Do Animals Have Feelings?

A Quest for Anthropodimorphism

  • Roger A. B. Abrantes Ethology Institute
Keywords: Anthropomorphism, Anthropodimorphism


Scientists avoid anthropomorphic language, suggesting other animals have human intentions and emotions, as it may indicate a lack of objectivity. We can't prove that animals, other than humans, have particular emotions. All we can see is their behavior but the same applies to humans. The only reason for our inference that someone feels something particular is by resemblance. If so, we fail to see why we cannot accept that animals (at least some species) also can be happy, sad, etc. Therefore, if it is a fallacy to attribute human characteristics to other animals, it must also be fallacious to claim that because we do, they don’t, because we can, they can’t. We call the first anthropomorphism; the second, we will name anthropodimorphism.


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How to Cite
Abrantes, R. (2011, December 1). Do Animals Have Feelings?. Ethology Journal Online, 2(1), 5-8. Retrieved from
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