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"Humans and Animals"? On Saying What We Mean
Psychological Science (1998)
  • Clinton D Chapman, Occidental College
  • Nancy K Dess, Occidental College
Discusses the linguistic phrase of "humans and animals" to distinguish humans categorically from all other animal species, and its application to psychology. It is suggested that the habit of using the human–animal convention persists because the human–animal dichotomy is institutionalized in psychology. Psychologists who study humans and those how study nonhumans tend to use different methodologies to train graduate students accordingly. They often use different publication venues and occupy different spaces. Separate ethics and funding boards review their research protocols. The nature of nonhuman animal minds and evolution is discussed. It is proposed that unexamined use of human–animal language should cease. Psychologists who endorse a categorical distinction between humans and all other species and reject humans' animalness should continue to use the phrase "humans and animals" as testimony to those views. Those sharing the assumption of fundamental continuity should align their language with that worldview.
  • concept of human–animal nature dichotomy in psychology
Publication Date
March, 1998
Citation Information
Clinton D Chapman and Nancy K Dess. ""Humans and Animals"? On Saying What We Mean" Psychological Science Vol. 9 (1998)
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