the article; it has simply been moved to the Artificial Intelligence section, which seems more appropriate. Comme le Lapin 04:32, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I think this article is pretty balanced now, image-wise. For time periods, three (or two) images are illustrative of history and two (or three) of modern society. Two are anthropomorphic animals, two are anthropomorphic objects, and one is an anthropomorphic concept (if a god is a concept). I don't object to the Anubis statue, though it definitely isn't as clearly a representation of anthropomorphism as the cat drawing. As for the issue of anthropomorphism being related disproportionately to animals in this article, I think that's more an issue with the text of the article now than the images. Though overall, I'm happy to see that this article is much more balanced and 'encyclopedic' than it was a year ago. Kudos to everyone that helped! -kotra 08:16, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Anthropomorphism Vs. Personification

The introduction to this article is ridiculous. There are distinct differences between anthropomorphism and personification, and the latter article makes that clear, whereas the former is extremely vague and uses the two concepts interchangebly. Anthropomorphism is the application of human qualities to something, whereas personification is the metaphorical derivation of an actual human being that represents something. The intro needs rewriting, but I won't go ahead with it until, of course, I establish that others agree. -- 14:02, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there's any need to wait for consensus. You make an excellent point that anthropomorphism and personification are inarguably different concepts, and this change should be made as soon as possible. Comme le Lapin 07:17, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Spongebob Squarepants

Is Spongebob based off of the synthetic sponges most people see most often? I thought he was supposed to be an actual natural sponge-- which wouldn't make him based off an inanimate object. Sponges are animals, after all, if exceedingly primitive ones. But then, I generally make it a point to not watch that show. *laugh* Correct me if I'm wrong, in any case. Anyway, I think something more blatantly inanimate-- a character from The Brave Little Toaster, perhaps-- should be used as an example. But I thought I'd ask first.Alanahikarichan 17:05, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I think Spongebob is a synthetic sponge (it's sort of a pun, based on the fact that he lives under the sea, like sponges the animals). A character from The Brave Little Toaster would be more blatantly inanimate but I think Spongebob is used instead because he's more well-known and current. Besides, inanimity doesn't matter much for anthropomorphism, just non-humanness (if that's a word). -kotra 08:22, 31 March 2007 (UTC)


I was surprised by the abscence of any information on the psychology behind anthropomorphism, to me this seems like a very important point for the artice to miss out. Why do humans anthropomorphise? I have searched briefly for information but have not found anything especially wiki-worthy, perhaps a psychologist can enlighten us. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 09:13, 29 March 2007.

Why do humans anthropomorphize? Because humans are self-absorbed. Honestly, this answer is sufficient for me, though I'm sure some psychologists have gone into much greater detail. But I think there hasn't been any information on the psychology behind it because it's so obvious and simple (unless I'm missing something, which I probably am). -kotra 08:35, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree about your self-evident explanation. I don't think it's that we're self-absorbed, I think it's more that we're social animals. A lot of our instincts and probably a lot of our brain's computing power (there I go, machino-morphising) is dedicated to our interactions with others, and it's not surprising that some of these instincts have a broad reach.
Anyhoo, I know this isn't the place for opinions (he started it!), but suffice it to say I also found it odd that there was no mention of the psychology of anthropomorphosis and disagree that its explanation is obvious and simple.

-- 12:52, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

It has a lot to do with helping us understand our world, I think, to assume that things (and other people for that matter) are similar to ourselves. But I agree with the previous post that it's not simple or obvious, and with the first poster that we need a psychologist. Kissmyapocalypse 02:22, 7 November 2007 (UTC)


This article desperately needs sources! --Lendorien 15:22, 13 April 2007 (UTC) hi, i am desperately looking an article or an anlysis of the psychology of Anthropomorphism. if any knows anything about it can u please share it with me.thanx

New Picture

It seems that the current picture (depicting a fox-like flying creature holding another) serves as an advertisement for the creator's personal DeviantArt website. I would not suspect a dual agenda if it was not for the hyperlink to the creator's own personal website. The previous illustration was not only a better drawn example (and pretty cute in my own opinion), but was also much clearer and to the point. the new picture is somewhat confusing and complicated. When I saw the old picture I thought to myself, "oh look, a cat with human qualities/characteristics." But with the new one, I now think, "are these foxes with birdlike characteristics? Wait, those look more like dragon wings. Is this an article about fantasy animals?" Ones attention is not immediately drawn to the fact that these creatures have human qualities. Main images should very clearly illustrate the topic at hand, and I feel that the old picture did this FAR better than the new one. This, together with the direct link to the creator's gallery, leads me to believe that this picture was only added for reasons of vanity and recognition. Because of this, I have changed the main picture back to the cat. If anyone disagrees with my reasoning, lets discuss!—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I agree with your point amd think the cat picture much more suitable. leontes 02:28, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

AI is a subset of technology

The section on AI is short enough that I think it should just be the beginning of the section on tech. I'd like to see someone agree with me before I make the change though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:14, 15 June 2007 UTC

I don't see any need to combine the two sections, but I have no problem with it if you do. However, if you do, I suggest you make Artificial Intelligence a sub-section, with the three === header style, because it's a distinct subject: different in type of anthropomorphism, more relevant, and more in-depth than the other technical subjects. -kotra 22:30, 15 June 2007 (UTC)


Personally I find it extremely annoying that the whole article infers that anthropomorphics only apply to non-human things given human attributes, when its a two way street. I especially would point to the 'furry' sense of the word. Some (myself not included, though it annoys me enough to make note of it here) would be offended by the suggestion that the primary focus or core aspect of an anthropomorphic figure is the non-human half of the equation, or the neglect to recognize the fact that it is not always the case. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:42, 28 June 2007

I'm not quite sure if I understand you, but I think you are saying that to you anthropomorphism has a legitimate second meaning, which is 'giving animal attributes to humans' (for example human-to-furry transformation). I disagree. I've seen this meaning occasionally used in the furry fandom (and nowhere else), but it's just a misunderstanding of the word. I think this misunderstanding came about from shortening "anthropomorphic animal" to just "anthropomorphic", with people not realizing that the 'animal' modifier is important. I've also seen it misspelled "anthromorphic" in the furry fandom. Sorry to sound pedantic, but both the "anthromorphic" spelling and opposite meaning you describe are incorrect and unverifiable, and shouldn't be included here. If they become common enough to be in a dictionary like Merriam-Webster or those on, then they'll be verifiable and can be included (even if pedants like me still think they're incorrect). -kotra 19:47, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
I think what he meant by "a two way street" was that, in addition to ascribing human traits to non-human objects, non-human traits can be ascribed to humans. I think he had in mind things such as Anime cat girls, which are much more human than animal, and so one could argue that the starting point was a human rather than a cat. That's pretty much the opposite of anthropomorphism, though, even if the end results are the same. Chaos386 18:08, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree. What you (and the IP address person) describe is the opposite of anthropomorphism, and would probably be best described as zoomorphism. -kotra (talk) 00:29, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Ascribing animal traits to a human is called therianthropy. Therion meaning animal or wild beast and of course anthropos human. An example of a therianthropic character would be a werewolf or lycanthropy. I do not know what word would be used for non-animal non-human characteristics, but anthropomorphism would not be it. I'm actually getting quite annoyed at what I see as the degradation of this word. Human characteristics to animal only. Animals transformed to humans only. Not the other way around. I will be watching this page and it's disambiguation to make sure that doesn't change. PedanticSophist (talk) 05:50, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Not ascribing, having (non-human) animal traits or morphing into something that does is considered therianthropic. "I do not know what word would be used for non-animal non-human characteristics" Personification perhaps? RP9 (talk) 07:49, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Read a dictionary please. Ascribing credit or assign, as to a cause or source; attribute; impute: The alphabet is usually ascribed to the Phoenicians. attribute or think of as belonging, as a quality or characteristic: They ascribed courage to me for something I did out of sheer panic. Personification is in the same vein as anthropomorphism. Please consider the word involved in that word. Definition is: the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions, esp. as a rhetorical figure. PedanticSophist (talk) 01:35, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Anthropomorphized food and other objects in advertisments

This might be a valid addition to the article. From Speedy Alka-Seltzer and Mrs. Butterworth to the talking food of the McDonaldland ads and the current Pop Tarts campaign, advertisements from the 20th century on have a long record of anthropomorphizing the product being sold. Any thoughts? -- Pennyforth 12:22, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea to me; go for it! DJ Phazer 02:22, 30 August 2007 (UTC)



It is an extremely important part of human culture. -- (talk) 15:32, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
This term is not part of the common vocabulary, so many links are perfectly fine. --Yamavu (talk) 10:03, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd be worried about the cat-tard drawing ... looks ridiculous, hammy and pointless. What's wrong with a common cartoon character ... I spent more time thinking about the person who'd: a) bothered to draw, b) bothered to scan it, c) bothered to get someone to put it on wikipedia; than I did about the actual article. Ridiculoid! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Pictures of common cartoon characters are usually copyrighted. Self-drawn pictures usually licensed with GDFL or released into the public domain on Wikipedia. Besides, the "cat-tard drawing" illustrates the concept of anthropomorphism very well, in my opinion. -kotra (talk) 04:58, 13 December 2007 (UTC)


Biologists, especially ethologists, typically go out of their way to avoid anthropomorphism when interpreting animal behaviors. Others feel that some level of anthropomorphism can be useful - I'm thinking specifically of a lecture by Robert Sapolsky where he says that in collecting data on baboon behaviors he "anthropomorphized like crazy - which you're not supposed to do" - but that helped ultimately inform his analysis of personality types and stress. This seems an important topic that isn't really addressed in the article, but I'm not sure how to go about sourcing assertions like that. Best, Eliezg (talk) 08:18, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


I think anthropomorphizm is when animals or any other object that cannot speak is really speaking, this can happen on a TV show, in a book, or any show. (this is all i want to say, thank you for reading)( (talk) 23:59, 29 January 2008 (UTC))

Yes? nothing else is presented in the article --Yamavu (talk) 22:40, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


Is there not a better picture to use than that stupid fucking cat? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:38, 26 May 2008

Please be civil. Can you tell us specifically how the cat picture is lacking, and what an ideal picture would be? What is "better"? -kotra (talk) 16:54, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Selfish problem with kitties I see.

This Article is biased

Who turned an article on anthropomorphism into an essentially anti-mormon rant? I already removed the term "true believers" from the third section. Whether you can see god or not has nothing to do with anthropomorphism. Also there is a whole section on opposition, and one sentence on why the belief exist that erroneously implies that people base this belief on a single verse in the bible. (Brandonwilson (talk) 17:40, 13 November 2008 (UTC))

I don't see an anti-Mormon rant. In fact, I barely see anything about Mormons; they're only mentioned once, with a neutral point of view. The opposition paragraph is not just about religious anthropomorphism, and the religious focus is mainly on Ancient Greek mythology, barely mentioning Christianity, much less Mormonism or LDS.
On the other hand, the paragraph "A lot of people see the Lord God in this fashion as it is an easier way to imagine how he looks. Others believe that no one has seen him and lived according to Exodus 33:20." sounds like original research and doesn't have any citations, so I've removed it accordingly. -kotra (talk) 21:00, 13 November 2008 (UTC)


How do people know if animals can't feel certain things? Like sadness, there is no proof that animal cannot be sa.d —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:29, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, but this page is for discussion on how to improve the article. -kotra (talk) 22:35, 14 February 2009 (UTC)


On the Thomas and Friends page (and character pages) the term sub-anthropomorphic is used, usually linked to this article.

Can anyone please explain to me what the 'sub-' prefix signifies here? Is it a recognised term? (It is not present in the current article.)

EdJogg (talk) 11:59, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Searching "sub.anthropomorphic" OR "sub.anthropomorphism" on Google only picks up a handful of results and Thomas and Friends is the only article that users it, also searching subanthropomorph* here picks up nothing else. It does not seem to be mentioned in any major dictionary; I did not find it in any that I looked in. My guess is that it means not entirely anthropomorphic, but that is seems very misleading. Whether this article should mention it, I'd say no. This article is in really bad shape though, so even if it was worth mentioning it would probably would not be in the article. RP9 (talk) 12:51, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick response. This is not the first time that I have been fooled by a made-up word here, but you need to be sure, don't you? (The other time was "rotatative" which was supposed to be "rotative".)
I vaguely remember that the word was formerly present on a number of the 'Thomas' character pages and assumed that this was still the case. My query was prompted by a response to a question on Talk:Thomas and Friends. Since your test results (which I have repeated) confirm our suspicions, I'll adjust the offending article immediately.
Cheers. -- EdJogg (talk) 15:59, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

This link is well worth adding to the main article:

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 22:25, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Separate Zoomorphism and Anthromorphism

Zoomorphic is where a person often has an animal head. For example, Anubis is Zoomorphic. Anthromorphic is where an animal or object has human traits. So Brother Rabbit is Anthromorphic, but not Zoomorphic. In simple terms, it is personification of objects or animals. Zoomorphic is different. Please straighten this out. This is a mess from an anthropology POV.--Hitsuji Kinno (talk) 18:08, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Your definition of zoomorphism ("a person with an animal head") is not a common one. Dictionaries typically describe zoomorphism as "giving animal characteristics to gods" or the more broad "attributing the form or characteristics of an animal". Yes, Anubis fits these definitions, but he also fits anthropomorphism's main definition of "attributing human characteristics to non-human entities", since he is partly human in form. There is a lot of overlap between zoomorphism and anthropomorphism, and many things are examples of both. I wonder why you bring this up, though, since I see no mention of Anubis or other animal-headed deities in the current version of this article. -kotra (talk) 19:31, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Reference clean-up

For review purposes - I removed two seemingly irrelevant links:

And added a high-quality article on the subject:

Rdavout (talk) 20:50, 21 October 2009 (UTC)