A Different Kind of Mind?

Authored by: Matthew Boyle

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds

Print publication date:  July  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138822887
eBook ISBN: 9781315742250
Adobe ISBN:


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Aristotle famously characterized human beings as animals whose soul contains a rational principle, and Scholastic philosophers codified this idea in the classical definition of man as a rational animal. 1 It is clear that authors writing in this tradition meant to claim, not just that rationality is a characteristic trait of humankind, but that it sets us apart from other animals in a fundamental way. This is indicated in the traditional way of representing Aristotle’s picture of the natural order, the so-called “Porphyrian Tree” (Figure 10.1).

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