Talk:Anthropomorphism

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Inhuman traits applied to humans?[edit]

I feel this should be discussed, would it be considered anthropomorphism to assign animal traits to human beings? I feel that technically that is zoomorphism but there's a grey area that makes it somewhat unclear. I feel a lot of "anthro" animals such as Sonic The Hedgehog and Mickey Mouse actually more closely resemble zoomorphs in this respect,I believe Walt Disney actually made it quite clear that Mickey was intended to be human with mouse traits, not the other way around.

Fork off personification[edit]

Free Dictionary definitions for personification and anthropomorphism

Please remove 'personification' as a synonym for anthropomorphism. Personification relates to a poetical use of human qualities describing inanimate objects while anthropomorphism is the attribution of human qualities towards inanimate objects or animals. Jenmargri (talk) 17:03, 22 January 2014 (UTC)jenmargri

X mark.svg Not done While your point is (IMHO) a good one, "personification" currently redirects here. Therefore, your proposed change isn't as simple as it sounds; it would require some discussion first. There would be nothing wrong with you starting a formal proposal. Joefromrandb (talk) 17:46, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Unlike personification, for anthropomorphism, the human attributes given to the nonhuman character is a premise of the character and happens through the entire work. Maybe something about that can be added to this article till something different is done, such as a new article for personification? The article looked like it was protected a couple of years ago... 71.207.162.156 (talk) 02:58, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Oppose. Free Dictionary is a non-WP:RS. The OED gloss 1s for "personification" and "anthropomorphism" are
  • The attribution of human form, nature, or characteristics to something; the representation of a thing or abstraction as a person (esp. in a rhetorical figure or a metaphor); (Art) the symbolic representation of a thing or abstraction by a human figure.
and
  • Attribution of human form or character.
respectively. They are clearly overlapping terms and there is no sensible basis for WP:FORKing a discussion of personification, except as the subset personification (literary) or (literature). The main term should be dealt with here. However, personification is the WP:COMMONNAME, not "anthropomorphism", and it's been that way for the entire history of the English language. I'm not terribly interested in shepherding the process but, at some point, the page should be moved. — LlywelynII 03:27, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

WP:ENGVAR[edit]

Per WP:ENGVAR, this edit established the use of the page as American English. Kindly maintain it consistently, pending a new consensus to the contrary. — LlywelynII 08:47, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Post Chomskian definition[edit]

Anthropomorphism also occurs when the entity is human. Example, homo naledi.

New definition:

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of the capacity to think abstractly to an entity that lacks a language function.

The article, and the Oxford Dictionary, is very detailed except as to our very own genus. Then everything becomes more than vague, it is simply omitted. Interestingly, that omission is perhaps an 'innate tendency of human psychology' (which my new age definition is able to get along without, quite well).

FourRivers (talk) 00:11, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Issue with sections of this article...[edit]

I have an issue with some of the content in the article; namely the references to characters like Mickey Mouse and so forth. I might be wrong - and please correct me if I am - but anthropomorphism is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "the attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to a god, animal, or object", so assigning guilt to my dog when he eats something he shouldn't is anthropomorphism - because I'm assigning to him a human emotion which he doesn't actually have - whereas the character of Mickey Mouse is not anthropomorphic because he actually CAN speak English, and CAN feel guilt, and DOES have actual human characteristics; they aren't just assigned to him, he actually HAS them. If that makes sense? Thoughts? FillsHerTease (talk) 10:08, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Mickey Mouse is generally considered an example of conscious anthrophomorphism because human characteristics are attributed to a mouse. That said, maybe we should move about half the current article into a separate "anthropomorphism in culture" article. Rolf H Nelson (talk) 00:08, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
You are completely right that "Mickey Mouse is generally considered an example of conscious anthropomorphism...", but I am questioning whether people are correct when they do that. What I'm trying to say - and I realise that I might be wrong - is that if a real mouse squeaks and I say that it's talking, then that is anthropomorphism because a mouse can't actually speak and I am attributing a human characteristic to it. Specifically I am attributing to it a characteristic which it doesn't really have. However Mickey Mouse can actually speak, so I don't believe that is anthropomorphism because we're not attributing to him a human characteristic that he doesn't have; he actually possesses the power of speech. Do you see what I mean? FillsHerTease (talk) 03:04, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
I get your point, but I think if I read your "which it doesn't really have" to mean "which it doesn't really have, not even in the fictional world of the thing being anthropomorphized", then it's too narrow a definition. If you said instead, "which it doesn't really have in reality", then that would match up better with common usage. Rolf H Nelson (talk) 04:38, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

I think I get what FillsHerTease suggests here. The current definition we give in this article for anthropomorphism is "the attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities", and the examples given are "nations, emotions and natural forces like seasons and the weather", and later various deities. Things which do not have them, or in the case of the deities, may not have them.

While the term "anthropomorphic character" is used in sources for a wide variety of fictional characters who do not look human, in practice these characters have a full range of human emotions, human traits (and often human anatomical aspects), human or human-like culture and technology, and human intentions and motivations. These are not things attributed to them while they do not have them, they were created and designed to have them. To borrow a phrase from TV Tropes, which has several pages discussing the differences between varying types of anthropomorphic characters, "They display all the mannerisms of a human individual, such as speaking human language (unless they're The Speechless) and wearing a full set of clothes that a human would be expected to, according to the type of the setting: modern-day attire, tribal loincloths or spacesuits." The human traits outweigh the animal ones in several cases. In a sense, these characters become humans in disguise.

Using another Disney character as an example, lets take Scrooge McDuck. He has a beak, tail, feathers, and webbed feet, but these are pretty much his only animal traits. He does not quack, he speaks English and several stories depict him as being multilingual or even omnilingual. He does not fly, he walks. He wears human clothes, which partly define his image. It is rare to see a story where he does not have his trademark top hat, sideburns, pince-nez glasses, frock coat, and spats. While created in the 1940s, his creator added these details to suggest that Scrooge adheres to the fashion-style of a previous generation and that he is a bit of a 19th-century relic. He has human intellect and emotions (such as wrath, grief, loneliness, empathy). His motivations are entirely human (depending on the story, greed, protection of his property, status seeking, revenge, seeking to prolong his life or gain immortality, reconnecting with estranged loved ones, etc). And the background the character has acquired does not particularly suggest "animal". Member of a Scottish Clan, born in an impoverished-patrician family in Glasgow, left his family and country when 13-years-old and lived the life of a wandering immigrant, gained his fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush, and serves as the owner and CEO of a business empire.

To quote Carl Barks, Scrooge's creator, see the following source: "humans"&source=bl&ots=knd5zKEJVi&sig=DFtN2nzkrV7N49FxzwZz-ORDK3U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjttICzjMzNAhUDOBQKHaUvCO8Q6AEILzAC#v=onepage&q=Carl%20Barks%20%22humans%22&f=false Carl Barks: Conversations. "I never thought of them [his Duck characters] as ducks that lived in a world of animal people and dog-faces. I just thought of them as being humans. They just happened to be humans who looked like ducks.". Dimadick (talk) 01:41, 29 June 2016 (UTC)